Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Blake, Brian

Subject Headings

Electronic commerce, Consumers' preferences, Consumer behavior, Web site development, Web sites -- Design, Marketing


This exploratory study examines the novel variable of cross-category online browse range (the variety of product categories browsed online by a consumer) and its relationship to general website feature preferences. Utilizing data collected through an online survey, the results are based on a final sample of 313 respondents from the United States, 287 of whom were University students, and 26 of whom were contacts of the research team. The general nature of cross-category online browse range was examined using simple correlation, MANOVA, and ANOVA. Results indicate that the variable is normally distributed throughout the sample population and positively associated with time spent online purchasing, time spent online browsing, online shopping intention (purchasing, browsing, and searching), and Domain Specific Innovativeness. Though cross-category online browse range is weakly related to the amount of hours spent online in general, it was not found to be significantly related to any of the demographic variables tested, or to Internet experience. A discriminant analysis revealed that consumers in the discrete cross-category online browse range groups (low, medium, high) differed in their preference for a variety of hedonically-oriented website features, the majority of which composed a function representing "online exploration." Results from this study provide support for the idea that the individual difference of cross-category online browse range may reflect manifestations of several interrelated concepts, including exploratory shopping behavior, hedonic shopping motivation, and consumer innovativeness. In addition, this study illustrates the importance of accounting for individual differences in consumers' online navigation habits and highlights the potential that exists in collecting meaningful cross-category clickstream data. For practitioners in particular, the results provide insights into how one can structure a shopping website to appeal to those consumers most likely to seek out new retail websit

Included in

Psychology Commons