Cross-national consumer segmentation of Internet shopping for Britain and Taiwan

Eric Shiu, J Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Internet shopping is overwhelmingly predicted to grow although opinion differs on the pace of growth. Growth is anticipated particularly for those countries with a large number of Internet users. One reason for this prediction of growth is the assertion that the Internet is an internationalised product or idea that appeals to a cross-national consumer segment who possess common personal characteristics and exhibit similar Internet shopping behaviour. This article explores this assertion. The article integrates the two conventional approaches to Internet consumer research, i.e. within-country analysis and between-country analysis, to search for a cross-national consumer segment group. Britain and Taiwan are selected for conducting this cross-national study. National survey data sets collected for each of the two countries are used. Intra-country analysis shows that demographic structures of Internet shoppers respectively in Britain and Taiwan are quite different. Internet shoppers can be segmented more clearly by gender and age in Britain than in Taiwan. On the other hand, occupation, income and region of residence are more influential in the 'digital shopping divide' in Taiwan than in Britain. The inter-country analysis indicates that a higher proportion of the population made online purchase in Britain than in Taiwan. Across six demographic variables and one country variable used for the pan-country analysis, it is found that only the country variable is significant at 99 per cent confidence level. This suggests that, on the basis of demographics, between-country difference is more influential than within-country difference. Thus it is suggested that national cultural dimensions are more important than global technologies in characterising the use of the Internet for shopping in its early adoption stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-166
Number of pages20
JournalThe Service Industries Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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