Risk profile and consumer shopping behavior in electronic and traditional channels

Alok Gupta, Bo-chiuan Su and Zhiping Walter
Decision Support Systems Vol. 38, Issue 3, Pages 347-367

This paper develops an economic model that captures consumer shopping channel choices based on shopping channel characteristics and consumer risk profiles – risk-neutral or risk-averse. Analyses of results show that after making purchases through one channel, electronic or traditional, risk-averse consumers tend to be more loyal customers than risk-neutral consumers. Further, the two types of consumers may exhibit split channel behavior – risk-neutral consumers prefer one channel and risk-averse consumers prefer the other. However, risk-neutral consumers are not always more likely to prefer electronic channel than risk-averse consumers. Implications for retailer pricing strategies are discussed.