Here are my questions and their answers:
1. When was the first time that you made purchase online?
Try to describe the reason why you did so, and how was the experience?
Fanny: It was few years ago that I bought the textbook in US, because the price in the bookstore is more expansive. It’s comparatively cheaper purchasing textbook online and it didn’t take too long for shipping.
Karen: When I was in College, I bought jeans from clothing websites. The whole experience was smooth and fast.
Chung: I was attracted by the advertisement on the home page of Yahoo and found the clothes looked nice. The experience was okay. Though the clothes were not exactly like how they looked online, they were acceptable. And purchasing on line is really convenient.
2. Do you mostly purchase items from well known online shop, or from individual seller?
Fanny: Not specifically, I purchase items base on what I want to buy not based on brand
Karen: Prefer well-known online shops.
Chung: Prefer well-known online shops.
3. Do you check the seller’s review before you place the order?
4. Do you have any unpleasant online purchasing experience?
Does it affect your later online purchasing behavior?
Fanny: I’ve bought something low quality, or was going to be expired. Since then I decided to purchase item mostly in a real store, unless it is really too urgent, or I won’t purchase online.
Karen: Yes. I bought a second handed coach bag from eBay but the product turned out to be very low quality. I decided to purchase products from individual seller more carefully.
5. Have you ever encouraged a friend to purchase anything online?
Fanny: Yes, only for particular brand, because the mall in Gainesville doesn’t sell those.
Karen: Yes. I suggest my friend to buy text books from Amazon.
6. Have you ever accept your friends’ suggestion to purchase anything online?
Was this friend a very close one or just an acquaintance?
Fanny: The close ones. Because good friends know me better than others, and they can provide proper advices for me.
Karen: Not a friend actually. It’s someone on the Internet. Maybe a blogger.
According to Mutz’ article, there is certain trust developed during the online purchasing experience. I develop some questions trying to understand my friends’ purchasing behavior and how they’ve been affected by previous experiences. From the answers above, though not representative enough, but the general initial purchasing experience is “convenient”. Moreover, the low expectations do come as a result of satisfaction as Mutz said. However, my interviewees still mostly make purchase from well-known online shop instead of individual sellers. That might indicate that they yet have more faith in the online shops which have more items, and could have earned more trust. Contradictory, from the suspicious of their online shopping behavior, they don’t 100% check the sellers’ review. So, does big, well-known online store really gain more trust issue?
There is another interesting thing that base on their unpleasant purchasing experience, will not stop them from purchasing. My interviewees change their attitude towards it, one learns to be cautious, one still take advantage from its conveniences but just for some occasions. In this example, we should say that the trust certainly decrease, just like Mutz’ second experiment, “those who encounter a negative result experience online became less trusting as a result” (Mutz, p.452).
Then I find out that people talk about online shopping, face-to-face! They will share information together, giving suggestions, persuade others to purchase something online. Besides, one of my interviewee search critics from bloggers to make sure this item is worth buying. It really diminishes the boundaries between real life and virtual reality. We discuss opinions openly no matter online or face-to-face, and that’s what Mutz didn’t count in. We might influence by a friend to make purchase online, does that still belong to e-commerce? How do we define it?