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Abstract

A search for published empirical research on in-home shopping found only 27 studies. The bulk of this research compared in-home shopping behavior or intentions with those of non-in-home shoppers, and then tested for significant differences of certain predictor variables.

These studies offered a plethora of different treatments of in-home shopping as a criterion variable. In many instances, the distinction between the type of in-home shopping mode (i.e., catalog, television, door-to-door salesperson) and the type of response (mail, telephone, or electronic transmission) was not clearly specified.

While researchers have yet to present evidence that in-home shopping behavior varies between methods of ordering (response), there is limited intermodal research which indicates that in-home shopping behavior varies between in-home shopping modes.

Even when examining a single mode in isolation, such as catalog shopping, nonsignificant and conflicting results abound. These intramodal differences are ascribed in hypothesis to the differences in the sources sending the direct response messages, and the differences in the products studied or purchased.

In an attempt to offer generalizations, the authors conclude that very little is yet known about the in-home shopper. Until consumer researchers begin to treat in-home shopping as a multicomponent criterion variable, consisting of a source, a mode, and a response, advancement of the discipline is limited.