BACKGROUND The literature on purchase decision in this part has been limited to IT related purchase decisions due to the product category which will be examined in this current study. Consumers can prefer certain products, brands or companies over others, and to understand the reason behind these choices is exceptionally essential in order to market existing products more effectively than rivals. Consumers’ demographic profile, purchase perceptions, and their attitudes towards products or brands influence their purchase decisions. Jarvenpaa and Tedd (1996/1997) identify many factors that affect a consumer’s electronic shopping purchase decision: product understanding, shopping experience, customer service, and consumer risk. Geisler and Hoang (1992) identify five steps in the decision process to purchase IT: 1. Establish or articulate the need for IT. 2. Establish or determine which unit(s) will receive the new or modified IT. 3. Select the technology. 4. Select the suppliers. 5. Authorize the purchase and sign the authorization to commit the necessary funds. The authors conclude that services companies follow a relatively logical and analyzable decision process.
According to decision making model, consumers process the environmental cues; the physical factors of the product, psychosocial cues, such as advertising, and consumers put these cues into a set of perceptions that shape their preferences (Hong and Lerch, 2002). Based on these preferences, consumers make their choices subject to situational constraints, such as price (Hong and Lerch, 2002). According to Hong and Lerch (2002), people evaluate various objective features when buying an IT product, and because of imperfect information and simplifications according to the decision rules people often abstract these various features into few perceptual dimensions such as ‘usefulness’ and ‘price’. In another research conducted by Kim et al. (2002), small-office/home-office professional (SOHO) procurement choices are influenced by a number of salient dimensions (i.e. income, performance, price, inter-purchase time, network externalities). Furthermore, surveys have repeatedly identified performance and price as two of the most important attributes in SOHOs' PC purchase decisions. In a more recent study, Dillon and Reif (2004) examine factors influencing consumers’ e-commerce commodity purchases, and find that a history of e-commerce purchasing have a more positive attitude towards on-line buying.