Online Consumers' Switching Behavior: A Buyer-Seller Relationship Perspective

Online Consumers' Switching Behavior: A Buyer-Seller Relationship Perspective

Dahui Li, Glenn J. Browne, James C. Wetherbe
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-126-1.ch002
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


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.
Chapter Preview

Theoretical Background

Several studies have investigated online switching behaviors. Keaveney and Parthasarathy (2001) found that online consumers’ previous behavioral patterns (e.g., service usage), attitudes (e.g., risk-taking, satisfaction, and involvement), and demographic characteristics (e.g., income and education) were significant discriminating factors between stayers and switchers. In an investigation of the online brokerage industry, Chen and Hitt (2002) found that online consumers’ system usage and the breadth and quality of alternative online service providers were significant in predicting switching behavior. Gupta, Su, and Walter (2004) found that consumers switching from off-line to online transactions paid attention to channel risk, search effort, and learning effort.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: