Customer engagement with websites: a transactional retail perspective

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to focus on customer engagement (CE) in the underexplored context of transactional retailing websites, providing insight into the drivers, manifestations and dimensionality of the construct. The website is viewed as a collection of environmental stimuli, and focus is placed on identifying the website environmental cues that promote CE. Design/methodology/approach: This focussed study follows an exploratory research design. A total of 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted with one segment group: over-55-year-old female online shoppers in the most commonly purchased product category online, clothing. The stimulus–organism–response model forms the theoretical framework. Findings: The unique findings identify that product-related environmental cues drive CE on a website, suggesting that CE occurs at the level of the product, as opposed to the website. Research limitations/implications: CE with websites exists beyond the customer–brand dyad, with the website forming the third node in a triadic relationship between customer, brand (at level of the product) and website (at level of the product-related cues). Practical implications: This study reveals the relationship between website environmental cues and the manifestation of CE, providing managers with insight on how best to drive CE. Confirmation is provided that the website represents a vital touchpoint in the engagement journey of a retail customer. Originality/value: Websites as a focal object for CE are markedly under-researched. This study empirically supports the relevance of considering CE in this context and reveals the influence online environments have on CE.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Customer engagement
Web sites
Retail
Node
Research design
Customer relationship
Design methodology
Theoretical framework
Dimensionality
Managers
Dyads
Product category
Structured interview
Retailing

Keywords

  • customer engagement
  • CE
  • websites
  • online retailing
  • online consumer behaviour
  • fashion
  • mature shoppers

Cite this

@article{a2bdec615c834c1f8f54a5bae9757730,
title = "Customer engagement with websites: a transactional retail perspective",
abstract = "Purpose: This paper aims to focus on customer engagement (CE) in the underexplored context of transactional retailing websites, providing insight into the drivers, manifestations and dimensionality of the construct. The website is viewed as a collection of environmental stimuli, and focus is placed on identifying the website environmental cues that promote CE. Design/methodology/approach: This focussed study follows an exploratory research design. A total of 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted with one segment group: over-55-year-old female online shoppers in the most commonly purchased product category online, clothing. The stimulus–organism–response model forms the theoretical framework. Findings: The unique findings identify that product-related environmental cues drive CE on a website, suggesting that CE occurs at the level of the product, as opposed to the website. Research limitations/implications: CE with websites exists beyond the customer–brand dyad, with the website forming the third node in a triadic relationship between customer, brand (at level of the product) and website (at level of the product-related cues). Practical implications: This study reveals the relationship between website environmental cues and the manifestation of CE, providing managers with insight on how best to drive CE. Confirmation is provided that the website represents a vital touchpoint in the engagement journey of a retail customer. Originality/value: Websites as a focal object for CE are markedly under-researched. This study empirically supports the relevance of considering CE in this context and reveals the influence online environments have on CE.",
keywords = "customer engagement, CE, websites, online retailing, online consumer behaviour, fashion, mature shoppers",
author = "Cara Connell and Ruth Marciniak and Carey, {Lindsey I.} and Julie McColl",
note = "Acceptance in SAN Pub date from RIS citation AAM: no embargo upon publication Added pre-pub embargo end date. ET 30/10/19",
year = "2019",
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day = "9",
doi = "10.1108/EJM-10-2017-0649",
language = "English",
journal = "European Journal of Marketing",
issn = "0309-0566",
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AB - Purpose: This paper aims to focus on customer engagement (CE) in the underexplored context of transactional retailing websites, providing insight into the drivers, manifestations and dimensionality of the construct. The website is viewed as a collection of environmental stimuli, and focus is placed on identifying the website environmental cues that promote CE. Design/methodology/approach: This focussed study follows an exploratory research design. A total of 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted with one segment group: over-55-year-old female online shoppers in the most commonly purchased product category online, clothing. The stimulus–organism–response model forms the theoretical framework. Findings: The unique findings identify that product-related environmental cues drive CE on a website, suggesting that CE occurs at the level of the product, as opposed to the website. Research limitations/implications: CE with websites exists beyond the customer–brand dyad, with the website forming the third node in a triadic relationship between customer, brand (at level of the product) and website (at level of the product-related cues). Practical implications: This study reveals the relationship between website environmental cues and the manifestation of CE, providing managers with insight on how best to drive CE. Confirmation is provided that the website represents a vital touchpoint in the engagement journey of a retail customer. Originality/value: Websites as a focal object for CE are markedly under-researched. This study empirically supports the relevance of considering CE in this context and reveals the influence online environments have on CE.

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