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Title: Exploring online customer experience : website features, customer activities and repurchase intentions
Author: Kong, Xiangyu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 0012
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The purpose of this research is to provide a better understanding of customer experience as to how it could be used to contribute to experience-based design in the context of online retail services. The review of literature suggested that a good customer experience may bring various benefits to service organisations. However, many of the existing studies appear to be focused on traditional face-to-face services rather than e-services. Moreover, although it is proposed that services should be designed based on the customer experience, little literature was available to suggest how it could be done. This research studied three key areas in the online retail service context, the features offered on retail websites, the activities performed by customers, and the customers’ perceived influences of each feature on their experience and repurchase intention. Each of these areas was investigated by an individual study using different data collection methods and data sources. Study 1 investigated the retail website features by analysing 60 retail websites. Study 2 enquired the online customer activities by interviewing 52 university students. Study 3 researched each retail website feature’s perceived influences on customer experience and repurchase intention by surveying 1680 university students and 233 customers of an online retailer. The studies identified twenty retail website features (e.g. search box, filter, and express checkout), four online customer activities (i.e. Search, Compare, Checkout, and Enquiry), and provided evidence which demonstrated a correlation between customer experience and repurchase intention. By performing a Principle Component Analysis on data collected in Study 3, it was found that some of the retail website features appear to influence customer experience (and repurchase intention) in similar ways. In order to identify the similarities of the features with similar influences, analysis was undertaken by linking retail website features with their associated online customer activities. The result suggested that there are four types of retail website features that appear to influence customer experience (and repurchase intention) differently: i.e. optional automatic features (e.g. enable customers to choose whether or not to save addresses and payment details for future use), non-optional automatic (e.g. automatically suggest alternative or additional products), optional non-automatic features (e.g. enable customers to browse categories), and features involve real person interaction (e.g. enable customers to chat with customer service agent on the website). Although all the four types of features appear to have positive influences on customer experience (and repurchase intention), it seems that the optional non-automatic features have the most positive influences, and the features involves real person interaction have the least positive influences. However, the result showed that there are no clear differences between the influences on customer experience of the optional automatic features and the non-optional automatic features. This research has provided a new perspective on e-services. It suggested that there are different types of service features that tend to influence customer experience (and repurchase intention) in different ways. It implies that e-services could be more effectively designed by focusing on the features offered on retail websites, in particular by offering optional non-automatic features.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce