مدیریت حفظ مشتری در کسب و کار الکترونیکی بنگاه با مصرف کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3683||2003||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Long Range Planning, Volume 36, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 517–532
Businesses competing in the internet economy are turning their attention and resources towards increasing the retention of their customers and users. This paper examines how customer retention can be achieved and which strategy best fits which business model. The authors based their analysis on theoretical reasoning and interviews with B2C executives. Their findings differentiate the most appropriate strategies for particular business models. For example, building customer trust and convenience are the most appropriate for commerce-based businesses while the offer of free services are better suited to content, context and connection business models.
1.1. The strategic imperative for customer retention In 2000 the 10 most frequently visited Business-to-Consumer (B2C) internet companies spent a conservatively estimated $3 billion on marketing.1 While some of this spending can be attributed to brand building, particularly for newer players, the bulk of the money went into acquiring new customers. Sustainable profitability, however, only results from repeat purchases which in turn can only be achieved through building a loyal customer base.2 Businesses competing in the internet economy are therefore turning their attention and resources towards increasing the retention of their customers and users.3 In May 2000 a Jupiter Media Metrix survey found that 82 per cent of e-commerce executives stated that the top priority for the business over the next few months would be to increase the number of new customers: by mid-2001 an exploratory study showed how the situation evolved with 86 per cent of B2C business executives stating that customer retention took priority over new customer acquisition. To achieve their objective of customer retention, however, companies must understand the specific environment of the electronic marketplace, where the barriers to customers switching are lower compared with the traditional economy and vendors are more vulnerable to customer defection. These lower switching barriers result primarily from the intensification in market transparency in the electronic business, an effect further increased by the advent of smart price agents, from the absence of physical distance between customers, suppliers and competitors, and from the lack of personal vendor–customer relationships. Should an internet business succeed in retaining its customers, on the other hand, the benefits are great: the costs of acquiring a web customer may be high but the relative saving potential from retaining a customer is high as well. Second, the ease of extending existing services and product lines into new ones enables web business to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities to loyal customers. Third, referrals, another important benefit from loyal customers, occur at a higher rate in the internet economy than in the traditional market because they can be made with much less effort, often with a single mouse click. Some internet businesses have therefore long realised the importance of customer retention. This results in a wide array of customer retention tools already implemented in B2C markets today. However, as we will point out, there is no single approach to customer retention that is applicable across the wide varieties of business models found on the internet today. Rather, we theorise that certain retention tools are more suitable for specific business models than for others. So how, exactly, can customer retention be achieved in a challenging environment where market transparency is great and every competitor is just a mouse click away? And which retention strategy is appropriate for which B2C business model? In academic research, to our knowledge, these questions remain unanswered. The few publications that approach the topic of customer retention in electronic business underline its importance and provide some insights into possible measures, but none takes a business model perspective and none provides empirical results on specific retention measures. To approach the subject of successful customer retention in the B2C electronic business we employed a comprehensive research process consisting of four steps combining theoretical and empirical elements. Starting from a foundation of theory and literature research we observed the 29 most frequently visited B2C websites to assess their customer retention measures. Owing to their large loyal customer base, we consider these companies as best-practice in customer retention. Based on these findings we conducted 15 exploratory expert interviews with B2C electronic business marketing executives to deepen our understanding of customer retention management in this market. From the results of the first three research steps we developed a set of research hypotheses which were then analysed in a confirmatory quantitative empirical study based on a large sample of B2C internet businesses. The article will first discuss the suite of retention tools that was developed from our theoretical and exploratory empirical research. Second, we will introduce the 4-C-internet business model typology which is used to classify the different business models found on the web today. The third part of the article describes the set of criteria which will be used to assess the viability of a retention strategy for a business model. In the fourth part a theoretical alignment of retention strategies and business models based on these criteria is presented and subjected to quantitative empirical verification. The final part of the paper presents conclusions from our findings. The logic of the paper as well as the initial theoretical alignment between retention strategies and business models are shown in Figure 1.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Customer retention in the transparent electronic business market is particularly important.25 Due to low information costs among other factors, the barriers to customers switching dwindle. At the same time, suppliers can use a variety of new measures to counter this and create new switching barriers. So far, both management and scientific literature have covered electronic business in the B2C and B2B markets in a quite general way including, but not limited to, the topic of customer retention. This article takes a more differentiated perspective and analyses the use of customer retention measures depending on the pursuit of one of four business models. The empirical analysis shows that companies in the B2C electronic business use the instruments of customer retention adequately with respect to their primary business model. Most combinations of customer retention measure and business model, that seem appropriate from a conceptual perspective, occur with above-average frequency in the empirical data. The article provides businesses with a first orientation framework to assess the suitability of a set of customer retention measures in accordance with a given business model. The empirically supported recommendations presented in this article should be viewed as initial research findings. Our empirical research is based on the premise that the companies surveyed are successful in customer retention. While there is indication that this is the case (they all survived the internet shake-out of 2000/2001), more detailed analysis, particularly with regards to the actual effectiveness of each retention strategy is desirable and necessary to confirm our initial findings. Bearing this limitation in mind, the findings should still be viewed as noteworthy as theoretical reasoning and empirical findings tally well, indicating a certain level of validity. With the notable exception of individualisation, both our theoretical reasoning and the empirical evidence obtained through surveying successful internet businesses point to the fact that the use of retention strategies should be viewed in a differentiated way based on the primary business model an internet company employs. Trust building is most appropriate for commerce business models; Communities appear particularly successful for content, context and connection business models. Convenience is a promising retention strategy for commerce business models. Free services should be employed by content, context and connection business models. Individualisation stands out among the seven discussed retention strategies as it appears to be universally applicable across all business models. We attribute this to the fact that individualisation is considered a particularly powerful retention strategy as it both locks the customer into specific investments while increasing customer satisfaction through relevant offerings. Customer retention through contractual agreements is suitable for content and connection business models. Finally, technical integration is best used by context and connection business models. Figure 4 summarises the alignment between customer retention strategies and business models, as evidenced by the empirical findings along with the key rationale for each match.Even given the limitations discussed above three remarkable conclusions remain. First, our research has shown us that internet companies have realised the importance of customer retention and have initiated measures to counter the low switching barriers. Second, there are very strong indications that internet firms realise that different business models call for different retention strategies, which was our initial premise. Third, it appears that internet firms are doing the right things to increase customer retention as indicated by the strong match between theory and actual practice. For the academic reader we have turned the imporant area of research of customer retention and customer loyalty on to a new playing field, the internet, where it appears to be particularly important. However, the surface is barely scratched. Important issues remain to be answered. Among them is the important question of the actual effectiveness in increasing customer retention through appropriate strategies. Second, it appears to be worthwhile also to consider the customer perspective as we have taken a pure supplier-based approach. Finally, our initial research is limited to the business-to-consumer markets, leaving the potentially large research field of business-to-business untapped.