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Title: Towards understanding Internet loyalty through customer preference structures
Author: Wilson-Jeanselme, Muriel Annie
ISNI:       0000 0001 1509 8272
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This research is an exploration of how the capabilities of the Internet may have influenced customer preference structures and how these influences may, in turn, have affected loyalty behaviours. These relationships are explored from both customers’ and companies’ perspectives. A theoretical model is developed which comprises four main components. These are (1) pre-purchase preference structures; (2) post-purchase preference structures (3) the Internet channel and (4) loyalty behaviours. The Internet channel is shown as having a modifying effect on pre- and post-purchase preference structures, which in turn relate to influences in loyalty behaviours. From the customer’s perspective the theoretical model was quantitatively tested by developing pre- and post-purchase preference structures from a choice-based conjoint experiment on a sample of online and offline grocery shoppers. The results showed that these preference structures differed significantly on a number of attributes. The theoretical model was further tested by linking the utility values from the choice-based conjoint experiment to loyalty variables in a structural equation model. The results showed that the theoretical model needed adjustment to fit the underlying data. The offline shoppers’ group model had a better fit to the data than did the online group. The company perspective was developed through a longitudinal study of four U.K. companies in different industries. The qualitative data collected in these studies was compared and contrasted with the theoretical model. The emergent pattern within this analysis showed that companies with a strong understanding of customer preference structures in a traditional marketing channel, was no guarantee that the capabilities of the Internet would be used to strengthen performance on those preferences. One common theme that emerged from interviews with companies was that those who rapidly developed new levels of performance on customer preferences using the capabilities of the Internet had made the Internet a major component of their business model. The qualitative data showed companies as either adopting a transactional or an informational approach to their Internet channel strategy with radically different implications for their business models.
Supervisor: Reynolds, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Marketing ; Internet ; marketing ; preference structures ; loyalty ; structural equation modeling ; choice based conjoint ; e-commerce ; e-business ; retailing ; on-line retailing ; on-line business ; consumer behaviour