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Webrooming behaviour: a conceptual framework

Sourabh Arora (Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)
Sangeeta Sahney (Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Recent statistics on increasing webrooming customers make it topical in the multi-channel retailing domain. The purpose of this paper is to offer an enhanced understanding on “Webrooming behaviour”, an area of concern for e-retailers by proposing an integrated framework grounded on the Theory of planned behaviour and Technology acceptance model.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model presented develops a number of propositions applicable to webrooming behaviour utilizing the rich literature on channel choice behaviour in the multi-channel retailing environment. The propositions are open for verification and can serve the basis for future line of research.

Findings

The model proposed provides basis for understanding the webrooming sequence via search attitude towards online channels, purchase attitude towards offline channels, perceived ease of online search and perceived usefulness of webrooming behaviour. The impact of online risk perceptions and mediating role of (lack of) “trust” have been proposed along with the direct impact of product type and category which offers an holistic view towards understanding the webrooming conduct.

Research limitations/implications

The model proposed lacks empirical verification. There is a need to test the model empirically to validate the model and to find out the suitability of integrated TPB-TAM model.

Practical implications

Webrooming substantially erodes online profits. Before retailers’ strategies to defend webroomers, it is imperative to understand the phenomenon from the consumer’s side. The model proposed is a step in this direction and provides the basis for formulating strategies for holding back the webroomers.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the body of knowledge in retailing by proposing a conceptual model on webrooming behaviour which is an emerging area of research in the present retail landscape.

Keywords

Citation

Arora, S. and Sahney, S. (2017), "Webrooming behaviour: a conceptual framework", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 45 No. 7/8, pp. 762-781. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-09-2016-0158

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited