وفاداری مشتری در تجارت الکترونیک: اکتشاف سوابق و پیامدهای آن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|20016||2002||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing, Volume 78, Issue 1, Spring 2002, Pages 41–50
This paper investigates the antecedents and consequences of customer loyalty in an online business-to-consumer (B2C) context. We identify eight factors (the 8Cs—customization, contact interactivity, care, community, convenience, cultivation, choice, and character) that potentially impact e-loyalty and develop scales to measure these factors. Data collected from 1,211 online customers demonstrate that all these factors, except convenience, impact e-loyalty. The data also reveal that e-loyalty has an impact on two customer-related outcomes: word-of- mouth promotion and willingness to pay more.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Internet retail sales for 2000 were $25.8 billion, or 49% higher than 1999 sales of $17.3 billion. 1 This rapid growth of e-retailing reflects the compelling advantages that it offers over conventional brick-and-mortar stores, including greater flexibility, enhanced market outreach, lower cost structures, faster transactions, broader product lines, greater convenience, and customization. However, e-retailing also comes with its own set of challenges. Competing businesses in the world of electronic commerce are only a few mouse clicks away. As a result, consumers are able to compare and contrast competing products and services with minimal expenditure of personal time or effort. According to Kuttner (1998, p. 20), “The Internet is a nearly perfect market because information is instantaneous and buyers can compare the offerings of sellers worldwide. The result is fierce price competition and vanishing brand loyalty.” Given the reduction in information asymmetries between sellers and buyers, there is a growing interest in understanding the bases of customer loyalty in online environments. From a seller’s perspective, customer loyalty has been recognized as a key path to profitability. The high cost of acquiring customers renders many customer relationships unprofitable during early transactions (Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Only during later transactions, when the cost of serving loyal customers falls, do relationships generate profits. With millions of web sites clamoring for attention, e-retailers have a tenuous hold at best on a large number of “eyeballs.” In order to reap the benefits of a loyal customer base, e-retailers need to develop a thorough understanding of the antecedents of e-loyalty, that is, customer loyalty to a business that sells online. Such an understanding can help e-retailers gain a competitive advantage by devising strategies to increase e-loyalty. The main objectives of this research are to identify those managerially actionable factors that impact e-loyalty and investigate the nature of their impact. This article is structured as follows. We first briefly discuss the concept of customer loyalty and introduce eight factors potentially influencing e-loyalty. We then discuss the consequences of e-loyalty. Next, we describe the methodology and discuss the results of an empirical study of the eight factors. We conclude by noting the managerial and research implications of the study’s findings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The antecedents of customer loyalty in the traditional brick-and-mortar marketplace have been studied in detail (e.g., Sirohi, McLaughlin, & Wittink, 1998). Several researchers have suggested that initiatives such as improving the appearance of the storefront and the positive presentation of service personnel will increase the loyalty of customers in the traditional retail environment. However, there are several variables unique to e-retailing that have not been evaluated in the existing customer loyalty literature. The present research has identified eight factors that potentially affect e-loyalty. Of the 8Cs considered, customization, contact interactivity, cultivation, care, community, choice, convenience, and character, all but convenience, were found to have a significant impact on e-loyalty. E-loyalty demonstrated the highest elasticity with respect to character and care. Equally important, e-loyalty was found to have a positive impact on positive word-of-mouth and willingness to pay more. Our findings have both managerial and research implications. From a managerial perspective, e-retailers can establish early warning systems based on continuously measuring customer perceptions for the 8Cs, so that management can take appropriate remedial action when any of these dimensions is perceived as falling below an acceptable level. Moreover, e-retailers can use the scale items developed in this research to benchmark their e-retailing activities vis-à-vis competitors to identify their comparative strengths and weakness from the standpoint of customers and consumers. From a research perspective, our analysis provides an early conceptualization of the relevant antecedents of e-loyalty. Our findings provide a basis for the further study of this important topic along both theoretical and empirical dimensions. There are some limitations of this research that should be considered when interpreting its findings. Our model does not take into account individual-level variables that also may have an impact. Certain individual-level variables outside the control of the e-retailer (such as customer inertia) and other variables that are jointly determined by individual- and business- level factors (such as reposed trust and satisfaction) may also impact e-loyalty (Reinartz & Kumar, 2000). Based on our findings, more comprehensive models of e-loyalty can be developed and tested. Also, the suitability of the Internet for e-retailing depends to a large extent on the characteristics of the products and services being marketed (Peterson, Balasubramanian, & Bronnenberg, 1997). This study does not control for such differences across product and service categories. Researchers can develop richer models that capture and explain these differences. With the Internet and other telecommunications innovations drawing us ever closer to the economist’s concept of a perfect market, many products and services will be increasingly perceived more like commodities. Consequently, as noted by Peterson (1997), electronic markets will lead to intense price competition resulting in lower profit margins. To compete successfully, e-retailers will need to develop and maintain customer loyalty. Toward this task, e-retailers must first thoroughly understand the antecedents and the consequences of e-loyalty. They must skillfully design the 7Cs to fit their specific offerings and their customers’ demographic and psychographic profiles, and also systematically manage the subsequent behavioral outcomes of loyalty (Blattberg & Deighton, 1996). We hope that our findings will contribute to the accomplishment of these crucial tasks.