Relating E-Satisfaction to Behavorial Outcomes: An Empirical Study
Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 290-303
Posted: 28 Oct 2003 Last revised: 2 May 2011
Date Written: April 26, 2011
Prior work has examined antecedents and behavioral outcomes of satisfaction in an offline setting but relatively little evidence explores whether the findings hold for increasingly important online settings. In addition, prior work has linked determinants of e-satisfaction to stated intentions about referrals, retention and a customer's willingness to pay more but not to stated purchasing or actual browsing behaviors. This paper extends the prior work to explore the antecedents of e-satisfaction, and the relations between e-satisfaction and two new behaviorial outcomes related to an online setting; customers' stated purchasing behavior (i.e. conversion) and actual browsing behavior (i.e. stickiness). Using a sample of 145 predominantly multi-channel retail firms and 683 firm quarters, the paper highlights two main results. First, existing models that examine the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction in the offline setting, also apply to an online setting. Specifically, Web site characteristics and customer service affected overall Web site satisfaction which, in turn, affected retention/referral, conversion, and stickiness. Second, Web site characteristics had a significant impact on all three types of behavioral outcomes, while Web site customer service was a significant driver of only retention/referral outcomes. An important implication of these results is that firms having online channels need to pay careful attention to the selection, design, and maintenance of Web site characteristics to ensure favourable behavorial outcomes. On the other hand, Web site customer service may be a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieving favourable outcomes from online settings.
Keywords: e-satisfaction, customer loyalty, customer retention, leading indicators
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation