Consumers' value perception of an e -store and its impact on e -store loyalty intention
As an important shopping channel, online retailing has increased consumer choices and added shopping efficiency. As more retailers go online, competition in online retailing has intensified. Retaining customers and cultivating loyalty becomes increasingly important for online retailers due to the low consumer switching cost and high competition. The purpose of this research is to identify the e-store loyalty drivers and examine the effects of these loyalty drivers on consumers' e-store loyalty intention through a perceived value focus. A hierarchical model that depicted the e-store attributes, perceived value, and loyalty intention relationships was proposed based on the means-end chain theory. Consumers' value perception of an e-store was examined multidimensionally. Three value components—value-for-money, trust, and shopping efficiency—were hypothesized to have direct, positive effects on e-store loyalty intention. Moreover, eight e-store attributes were identified. These were: relative price, merchandise quality, e-retailer's reputation, customer service, safety, order fulfillment, information quality, and website navigation. The e-store attributes were proposed to affect loyalty intention indirectly through their direct effects on the three perceived value components of an e-store. Data were collected from 375 college students. Structural Equation Modeling technique was employed to test the theoretical model. The results supported the overall hierarchical structure of the e-store loyalty intention model. As hypothesized, the three perceived value components (value-for-money, trust, and shopping efficiency) had significant positive effects on e-store loyalty intention. Seven of the thirteen proposed relationships between e-store attributes and perceived value components were supported. An examination of the total effect suggested that shopping efficiency had the biggest effect on loyalty intention among the three perceived value components. Order fulfillment was the most influential e-store attribute on loyalty intention. The study is the first effort to comprehensively examine and test the determinants of store loyalty intention in an online retailing context. Findings from this study provide insights for online retailers in identifying important e-loyalty drivers, understanding consumer needs, and improving their online performance. Future research should further explore issues related to the important e-store loyalty determinants suggested by this study.
DeVaney, Purdue University.
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