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Charlene Gerber, Shannon Ward, Leila Goedhals-Gerbe ORCID logo


To avoid risks, consumers tend to be failry thoughtful decision makers. Research has shown that consumers perceive risks associated with purchasing online and as a result online purchasing has not yet reached the numbers that were projected. In order for e-commerce to live up to its full potential, online retailers should gain an understanding of which perceived risks online purchasing consumers are most concerned with. This study aimed to assess the impact of perceived risk on online buying behaviour. Personal interview surveys were conducted in an emerging market whereby 200 respondents that have access to the internet were interviewed in selected malls with regards to their perceived risks when buying online. The results showed that perceived risk does have an impact on online buying behaviour, and that consumers that have not bought online in the past are likely not to do so in the future. The results show that characteristics of emerging markets are sufficiently distinct from developed markets in that consumers in developed markets seem to be more conservative when buying online. Marketers should therefore developed alternative marketing programs when communicating to these markets in an attempt to persuade consumers to buy online.

Keywords: Online Buying Behaviour, Perceived Risk, Financial Risk, Functional Risk, Social Risk, Psychological Risk, Physical Risk, Time Risk

How to cite this paper: Gerber, C., Ward, S., & Goedhals-Gerber, L. (2014). The impact of perceived risk on on-line purchase behaviour. Risk governance & control: financial markets & institutions, 4(4-1), 99-106.