My interviewees: Kerry W. Duncan, 62, of Pennsylvania, a retired teacher. He’s my daddy.
Todd R. Duncan, 25, of New York, a data architect. He’s my baby brother.
Sarah Beth Goodwill, 29, of Pennsylvania, a material analyst. She’s my best friend.
- Describe your online shopping habits.
KWD: Picks a product and researches it. He buys products ranging from inexpensive to a couple hundred dollars.
TRD: Buys clothing, electronics, cellphone holsters, and even student loans. He buys online every month. He spends a couple thousand dollars annually.
SBG: Buys home products and also entertainment products. She makes purchases between one and three times a month and estimates she spends $600 annually.
2. How have your expectations of online merchants changed since your first online purchase?
KWD: Has more confidence in online merchants.
TRD: Expects products faster and also expects better product descriptions.
SBG: Is more trusting of shopping online because of success.
3. How have your expectations of in-store merchants changed since your first online purchase?
KWD: Store merchants are more eager to explain things than they used to be because they know that people his age are techno-savy can buy online.
TRD: They haven’t.
SBG: Expects best price in store or will go online
4. How has the type, importance and cost of online purchases you make changed since your first online purchase?
TRD: Variety has expanded.
KWD and SBG: No answer.
5. If you have ever had a negative online purchasing experience, what steps did you take to resolve it?
KWD: Had problem with a printer. He called the retailer and then the manufacturer. He spent more than four hours on hold. Never was resolved. Will never buy from manufacturer again.
TRD: Had only one negative experience and didn’t try to resolve it because of the low purchase value.
SGB: Received a product with part missing. Called customer service and got part by mail.
6. Which statement most accurately reflects your philosophy on the trustworthiness of Americans?
A. If someone tells me he or she will do something, I don’t doubt he or she will follow through.
B. Generally, Americans are good people, but there are a few bad apples out there.
C. I don’t like to do anything before getting it in writing.
D. All Americans are just out for themselves. I don’t trust anyone.
This phone survey showed that the subjects, who buy online, are also generally trusting of Americans. Two subjects said that because of success in buying online, they have grown to trust merchants more and are willing to buy a different variety of products online. KWD went on and on about his negative experience, but he was still the most trusting of the subjects. Without prompting, two of the three subjects talked about how experiences have increased their trust in online merchants. It was unclear from their answers if the trust had a direct correlation with their trust in the folks of the real world.