Limited studies have investigated online consumer loyalty and retention from a relationship orientation in electronic commerce research. It is important to understand the differences in relationship orientations between people who have the propensity to stick to particular Web sites ("stayers") and people who have the propensity to switch to alternative Web sites ("switchers"). This study proposes a relationship-based classification schema consisting of five dimensions: that is, commitment, trust, satisfaction, comparison level of the alternatives, and nonretrievable investment. Data were collected from 299 college students who had experience with e-commerce Web sites. Using discriminating analysis, we found that stayers and switchers were significantly different along the five research dimensions. Satisfaction with the current Web site was the most important discriminant factor, followed by trust, commitment, comparison level of alternative Web sites, and nonretrievable investment in the current Web site. Implications of the findings for researchers and practitioners are discussed.
- Brand loyalty
- Buyer/seller markets
- Consumer-Web site interaction
- Customer relations