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Title: Building online loyalty in multichannel retailing: The role of in-store experience.
Authors: Woestenberg, H
Keywords: E-loyalty
multichannel retailing
in-store experience
internet retailing
Issue Date: 6-Jul-2017
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Multi-channel retailing is the keyword in food retail nowadays. Supermarket chains, with physical stores are desperately in search for expanding their activities with internet retailing on an online platform. The advantages are obvious; flexibility, a wider range, quick fix deals and a broader assortment (Srinivasan et al., 2002). The only way to become a successful online food retailer, is to create customer loyalty (Wang et al.,2000). In 2013 Rafiq published an article about three main antecedents to create E-loyalty in food retail, namely E-trust, E-satisfaction and E-commitment. However, it’s generally accepted that in-store experience of customers has a notable effect on online loyalty as well (Frasquet et al., 2015; Kuan en Bock, 2007). Therefor the supposition of this thesis is: Is the customer loyalty to the online platform being affected by the customer in-store experience? Multichannel retailers have a potential advantage over pure online players in building the needed customer trust to buy online. Given the strong relational bonds that brand attachment implies, it is expected that the ability of the multichannel retailer to build brand attachment would influence the emotional and attitudinal responses towards the online shopping experience positively.(Keller, 2010) This thesis examines the moderating effect of in-store experience on E-trust, E-satisfaction and E-commitment and therefore on the main construct, E-loyalty. We have tested the supposition by means of an online cross-sectional survey within the customer base of seven Dutch multichannel supermarkets. A random single sample of 700 Internet grocery shoppers has been selected and received a letter with a hyperlink to a online questionnaire. A total of 81 responses were received, all questionnaires remained for further analysis after data screening. Statistical analysis shows there is no significant effect of the customer’s in-store experience on E-loyalty. However the results do support a significant connection between the three constructs (E-trust, E-satisfaction and E-commitment) and E-loyalty. In contradiction to the research of Rafiq (2013), our results show support for impact of E-trust on E-loyalty and impact of E-satisfaction on E-commitment. In conclusion, food retail deviates from other sectors. We assume this is being caused by a gap between the online and physical store. The two platforms are probably not associated to each other. Hsieh et al. (2012) conclude that a gap like this, when customers switch between the two platforms, is harmful for the loyalty strategy. To close the gap between online and physical store, we recommend retail managers to improve on channel integration. We also assume it’s more difficult to positively influence the attitude of customers within foodretail in comparison to other branches. Grocery shopping is often considered as time consuming, tiring, a chore, frustrating, un-enjoyable and stressful (Buttle and Coates, 1984; Aylott and Mitchell, 1998; Roberts et al., 2003). We believe this has a negative effect on the attitude of customers. Therefore we recommend retail managers to focus their attention in making the shopping experience more enjoyable.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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