Online shopping as a substitute or complement to in-store shopping trips in Iran?

Roya Etminani-Ghasrodashti, Shima Hamidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of information and communications technology (ICT) has brought significant changes in shopping-related travel behavior. However, little attention has been paid to remote connectivity-based options in non-Western countries in terms of individuals' travel behavior and willingness to shop online rather than travel to brick-and-mortar retailers. This study investigates the emergence of online shopping behavior among Iranian people, who have experienced a recent and transformative boom in internet usage. To explore shopping behaviors, online and in-store shopping frequencies were examined through a comprehensive survey which collected data from individuals in the Metropolitan of Shiraz. The predictive factors of online and in-store shopping include internet experience, in-store shopping attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and built-environment measures. The proportion of online shopping among the study population is remarkable despite the barriers to access popular online applications in Iran. Employing Structural Equation Models, this study accounts for both direct and indirect effects of key variables on both online and in-store shopping frequencies. Overall, our results reveal that the most influential determinants of online versus in-store shopping frequencies include the built environment, store-specific attributes, consumers' lifestyles and general attitudes. Other notable predictors of online shopping are the frequency of pre-purchase online searching and driving as the primary travel mode. Results suggest that in-store shopping has a complementary, rather than a purely adversarial, relationship with online shopping frequency while online shopping also motivates individuals to do more in-store shopping. Thus, while the ICT alternatives improve travel options, it is not always able to reduce shopping-related travel frequencies in the regions with the cultural and economic situations such as Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102768
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Built environment
  • In-store shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Online shopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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