The shopping outside can be frightful; online buyers want deals so delightful


Expert Pitch

You don't need statistics or sales figures to measure the scope of online holiday shopping – doorsteps everywhere boast boxes delivered by Amazon and other retailers.

But why do shoppers choose to stay home and buy gifts online rather than in a brick-and-mortar store? And what are they looking for in each experience?

Pratyush Sharma, an assistant professor of management information systems at the University of Dleaware, has some answers.

In a recent study analyzing the psychology of online and offline shoppers, Sharma found that those who cybershop are more interested in deals and customer satisfaction, whereas those who shop in person are more concerned with the overall quality of the purchase.

"As the bankruptcies of RadioShack and Toys 'R' Us aptly demonstrate, old assumptions about customer satisfaction and loyalty are no longer valid as competitors shift strategies using newer technologies, causing immense shifts in consumer buying behavior," he said.

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