Understanding Customer Engagement and Purchase Behavior in Automobiles: The Role of Digital Technology

Understanding Customer Engagement and Purchase Behavior in Automobiles: The Role of Digital Technology

Krishnadas R. (SASTRA University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4772-4.ch001

Abstract

With rapid technological innovation, customer expectations are evolving at a faster pace. Technology plays a vital role in the value creation by kindling opportunities through transmuting consumption landscape. Digital technology acts as a powerful tool for bringing out the transformation across various sectors including the automobile industry augmented by the expectations of the new generation customers. With the beginning of the online revolution in the automobile sector, shoppers have started to rely on online platforms. OEMs and dealers need their strong presence across Omni channels to battle out the competition and have to focus on the digital-savvy shoppers to foster sales. Hence, auto retailers have to explore and experiment with different platforms that offer a flexible consumption-based model with an opportunity for experimenting and co-creating new features.
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Customer Involvement And Customer Engagement

Customer involvement has three different approaches which are personal, physical and situational. Personal relevance is intrinsic to the consumer, while physical (i.e., product differentiation) and situational factors (such as advertisements) are external stimuli. “Customer involvement is different from customer engagement because customer involvement is the inherent interest of an individual and relevance of a brand, which can exist even before the purchase”. This interest and relevance can lead to information searches about the features of a brand (Zaichkowsky, J.L.,1985). The High-level involvement of the brand is through personal importance and perceived importance of a brand (Schmitt, B., 2010).

Economist Intelligence (2007) defines customer engagement as “an intimate long-term relationship with the customer” and it leads to customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. Vivek et al. (2012, p. 133) defined customer engagement as “the intensity of an individual's participation in and connection with an organization's offerings and/or organizational activities, which either the customer or the organization initiate”. Customer engagement with touchpoints shaped by businesses is the primary step that moderates the outcome of customer experience. (Varshneya, G & Das, G,2015). Digital media offer the opportunity to connect with buyers by the right content and wider reach. Hence customer engagement requires the adoption of marketing mix in both business and consumer markets with the aid of new technologies. These digital tools provide better understanding and to serve consumers (Thackeray et al., 2008).

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