The Impact of Personality, Culture and Social Class on Online Purchase Decisions

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Going by the current trends in the context of social media use among different people, it is very likely that online marketing will become more dominant in the future. The number of social media users is increasing by the day. The use of social media as a marketing tool will thus become more significant since companies are increasingly seeing this as a means of targeting the younger generation. In addition, over the years, the use of offline marketing methods has become more and more expensive. For example, the use of mass media as a marketing tool is currently a preserve of large companies because they are not affordable to SMEs. Online marketing, being much cheaper, will thus be increasingly used by SMEs with the aim of competing with the already established firms. The future dominance of online marketing is based on the fact that SMEs are more than big companies in most economies in the world. Finally, online marketing, at present, has a wider reach than offline marketing. With the current push for internationalization in most organizations, online marketing will be of very profound importance in reaching multiple markets at once.

Impact of Personality, Culture, and Social Class on Purchase Decisions


A research study presented by Tsao and Chang (2010), finds that a number of personality traits influence people's online purchase decisions. Individuals with higher levels of openness to experience and agreeableness are more likely to search and purchase items online. Online shopping, being a relatively new thing compared to physical shopping, introduces a new twist to the shopping process. Persons with an open-minded would thus be more willing to try different variations of online shopping ranging from buying fashion items to ordering meals.


Halimi et al. (2010), on the other hand, find that culture has a profound impact when it comes making decisions on whether or not to purchase items online. Persons in countries that show high uncertainty avoidance generally adopt new technologies slower than those in societies with lower uncertainty avoidance. That means that people from the low uncertainty avoidance cultures will generally be more willing to make online purchases.

Social Class

Social class has a strong effect on how different people shop and also what they shop for. In the context of online purchases, Ahmed et al. (2016) point out that the access to technology between different classes of people is different. In the case of China, for example, 68% of the middle-class population has access to online retail technologies, which is significantly higher than that of other social classes. In that regard, online shopping platforms are seen as more relevant to this group than the lower class. In that regard, people belonging to the middle class make more online purchases than any other social group.

Strategies to Target Personality, Culture, and Social Class

From the discussion above, it is seen that personality traits such as openness to experience have an impact on online purchase decisions. In that regard, marketers must consider presenting marketing campaigns that present new experiences as a rewarding thing so as to appeal more to people who may not be very open. In contrast to personality, culture is something that is shared by a large number of people within the same area. The best approach to convince a whole society to purchase online is by using respectable figures that the people can identify with in marketing campaigns. Finally, due to the fact that social class has an impact on online buying, marketing online shopping as the new way of marketing rather than just another option will create excitement in all classes. However, this method will be effective if the marketers focus on showing that products satisfying all human needs can be found on online platforms just like through offline purchasing.


Ahmed, M. E., Samad, N. & Khan, M. M 2016, International Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research, Vol. 14(10), pp. 6679-6702

Halimi, A. B., Chavosh, A. & Soheiliard, S 2011, ‘The Impact of Culture on Young Consumer’s Intention Towards Online Shopping in Malaysia’, 2010 International Conference on Business and Economics Research, IACSIT Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tsao, W. & Chang, H 2010, ‘Exploring the Impact of Personality Traits on Online Shopping Behavior’, African Journal of Business Management, Vol. 4(423), pp. 1800-1812

September 18, 2023




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