Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Designing for optimum experiences in online retail : the impact of website design on flow in online retail environments
Author: Singh, N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2530
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Online shopping is increasingly popular and is expected to grow significantly. The buying of retail items online now forms a vital part of the retail economy (ONS, 2018). Online sales have seen a steady increase since 2008 with 18% of total retail sales occurring online in 2019 (ONS, 2019). The rise in store closures together with the growth in online sales has led to an increased interest in understanding consumer behaviour in online retail (PWC, ONS 2019). Over the last two decades, both retailers and consumers have become increasingly experience orientated. The provision of a memorable customer experience in online retail is seen as a competitive advantage from a service delivery perspective; due to its impact on desirable customer outcomes. However, there is limited research exploring a comprehensive set of website design features that contribute to an optimum online experience that impacts customer outcomes such as satisfaction and intention to purchase. The thesis provides an intellectual understanding of the facilitation of a memorable customer experience online by understanding the impact of website design elements on the overall customer experience in online retail. Understanding how to design websites for optimum customer experience can afford retailers a strong competitive advantage. Further to understand customer outcomes, the research explores the role of flow experience which addresses the cognitive involvement of the customer. The relationship between website design features, flow experience and customer outcomes is examined. Online retailers are increasingly focusing on providing an exceptional customer experience as a key characteristic of the service delivery system. Flow offers a distinctive approach to explore customer experience and can be described as a state of optimum experience. Research indicates that customers who achieve flow are acutely immersed in the online environment. Acute involvement in the navigation process, for example, results in immersion within the online system. Successful experiences are assumed to have a significant impact on customer outcomes. These include purchase decisions, loyalty and an affinity with a retailer. This, therefore, provides opportunities for strategic differentiation. Website design is one of the significant factors that contribute to e-commerce success; building intuitive and engaging websites is crucial for online retailers as it generates a positive experience which 2 leads to more online buying, customer satisfaction and loyalty. This research examines whether customers who achieve flow due to their interaction with specific website design attributes during their online shopping experience are more likely to leave satisfied and exhibit intention to purchase.
Supervisor: Smart, P. A. ; Phillips, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available