College Students' Online Purchase Attitudes and Intentions: gender, product type, and risk

Document Type



e-commerce; online shopping; gender; risk perceptions; risk; hedonic; utilitarian; recreational shopping identity; RSI; consumer behaviour; electronic marketing; internet

Identifier Data




Publication Source

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 9(3), 207-229


This research explores the relationship between gender and hedonically-motivated shopping as well as the effects of product type (i.e., hedonic vs. utilitarian) and gender on online purchase attitudes and intentions. It also explores how consumers' online shopping risk perceptions influence the effects of the relationship between product type and gender on online attitudes and intentions. Results show that female college students in the USA are more likely than male college students in the USA to identify as hedonically-motivated consumers but that these differences do not carry over to product type. Conversely, males are more willing than females to purchase hedonic products online. Gender differences in willingness to buy hedonic products online are mediated by online shopping risk perceptions. Both males and females however view hedonic products as riskier than utilitarian products and are more willing to purchase utilitarian than hedonic products online. The results suggest that marketers need to continue to seek ways to convert females' enjoyment of shopping into actual purchase behaviour. Online marketers need to seek ways to mitigate the risk associated with purchasing hedonic products online.