This study proposes and tests several social and perceptual motivations for shopping online. Using online textbook purchasing as a model, we outline predictors of online purchasing based on motivation theories drawn from traditional online consumer motivation research, social motivation theory, social influence theory and uses and gratifications theory. Our research adds a social and perceptual dimension to much of the typical online motivation research that deals with availability and cost issues. Data were collected using a pencil‐and‐paper survey of 156 students from a large Northeastern university. Findings of this study indicated that previous online purchase, positive social environment, professor support, knowledge of online retailers, and perception that needs will be met online are all predictors of online textbook purchasing. Implications for advertisers, online textbook retailers, and e‐commerce, more generally, are discussed.
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