Original Research

The impact of risk factors on South African consumers’ attitude towards online shopping

Khathutshelo M. Makhitha, Kate M. Ngobeni
Acta Commercii | Vol 21, No 1 | a922 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v21i1.922 | © 2021 Khathutshelo M. Makhitha, Kate M. Ngobeni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 December 2020 | Published: 03 August 2021

About the author(s)

Khathutshelo M. Makhitha, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, College of Economics and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Kate M. Ngobeni, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, College of Economics and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: The advances in technology have resulted in an increasing number of people choosing to shop online, globally. Despite the growing number of those shopping online and online retailers, most customers continue to avoid shopping online. This could be because of risks inherent in online shopping that have resulted in some consumers opting not to shop online.

Research purpose: The main aim of the research study is to identify the risks influencing consumers’ attitude towards online purchases.

Motivation for the study: The study was driven by the need to determine the risks associated with online shopping that influence whether consumers will shop online or not.

Research design, approach and method: A survey, using the non-probability convenience sampling method, was used to reach respondents (207 consumers in South Africa who visited two shopping malls) in Gauteng, South Africa. Data were collected from consumers at the two shopping malls from March 2019 to April 2019. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the conceptual model for the study.

Main findings: The results showed that product risk and privacy risk influence consumer attitude in online shopping positively and that delivery risk does not to have a great influence on attitude towards online shopping. The attitude towards online shopping was also found to positively influence their intention to shop online.

Practical/managerial implications: The practical implications for this study would be that retail owners and marketers would understand and manage product and privacy as risks that inhibit consumers from shopping online. Retailers should formulate appropriate marketing and retail strategies that address these risks to change consumers’ perceptions about online shopping and reduce the level of risks related to online shopping.

Contribution/value-add: Marketing and retail strategies should include strategies on how product risk and privacy risks will be managed and reduced to ensure they do not influence consumer’s attitude against online shopping.


online shopping; purchase intention; risk factors; attitude, consumer behaviour


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Crossref Citations

1. The Effect of Perceived Risk on Value and Adoption of Proximity Mobile Payments
Zumae Barnard, Michael Humbani
Southern African Business Review  vol: 25  year: 2022  
doi: 10.25159/1998-8125/9989