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Title: The effect of customer perception towards electronic Brick-and-Click retailers in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Buthelezi, Makhosazane 
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2018
Brick-and-Click retailing was introduced in the 21st century and it was a challenge to traditional retailers (Diamond and Pintel 2013: 91). Kloppers (2014: 1187) reveal that online shopping has grown tremendously worldwide in the last few years but South Africa seems to lag behind the rest of the world where the development of Brick-and- Click is concerned. Gupta, Mittal and Nayyar (2011: 401) state that electronic retailing is now a trending shopping tool. Laudon and Traver (2010: 6) assert that as electronic retailing drastically grows, most customers act and react based on their perceptions, not objective reality. According to Hawkins and Mothersbaugh (2010:
278) customer’s perception are much more vital than their knowledge of objective reality. Customer’s perception affects their actions, leisure and buying habits which has a great impact on the Brick-and-Click retailers. Laudon and Traver (2010: 5) believe that electronic retailing is challenging to most retailers, as there are many factors that need to always be considered. Botha et al., (2008: 277) mention that the South African online retail market needs to overcome a number of obstacles in order to enhance the growth of online shopping.
The aim of this study is to identify the factors that affect customer perception on electronic retailing in Brick-and-Click retailers in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The primary objective of the research is to examine the effect of customer perception of electronic retailing in Durban. Durban is known as the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, therefore using Durban as the sample was advantageous to the study in terms of results. Furthermore, this study obtained permission (see appendix C-gatekeepers letter) from Mr Price Clothing who is one of the largest retailers in Durban to engage in this study.
The study followed a quantitative research method in order to attain the set objectives of the study. Non-probability sampling technique was employed in recruiting the participants. Convenience and purposive sampling techniques were used to generate the sample population in this study. The target population for the study were all the customers that shop at the Brick-and-Click retailers in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Questionnaires were administered electronically via the database of Mr Price. The study used both descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 23.0 was used to analyse the data.

The results suggest that Brick-and-Click retailers pay more attention towards the factors that affect the customer perception as they can determine the success or failure of the business. Researchers in the literature review highlight that customer perception is the way customers view shopping quality of the stores performance and effectiveness in terms of its product or services (Ha and Stoel 2011: 199). Aspfors (2010: 10) believes that it is essential to identify customer’s needs and wants by knowing customer perceptions. The study revealed that majority of customers indicated that they are aware of electronic retailing, a frequency of 2-3 times a month was the highest followed by never shopped online customers. The study also discovered that customers were influenced by different factors to shop online, less are of the opinion that online shopping is secure, and even fewer are prepared to make online payments. Finally, only few have a positive attitude toward online shopping. Lastly, the study also discovered that prices and delivery are the main motivating factors for customers to shop online while the least motivators were referrals from friends, family and review site, company reputation and appealing product description.
Lee and Barnes (2016: 48) suggest that Brick-and-Click retailers invest in Research and development (R&D) to discover various factors affecting the customers to buy electronically. Brick-and-Click retailers are further advised to develop strategies pertaining how to retain customers especially strategies suitable for their target market as they all differ from one retailer to another. Research and development can assist in implementing the right strategies at the right time minimizing cost. Through research and development, the retailer can also determine the needs and wants through understanding perception of customers. Retailers must be aware of all the factors in order to provide ideal strategies. Recommendations on how to use the important factors in online shopping could be aimed at developers of websites and owners of Brick-and-Clicks. They should change their marketing strategies giving priority to customer orientation and they should be particularly focused on the ease of use of online shopping services. Brick-and-Click retailers should devote resources to better understand consumer behaviour, technologies of the future and their development (Baubonienė and Gulevičiūtė 2014:81).
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree: Master of Management Sciences: Retail Business Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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