Customer heterogenity in the development of e-loyalty
– The purpose of this study is to identify customer-specific differences in a general model of e-loyalty taking into account the existence of unobserved heterogeneity. Specifically, this paper aims to test for the presence of customer heterogeneity; assess the impact of potential bias when there is no control for heterogeneity; analyse the distinct customer segments that emerge from the empirical estimation of the model; and describe the segments by their demographic and psychological characteristics.
– Panel data from a survey of online shoppers are used in a post hoc segmentation method, which will enable us to identify segments, while estimating the parameters by means of structural equation models.
– Three distinct consumer segments emerge. The relative importance of e-loyalty and e-satisfaction is significantly determined by consumers’ shopping styles.
– This study highlights the need to consider unobserved customer heterogeneity when attempting to explain satisfaction and loyalty development processes in the retail context in general and e-commerce in particular. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time this approach has been used to analyse the impact of customer heterogeneity on e-satisfaction and e-loyalty.
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