Customer perceived switching barriers and their impact on loyalty and habitual repurchase : a study of pure-play online retailers in the UK
Ghazali, E. (2011) Customer perceived switching barriers and their impact on loyalty and habitual repurchase : a study of pure-play online retailers in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2569211~S1
Retaining customers has become extremely crucial in the online environment
due to high competition levels. Although the role of switching barriers has
been examined quite extensively in the offline marketing environment, their
presence and importance in predicting customer retention are poorly
understood in the online retail context.
This thesis aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the
nature, dimensions and consequences of customer-perceived switching
barriers in the context of pure-play online retailing. It also investigates the
role of online switching barriers to influence customer retention in this
context. Based on the theory of social exchange, a framework depicting the
interrelationships among perceived switching barriers, satisfaction, loyalty
and habitual repurchase are proposed. Two categories of switching barriers
are examined, namely, perceived switching costs and attractiveness of
available alternatives. The research framework predicts the main effects,
indirect effects and moderating influences of these switching barriers.
The data were collected through self-administered questionnaires
from over 550 customers of pure-play online retailers serving the United
Kingdom market. In general, the strategy for assessing the psychometric
properties of the measurements is divided into two parts: measurement
model calibration and measurement model validation. These involve
Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and
Multi-group CFA. All proposed hypotheses are tested using Structural
Equation Modelling (SEM). Furthermore, the orthogonalisation approach is
utilised to test for moderation effects in the model.
Five dimensions of online perceived switching costs are identified:
learning costs, search and evaluation costs, uncertainty costs, brand
relationship loss costs and artificial costs. With respect to the alternative
attractiveness construct, three dimensions are identified: retailer
indifference, alternative awareness and alternative preference. The findings
confirm the importance of customer-perceived switching barriers in
predicting customer retention with respect to pure online retailers. This
finding challenges the notion that customer-perceived switching costs are
insignificant in influencing online purchase decision making due to the open
architecture of the internet market.
Most importantly, there are three novel and interesting findings in this
study that add to the body of literature: first, the ‘catalyst’ role of online
perceived switching costs in precipitating and strengthening the influence of
satisfaction on habitual repurchase; second, the ‘neutralising’ role of
perceived switching costs in offsetting the influence of attractive alternative
on habitual repurchase; and third, the mediating role of loyalty in the
relationship between alternative attractiveness and habitual repurchase.
Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also provided.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HF Commerce|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Customer loyalty, Electronic commerce|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Arnott, David, 1952- ; Harris, Lloyd C.|
|Sponsors:||University of Malaya (1962- ) ; Malaysia ; Warwick Business School ; University of Warwick|
|Extent:||xix, 373 leaves : ill.|
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