In this study, an Online Prepurchase Intentions Model is proposed and empirically tested in the context of search goods. The focus of this research is to determine whether intent to search the Internet for product information is a key element for marketing researchers to employ in predicting consumers' Internet purchasing intentions. Data were collected through a mail survey to computer users who resided in 15 U.S. metropolitan areas. Two-stage structural equation modeling was employed to test hypotheses. The results show that intention to use the Internet to search for information was not only the strongest predictor of Internet purchase intention but also mediated relationships between purchasing intention and other predictors (i.e., attitude toward Internet shopping, perceived behavioral control, and previous Internet purchase experience). Direct and indirect relationships between two antecedents (attitude toward Internet shopping and previous Internet purchase experience) and Internet purchase intention were also found. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
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