High-tech technology has to do with an industry that generates industry (Dovleac, 2011a). More specifically, high-tech industry is defined as “the industry involved in creating, developing and introducing new products and/or innovative manufacturing processes through the systematic application of scientific and technical knowledge” (Wasinghton, 1982). Some examples of industries that belong to high-tech industry are information technology, hardware components, software communications, internet infrastructure and consumer electronic products such as video games, video products, audio products and entertainment products (Mohr et al., 2010; available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_tech). Besides these, according to (OECD (2005) and Wikipedia (2012), aerospace, office machinery and pharmaceuticals sectors are also included in the high-tech industry. Based on the types, it can be assumed that this type of industry is mainly innovative, and the main concept towards the creation of high-tech products is to “identify, determine and develop appropriate value elements from the perspective of customers” (Moller, 2006). The creation of high-tech products, demand considerable material, human and time resources and a great amount of study and deep research (Florescu et al., 2003, cited in Dovleac, 2011b). Apart from the difficulty in the creation, the reaction also of the market towards a product is unpredictable. Nevertheless, whether it will succeed or not is going to be determined by the consumer. Therefore mew products, in order to succeed they should emit value, include quality and be perceived as necessary which means they should be tested, approved and purchased over and over (Florescu et al., 2003, cited in Dovleac, 2011b). Even all of these occur still the establishment of a new innovative product may be difficult as the customers may be reluctant towards the adoption of a new product (Chakravorti, 2004). The products that come from this industry are called high-tech products, but it is difficult to distinguish which products are high-tech and which are not, as there are many definitions concerning this (Munnukka and Jarvi, 2011). In order to do so, high-tech products should abide to the next criteria OECD, (2005): “Be developed in a highly technological environment” “Incorporate a new or advanced technology” ” Be associated with technologically based uncertainty” ” Not currently accepted as natural solutions for the problems they have been designed to address” ” Do not yet have an associated external infrastructure” Based on these criteria and according to Eurostat (2012) we can assume that Mobile phone, Laptop computer, Personal computer (PC) and or its accessories, Car navigator (GPS), DVD player and Digital camera are high-tech products although not all of the above criteria are satisfied (Munnukka and Jarvi, 2011).
In many studies, purchase intention is being analyzed as a dependent variable and moving a step further, in some occasions it has been treated as a vital determinant factor of online behavior (Chen et al., 2002). For the aim of this study, once again the main variable will be purchase intention and specifically online purchase intention. What purchase intention represents in reality is “what we think we will buy” (Blackwell et al., 2001 p. 283 cited in Park and Stoel, 2005). According to (Thammawimutti and Chaipoopirutana, 2005, p.6), purchase intention can be defined by “the tendency or likelihood to buy a product”. Other researchers have used the word possibility, so as to refer to the purchase intention of customers to buy a product (Wu et al., 2011) and according to Dodds et al., (1991) an incline in the purchase intention results to an incline in the possibility of purchasing. For the aim of this study, online purchase intention will be analyzed adopting the same theories that have been used for purchase intention in conventional retail shopping (Eroglu et al., 2001). To begin with, there are plenty of theories regarding purchase intention, among which the theory of reasoned action and the planned behavior theory stating that, purchase intention is related to attitude, subjective norms and perceived control (Cheung et al., 2005 cited in Erragcha and Zid, 2012). Based on this, the consumer is willing to buy the product or not (Erragcha and Zid, 2012). Theory of reasoned action It was first introduced by (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1975 cited in Kim et al., 2008) and it was created so as to predict a behavioral intention. According to this, “a person’s voluntary behavior is predicted by his/her attitude toward that behavior and his perception of other’s beliefs whether he or she should or should not perform that behavior”. In other words it is defined as “an intermediary cognitive between attitude and behavior” (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980 cited in Erragcha and Gharbi, 2012). This basically means that there are two variables responsible for the purchase intention and they are, a personal factor that refers to the attitude towards the behavior and the social norm (Erragcha and Gharbi, 2012), which is, social pressures that influence the decision whether to perform or not a behavior (Belleau et al., 2007). The relationship between intention and behavior exists under the assumption that consumers are considered rational and as a result, they are going to make a choice based on the information given to them (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1975 cited in Kim et al., 2010). In order to do so though, there is another assumption, that consumers are capable of taking control of their behavior (Kim et al., 2010). To conclude, attitude is a predictor of behavioral intention (Prendergast et al., 2010) and an individual’s behavioral intention to perform or not a behavior is the immediate determinant of that individual’s actual behavior (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980 cited in Kim et al., 2008). Apart from the supporters of this theory, there were some that identify some limitations on this theory, such as that the behavior is tracked by the individual and that intention is the sole factor that determines behavior (Cao and Zhang, 2004 cited in Erragcha and Gharbi, 2012). Moreover, Zeithaml et al., (1996) also said that purchase intention is only one among others dimensions of behavior intention. Theory of planned behavior Compared to the previous theory, the theory of planned behavior tries to solve the limitations of the theory of reasoned action (Ajzen, 1991). The theory of planned behavior, adds the perceived behavioral control, as one another determinant of behavioral intention (Hansen et al., 2004) and finally behavior (Belleau et al., 2007), which basically means that it is an extension of the theory of reasoned action. Perceived behavioral control refers to “the perception of internal and external resource constraints on performing the behavior” (Ramayah et al., 2009 p. 1224). This is of prime importance especially in occasions when no restrictions exist (Belleau et al., 2007). This theory incorporates the concept of perceived behavioral control as the perception of ease or difficulty on performing or not a conduct (Shin et al., 2001). The perception of ease or difficulty though has to do with the perception of whether someone has the requisite resources and chances so as to perform a questionable behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Having mentioned all these concepts, it is possible to create a misinterpretation as far as they are concerned. Attitude is different from intention and intention is different from behavior (Spears and Singh, 2004). Attitudes are “summary evaluations whereas intentions represent the person’s motivation in the sense of his or her conscious plan to exert effort to carry out a behavior” (Eagly and Chaiken, 1993 p.168 cited in Spears and Singh, 2004). Moreover, intention is a variable more easily measured, compared to behavior because the first one refers to the consumer’s mind whereas the latter one subjects to restrictions and the customer does not behave as he/she prefers (Day, 1969 cited in Bai et al., 2008). Apart from these two theories, Engel et al., (1995) cited in Chi et al., (2009) proposed a model that tries to divide the consumer’s purchase intention process. So it is divided into 5 stages: Problem recognition Information search Alternative evaluation Purchase decision Post-purchase behavior Moreover, Engel et al., (1995) cited in Chi et al., (2009) separated purchase intention into, unplanned buying, partially planned buying and fully planned behavior. Unplanned behavior is considered when a consumer makes the decision to buy a product in a store or in this case when he/she is on the site. Partially planned behavior refers to the willingness of a consumer to buy a specific product without having decided the brand of the product. Fully planned behavior is when consumer knows the exact product and brand of the product he/she is ready to buy (Engel et al., 1995 cited in Chi et al., 2009). Other researchers (Kotler, 2003) stated that, the reasons that affect purchase intention are individual attitudes and unpredictable situations. Individual attitudes refer to private preferences to others and unpredictable situations have to do with changes in purchase intention because of the appearance of a new situation such as, the price of the product being higher compared to the expected one (Dodds et al., 1991).
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