is faced with more divergent consumer protection issues. Much of these are consumer dissonance related. The problem is resulting into profound market share problems which E-bay has to move fast to resolve. E- bay problem background is within this context. According to Jun Gu, E-bay success is driven by the high interest of the C2C industry. Yahoo, Amazon, Lycos have entered the industry and pose stiff competition to E-bay market share and consumer culture (Gu, 2007).
According to e-bay.com the online C2C channels help the internet based customers to purchase and sell on the net. These venues also open the door for fraudulent and dishonest transactions (Jun Gu, 2007). Gun argues that, along with the booming development of C2C industry, those side effects begin to arise as revealed by statistics and E-bay's problem background.
Profound interest on consumer behaviour has become integral in decision making at E-bay. The company which is currently working hard to consolidate its market share after the emergence of cognitive marketing process which have emanated from emergence of third party problems in the C2C industry. Third parties have caused panic and more consumer dissonance (McDonald, 2007). Consumer behaviour reflects on consumer buying behaviour (James, 2005).
E-bay has the most diverse and profound consumer base within the US online auction industry (, 2007). This is based on the fact that, e- bay has the most dynamic and diversified service's and product's provisions (Gu, 2006). The process of making these services and products accessible to consumers is efficient and consistent making E-bay to become a reputed marketplace with a revered portfolio.
However, online auction sites are nowadays a home of fraudulent deals making online transactions a threat to consumers (e-bay.com, 2007). E-bay has also highlighted moral problems and consumer privacy infringement which has led to rapid change of consumer behavior and attitude towards credibility of both online auction companies and online transactions (google.com, 2007).
Conversance with this shift of perspective and the decline of consumer confidence in e-commerce is now an E-bays concern. It's taking into consideration its market share in the industry and rather than watching from the side lines, is lobbying for better legislation and a review of the quality of online marketplace service and consumer protection acts from its consumer perspective.
Understanding of consumer behaviour helps the corporation understand how to manage the client's interests and roles. The consumer, consumes, buys and pays making him the most integral aspect of the corporations well being. E-bay has established a relationship with the customers so as to effectively assess and analyze the consumer interests.
In context, E-bay consumer behaviour concept tends to understand the customer decision making processes and Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorcharacteristics of individual consumers such as demographics,End Match physiological approaches, Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorandEnd Match behavior's so as to comprehend the customer's needs. Bilkey and Warren (2007) argue that, consumer behavior is the process and activities a buyer engage in pursuit of choosing, buying, using, and disposing services and products purposefully and in the context of seeking satiation.
The Marketing Strategy Problem
According to E-bay, consumer behaviour is conceptual; hence, it is the main challenge in the market. The demographical context revolves around the importance of this perspective since the consumer behaviour predetermines the performance of a product or service as such place the industry players within their rightful place in terms of quality and efficiency in service delivery. Online sales depend on the background of the seller and the credibility of the intermediary company i.e. E-bay.
E-bay boasts of being the first online auction company and the first to sell successfully online (Wikipedia, 2007). Consumers take it as the traditional industry leaders hence have confidence in its ability to consistently offer services it has projected. However, after introducing a consumer protection protocol as a marketing approach, E-bay is grappling with the reality of consumer consolidation problem (Jun Gu, 2006). Stratagems within its consumer protection reflect on marketing and market share consolidation concepts rather than the no-frills outlook (www.adviceguide.org.uk).
E-bay has raised the red flag on the increasing fraudulent deals in its name, consumer risk paying and never receiving what they paid for and probably receives items worth less what was paid for, creating cognitive dissonance (Jun Gu, 2006, McDonald, 2007, consumerdirect.gov.uk, 2007). Adding up on cognitive dissonance problems, third party adverts on stocks which are gold on the ads but a copper necklace's upon delivery is becoming a threat to the consumer confidence in e-bay as well as taking toll on its strategic marketing plans (e-bay.co.uk).
Creating positive attitudes and focus on commitment to the company objectives will simulate the proper attitude. (Wright, C., Mechling, G. (2002). Declining positive consumer attitudes towards e-bay are increasingly becoming a challenge. E-Bay has sought legislative redress to be exempted from liabilities based on third party's content on its web (ebay.co.uk).
The marketing problem also revolves around the legislation issues. There are limited legal fall back positions to help the consumers file complaints of mistreatment and delivery of low quality on nothing at all after paying lump sums online. According to BERR, the Distance Selling Regulations apply to items purchased via Buy It Now listings and Second Chance Offers on eBay.co.uk. However, they don't apply to auction format listings on eBay.co.uk. (www.berr.gov.uk). This does not offer effective insulation on fraudulent third parties using e-bay websites to sell their goods (McDonald 2007).
E-bay executives argue that, clients should understand that e-bay cannot supply information about goods and services offered by third parties on its site (e-bay, 2007). The issue here is third parties are advertising very good quality products on e-bay but delivering poor quality merchandize to consumers. As such consumers are buying poor quality and probably counterfeits from E-bay at a real price in a without any legal fall back positions (Jun Gu, 2006).
The problem lies within the behaviour of some players in the market and the fluctuating interests of the customers. Consumers pose problems to consistency of sales based on their dissatisfaction with the services and quality. If an item is out of stock, customers tend to seek alternatives to satisfy their needs, publicity, related products and new but similar products also pose major challenges (Wiley, 1969). E-bay is a victim of the changing trends in consumer interests and industry adjustments (Gu, 2006).
The Consumer and Consumer Issues
Shift of consumer loyalties to trendy, better publicised and quality but affordable products and services has been seen within the industry with e- bay having a stable market share based on its experience and credibility (Wikipedia, 2007). Gender, attitude and other factors predominantly feature as the aspects of consumer behaviour evaluation (Howard, J., Sheth, J.N, 1968).
E-bay has put in place a process to evaluate consumer attitudes towards its service provision system (Gu, 2006). Both the customer and the seller rate the services. The clientele is giving feedback positive, negative or neutral, regarding their overall views on the services proffered at e-bay (e-bay.co.uk, 2007).
Consumers evaluate products or services through thin screens, the price, quality and reputation are what they screen in the latter. According to Schiffman, L.G. (1993), Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorconsumers evaluate alternatives in terms of the functional and psychological benefits thatEnd Match products and services Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behavioroffer. TheEnd Match company should understand the profiles consumers are seeking in products hence apply them on the products and services they are offering.
Consumer's decision to buy is based on the immediate attitude towards a product. Solomon, M.R. (1994), point out that the company is supposed to Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorfacilitate the consumer to act on their purchase intention.End Match This means having proper payment and discount provisions in place to facilitate the purchase. Purchase is approached from a physiological perspective and the company should have convincing outlooks which offer an inventive of 'buy now (Gu, 2006)'. This has to be through having a profound physiological concept in place to integrate the purchase needs of consumers (Schiffman, L.G.1993).
E-bay use of escrow, pay pal and other payment services has eased the burden of online purchases and the speed of transactions (BERR, 2002). E- bay is faced by a horde of consumer problems starting with minimal consumer feedback and increasing fraud in the industry, much of which happens within the E-bay system (Gu, 2006). Fraudulent auctions at the e-bay system are as a result of the seller at e-bay manipulating the auction box contents so as to misuse the outcome and dissatisfy the consumer since what is offset is not what is projected; the blame is laid on e-bay and the fraudster goes free with a quick buck (BERR, 2002, Gu, 2006, Wikipideia, 2007).
The payment scums are taking toll on consumer interests in online auctions. The fact is these third parties come along fraudsters who are tricking new e-bay users into their unscrupulous websites where these users make payments (E-bay.co.uk). E-bay is seeking to address the consumer dissatisfaction temperatures to consolidate its market share (BERR, 2007).
E-bay approach to consumer behavior after purchases is within the theoretical behavioral and cognitive learning theory (Schiffman, 1993). This approach puts the e-bay in good stead when addressing the problems seen within the post purchase problems which include, customer dissatisfaction (BERR, 2007). (2) Consumer Analysis
E-bay is fast tracking the C2C policies and as such, make it's portfolio a convincing one so as to remain competitive (Scott &Colin, 2004),. Consumer's decisions and behaviours are physiological (Gu, 2006). E-bay website offer the consumer sufficing profiles to help them in their first decisions to evaluate a product or service so as to understand if the products value and quality reflect to his/her wants. It's a psychological process, one which onsets the buying process and decision (E-bay.co.uk).
The development of C2C industry has given rise to an urgent need of proper legislation to guide the future of the industry. E-bay is at cross roads with the extent of service provider liability policies for their web security. E-Bay is restructuring its screen scanning software, and making its fraud awareness policies more cognitive so as to eliminate the fraud risk (European Union, 2004).
E-bay has established a modality to understand the process of consumer decision, (the customer develops an attitude towards the product he/she identified) (Scott &Colin, 2004). The consumer evaluates the functional and psychological benefits of the product, comparatively, looking at the cost within the context of variety (Schiffman, 1993). Attitudes reflect on cognitive and affective aspects - which mean the consumer has insights about what he thinks about the product/service and also what he feels about this product/service.
E-bay consumer trends show a different approach to the growing market requirements. The customer problems are cognitive and are as a result of the growing industry and entry of new players into the market. Cognitive dissonance features dominantly in the analysis of consumer issues within the E-bay troubled facade.
Schiffman points out that, after a purchase, the consumer evaluate their purchasing decision when they use the product. They assess and compare the performance of the product or service with their objectives and expectations (Schiffman, 1993). Poor services, or a poor product results into post purchase dissatisfaction. This means that, the consumer develop doubts over their decision. Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorThis situation is called 'cognitive dissonance' (thinking disharmony). TheEnd Match impact Begin Match to source 1 in source list: (11-10-07) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_behaviorofEnd Match this problem on a company is profound on the company; the marketing department should put in place a strategy to minimize the likelihood of post purchase dissatisfaction (Schiffman, 1993, McDonald, 2006, James, 2007) Case study Research objective
So as to understand the consumer attitudes and behavior towards e-bay services, a study on the retailers and companies corporate relations with clients show that; Customer's who spend a lot of money on a product or service develop cognitive dissonance than those who spend less Gender is predominant in consumer behavior; more women develop attitudes towards products and services more than men. Men are loyal customers in comparison to women. Men stick to one seller whereas women keep searching for cheaper but better products and services
E-bay believes it is easier to sell to a man than a woman on speculation and that it is very easy to sell when a woman buyer has her male partner/spouse with her. This study is aimed at establishing gender as the key element of consumer behaviour. It encompasses past research and arguments on the correlation of gender to consumer behaviour (Kay M. Palan, 2001) .
Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.orgCategorized with respect to threeEnd Match theories: Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.org(1) The consistency of gender identity conceptualization/End Matchoperational-zing Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.orgwith either gender schema theory (GST) orEnd Match multi-factorial Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.orggender identity theory (MGIT); (2) The relevance of gendered traits to studyEnd Match
(3) Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.orgThe recognition that gender identity is variable, dependent on salience.End Match
Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www.amsreview.orgStudies where gender identity was judged to be irrelevant to the other study variables reported biological sex to be a more significant predictor than gender identityEnd Match (Kay M. Palan, 2001)
(3) Recommendations Gordon L P (1996)
. E-bay should clarify legal status of e-service provider either within the context of legislation or courts decisions on related cases. Online platform service should tackle various services auction services deemed fraudulent and cohesively work towards tightening the grasp on legitimacy of players in the industry. The C2C industry has outgrown projected growth rate and urgent legislation is required in place to cater for consumer protection. The law should define the responsibilities of the OPSP for the consumers to avail consistence and reliable protection (Gu, 2006). . Adoption of a strict requirement of identity authentication, either through regulation or self-regulation would significantly contribute towards creating a sense of confidence in consumers on the OPSP (European Union, 2006). E-Bay is lobbying for such requirement of identity authentication which if accepted and could be beneficial for the whole C2C industry (Gu, 2006). All users of eBay, either as a buyer or a seller need to be verified by their banks and e-bay would know the credibility of each seller and fast track him if he is fraudulent (E-bay.co.uk). . Enacting more legislation in respect of regulating e-money transfers and banking and other online payment service so as to help users on the online payment services and limit fraudsters from taking advantage of new users (Gu, 2006, European Union, 2006). Such legislation could benefit the market through reposing confidence to consumers and also the legitimate sellers and third parties with honest deeds (Gordon, 1996). . E-bay is seeking to have other players join in its lobby for an online disputes settlement service and online secure payment service to limit third parties with incumbent credibility problems from accessing payments if cognitive dissonance is raised in their deals as well as the other scammers using OPSP service (Scott ;Colin, 2004, European Union, 2006, Gu, 2006). The C2C environment is dynamic and confidence in the consumer to take a litigation approach in protecting his legal interests would build industry capacity (Gordon, 1996). Online disputes settlement service and secure payment service could strengthen and increase efficiency of the C2C world (BERR, 2007, Ebay.co.uk, Gu, 2006). . Integrating and regulating the jurisdiction and applicable laws so as to facilitate the cross border transactions in the C2C industry will increase the industry productivity (European Union, 2006). Consumers are in disputes with third party borne fraudulent dealers as such legal solutions should be in place to protect them comprehensively (Gu. 2006). . Educating the consumers about online fraud and prevention skills will ease the burden of cognitive dissonance at e-bay (e-bay.co.uk, Google.com, Gordon, 1996, Gu, 2006). Education through publishing material raising the red flag of these frauds and poor quality services and products from third parties will efficiently tackle the impending problems of fraud and low quality services and products (Gu, 2006).
Sources BERR (2007): Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2007; www.berr.gov.uk