Even though online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, many consumers are still reluctant to buy online, especially when it comes to apparel. One approach to improve adaption is to base e-commerce search engines on ontologies to allow a more intuitive search process. This paper1 presents the results of an analysis how a sample of online shoppers perceived various ontology-based features in an online shop. The data was gathered in two focus groups with panelists coming from different socio-demographic backgrounds (middle-aged women, students in their twenties). Most of the middle-aged women panelists actively shopped for apparel by means of catalogues. However, across the focus groups, most panelists are very reluctant buying apparel online. Our study suggests that age has a higher influence on the information search behaviour of consumers in online shops than gender. The study concludes with suggestions for adapting ontology-based systems to these findings.
Brecht, Franziska and Schäfer, Kerstin, "Using Ontologies in an E-Commerce Environment: Help or Hype?" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 162.