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An Exploratory Study of Genders, Choice Overload, Perception of Variety and Decision Satisfaction

Cruz, Stefanie (2017) An Exploratory Study of Genders, Choice Overload, Perception of Variety and Decision Satisfaction. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This study aims to explore the perspectives of gender about choice overload, perception of variety and decision satisfaction. More precisely, the primary goals are to investigate how the genders perceive the number of options on an online store, how they understand variety and how satisfied they are with the decision made. The research accomplished these goals utilising an inductive approach with exploratory focus was developed using a mono-method qualitative design. Semi structured interviews were carried out with eight participants, four men and for women, who purchased online an apparel item recently. The data were analysed utilising a thematic coding approach.

The main findings were that genders have similar opinion about the number of options in a choice set and use strategies to cope with it such as price, social media and brands, not scrutinised in literature yet. Females seemed to enjoy extensive variety and number of options and presented a shopaholic tendency when faced with many options. For males, when there is too much variety, the options are considered too similar and does not impact on their selection process. However, variety is seen to be essential for a reliable and competitive website. Besides, males seem to establish a previous idea of what they want to purchase and tend to ignore remaining options. Furthermore, for both genders, decision satisfaction is associated with price, time taken to search for the product and accuracy of visual and written information about the product. Concerning online stores, this study found that it requires a well-planned user interface to avoid detrimental effects of overload.

This study adds to the body of literature due to the unique research method and design, as the major part of past studies were conducted with experiments. The diversification of methodologies applied to overload studies is needed owed to the discrepancies found in the area, which has been presenting contradictory conclusions about the positive and negative impact on consumers’ feelings and behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4150 Computer Network Resources > The Internet > World Wide Web > Online Shopping
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > Telecommunications > The Internet > World Wide Web > Online Shopping
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 14:23
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 14:23

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