Engaging customers during a website visit: a model of website customer engagement

Article


Demangeot, Catherine and Broderick, A. 2016. Engaging customers during a website visit: a model of website customer engagement. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. 44 (8), pp. 814-839.
AuthorsDemangeot, Catherine and Broderick, A.
Abstract

Purpose:

A customer’s visit to a retail website is a critical “moment of truth” during which contemporary retailers attempt to simultaneously, during a single web navigation, capture customers’ attention, build rapport, and prompt them to act. By showing how to capture customer commitment over the course of a single website visit, the concept of customer website engagement, defined as “the process of developing cognitive, affective and behavioural commitment to an active relationship with the website”, addresses strategic concerns. Drawing from literature on engagement, the purpose of this paper is to consider how retail websites can engage customers during the course of a website navigation. A conceptual model of website customer engagement underpinned by relationship marketing and communication knowledge, shows how perceptions of the website’s exploration and sense-making potential can activate consumer engagement, and is then empirically tested.
Design/methodology/approach:

Using survey data, measures of the four dimensions of engagement (interaction engagement, activity engagement, behavioural engagement, and communication engagement) and of three drivers are developed and validated. The model is tested empirically (n=301) using structural equation modelling.
Findings:

The results support the process conceptualisation of engagement, which identifies organismic as well as conative stages, and show the distinct roles played by perceptions of informational exploration, experiential exploration and sense-making in activating engagement.
Practical implications

The study provides online retailing practice with an organising framework enabling online retailing managers to consider how, depending on their product category and their size, they might (re)design their website to optimally produce customer engagement.
Originality/value

The study contributes to online marketing and retailing knowledge by showing the relevance of the concept of engagement as it pertains to customers’ single navigations on retail websites, and by empirically showing, through a parsimonious model, how engagement can be activated and unfold.

JournalInternational Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
Journal citation44 (8), pp. 814-839
ISSN0959-0552
Year2016
PublisherEmerald
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/IJRDM-08-2015-0124
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-08-2015-0124
Publication dates
Online08 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Dec 2018
Accepted06 Jun 2016
Accepted06 Jun 2016
Copyright information© 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Licensed re-use rights only.
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