As money being spent on e-commerce continues to rise, marketers and retailers are interested in what motivates people to shop online. In the past shoppers have been broken up into two categories, utilitarian or experiential (e.g., O'Brien, 2010; Overby & Lee, 2006; To, Liao, & Lin, 2007; Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001). The purpose of this study is to evaluate both categories of shoppers by utilizing a uses and gratifications theory framework. Online survey method is utilized to determine if there are differences between the utilitarian and experiential online shoppers in terms of uses sought. As a result, of the five variables that were tested, information, social interaction, identification with e-commerce community, and escapism are all found to be gratifications that both utilitarian and experiential online shoppers desire, however the data for the entertainment variable was inconclusive. This information can be used to inform future e-commerce marketplaces and marketers of how to best target shoppers in an online setting.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Teleshopping--Psychological aspects; Motivation (Psychology)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Andrea Hickerson

Advisor/Committee Member

Grant Cos

Advisor/Committee Member

Tracy Worrell


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HF5548.32 .S73 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes