Patronage of Online Bookstores by Postgraduate Students at Nigerian Universities
Keywords:online bookstores, online shopping, online retailing, postgraduate students, Nigeria
The preference for online bookstores is increasing among students; however, research that focuses on online bookstores has not been given attention in the Nigerian university context. This study examined, through empirical analysis, the patronage of online bookstores by postgraduate students at Nigerian universities. A survey design was adopted using a questionnaire to collect data from 969 postgraduate students selected from twelve universities from the South-west and South-south regions. Six research questions were developed. The findings reveal that Amazon is the online bookstore most often patronised by Nigerian postgraduate students. The books ordered most often are textbooks, fiction, and reference books. The factors driving patronage of online bookstores are convenience, the wide range of products available, the opportunity to purchase anytime and anywhere, the ability to save time, and cost advantages. Culture and censorship do not have an impact on the patronage of online bookstores. Overall, postgraduate students are satisfied with their experience of online bookstores, although the challenges include internet connectivity, long waiting times for delivery of ordered books, inadequate information and communication technology (ICT) skills, limited access to computers with internet access, loss of ordered books during transit, and the risks inherent in paying for books ordered online. Since only one bookstore in this study, Ikasuwa, is based in Nigeria, it is recommended that Nigerian bookstores and booksellers consider creating online platforms to reach out to customers.
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