WMU News

Attention Internet shoppers

November 19, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- There may be fewer shoppers crawling the mall this season thanks to the Internet. The advantages of shopping over the Internet have resulted in an "explosion" of consumers taking to their computers, according to Dr. Jay Lindquist, WMU professor of marketing. For one thing, Internet shopping has made it easier for consumers to get the information they want about an item. "Essentially, you can personalize your own ads," Lindquist says. "You go to a site and choose only the information you want to see. You don't have to deal with anyone. You can just make the decision and be done." But don't count on the Internet to bring about the death of the mall just yet. "People shop in different environments for different reasons," Lindquist says. "Some people need the personal contact they get from shopping. Repressed people find they have authority in the marketplace because there is someone there that is saying 'yes, ma'am' or 'yes sir'." In addition, security issues have made some shoppers wary of the Internet, but Lindquist says that ordering from a catalog on a portable phone is less secure than giving your credit card over the Internet. Media representatives may contact Lindquist at (616) 387-6062.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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