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Web site satisfaction and purchase intentions: Impact of personality characteristics during initial web site visit

Chatura Ranaweera (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)
Harvir Bansal (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)
Gordon McDougall (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




A main focus in recent online consumer research has been on context specific trust, risk, and online buying experience. Despite the importance, their individual level “equivalents” – trust disposition, risk aversion, and technology readiness – have received limited attention. This research attempts to fill that gap by focussing on these crucial personality traits.


This research employs a survey‐based method to test a theoretically grounded set of hypotheses. The measurement model is tested using SEM and the hypotheses are tested using regression techniques.


The personality characteristics are found to have significant moderating effects on online purchase intentions. Interestingly, provided the consumers are satisfied, risk aversion is found to increase the likelihood of purchase. Moreover, while technology readiness increases the likelihood of online purchase, dispositional trust is found not to have a similar effect.

Research limitations/implications

Significant full and quasi moderator effects of three hitherto untested personality traits on online purchase behaviour are found. Results show that risk aversion, trust disposition, and technology readiness are fundamental to online consumer behaviour literature.

Practical implications

The results suggest that to be successful, relatively unknown web‐based service providers need to go beyond matching their large competitor and need to offer unique web sites to browsers. Results also indicate that personality traits pose both significant challenges as well as unexpected opportunities to online service providers in identifying inherently more loyal customers.


The paper identifies a set of hither to untested personality traits that have fundamental relevance to online consumer behaviour. It also offers practical recommendations to relatively unknown online service providers on how to compete with their better known competitors. Results are generalisable to online service providers in a number of industries.



Ranaweera, C., Bansal, H. and McDougall, G. (2008), "Web site satisfaction and purchase intentions: Impact of personality characteristics during initial web site visit", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 329-348.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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