Website Quality, Perceived Flow, Trust, and Commitment: Developing a Customer Relationship Management Model

Website Quality, Perceived Flow, Trust, and Commitment: Developing a Customer Relationship Management Model

Md Shamim Hossain, Mst Farjana Rahman
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7603-8.ch013
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Website quality in online business is still exploratory, and despite growth in building a relationship with customer research, various challenges remain in developing a more customer-oriented website. This chapter tackles the dilemma of how to support website inclusivity in the building of a customer relationship, by investigating flow, commitment-trust, and stimulus-organism-response (SOR) theories. The authors applied the covariance-based SEM (structural equation modeling) to examine the structural model. Primary data for the study comes from 500 respondents through an online questionnaire. The study results reveal that website quality certainly influences users' perceived flow, which in turn positively influences customer trust and CRM. Again, collective trust influences customer commitment and CRM. Finally, collective customer commitment positively controls CRM. Based on the study findings, the theoretical implications, practical inferences, and directions for future study are highlighted.
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1. Introduction

With the ever-increasing effect of the internet on consumer lifestyles, the internet has been both apparatus and part of cyberculture (Macek, 2004), but also noteworthy marketing media (Sramova and Pavelka, 2019). Online visitors make up a strong group in their online shopping activities, where they can compare best price and value while shopping on the internet (Hall and Towers, 2017). This is particularly imperative for the modern generation, who exercise online purchasing power to articulate their freedom and identity (Gunter and Furnham, 1998; Hartman et al., 200; Sramova and Pavelka, 2019). In current society, online buying has the motive not only of gratifying several primary wishes, such as for clothing, food, water, etc. but it also has become a habit. Thus, as an important communication medium, shopping organizations implement the internet to communicate with their buyers (Akram et al., 2018; Yu and Kim, 2019). Certainly, for modern businesses, a website is a multipurpose apparatus for promoting and selling products and services to consumers, and holding onto these customers in the long term (Jeon and Jeong, 2017; Yu and Kim, 2019). Considering the potential background of online dealing, the online shopping industry aims for websites to be a valuable selling means, and utilizes them to convince their clients’ decision-making (Akram et al., 2018). Consequently, a supportive website is a fundamental tool for a business, to both create a center for customers’ attention and keep them in the long term. Online organizations carry out repeat business through their loyal clients, they are committed and less conscious of prices (Jeon and Jeong, 2017). A significant number of customers prefer online shopping to off-line purchasing, due to convenience, time-saving, and so on (Mallapragada et al., 2016).

The speedy growth of online consumers and internet acquaintances provides visible authentication that shopping websites are currently the foundation of the contemporary business setting. The universal internet and its expansion through mobile devices and social websites has improved universal e-business to become a unique arena. Consumers buy in great quantity from websites (Cao et al., 2018). Every day, millions of visitor browse websites to find related information regarding products and services (Cao et al., 2018). They regularly spend more time online buying goods and services more than their genuine requirements (Akram et al., 2018).

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) model is one of the crucial aspects for all businesses including online shopping; the majority of marketers attempt to develop an online CRM system for more successful trading. In fact, after the riot of IT (information technology), CRM rose as an imperative and eye-catching group of marketing activities (Chou and Chen; 2018; Roberts-Lombard, 2020). Cao and Tian (2020) explain that CRM is a significant tool for marketers, enabling businesses to increase key knowledge to humanize their performance. We should also consider the perceived flow of online users: this flow is the users’ unconscious situation during their time online; accordingly, they are utterly occupied in that action (Ali, 2016; Hossain et al., 2018; Hossain et al., 2019), and visiting websites is one of their actions (Hsu et al., 2012). Therefore, visiting shopping websites can extend customers’ perceived flow, so that they will revisit these markets (Ali, 2016). Many research scholars have emphasized the value of customer flow in shaping customer actions in the online business setting (Ali, 2016; Hsu et al., 2012; Novak et al., 2003).

Morgan and Hunt (1994) mentioned that customer trust is a situation where one has belief in a partner‘s veracity and consistency. Trust is an imperative part of the continuation of a relationship where the buyer is confident in the business (Chou and Chen, 2018; Crosby et al.,1990). Thus, customer trust helps to build and preserve a strong, long-term CRM (Dehghanpouri et al., 2020; Ou et al., 2015). Relationship commitment is another central facet, defined as the situation when a customer believes in continuing their connection with an organization (Chou and Chen, 2018). The committed buyer allows an added effectual relationship with organizations, since it is more possible to persist in the long term (Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Ou et al., 2012; Ou et al., 2015). Morgan and Hunt (1994) mentioned that buyer commitment is strongly positioned as the ultimate commitment, and is one of the imperative consequences of trust and is a major issue for upholding long-term relationships between buyers and marketers. The relationship commitment of buyers is present when buyers perceive that the association with the business is necessary, (Chou and Chen, 2018; Ou et al., 2015; Ou et al., 2012; Roberts-Lombard, 2020; Tabrani et al., 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Customer Trust: A situation where a customer has assurance in exchange for the marketer's integrity and reliability.

Website: A website is a set of linked web pages, with or without multimedia, usually recognized with a pervasive domain name known as URL that is published on the web server. The website maybe usable through public internet or private LAN (local area network).

Commitment: Sentimental loyalty of customers to continue an ongoing relationship with the marketer and could be increased by customer trust.

E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce): Known as internet commerce, refers to the selling and purchasing of products and services through online which includes online ordering, e-payment, online distribution, and any other activities of online marketing.

Perceived Flow: The state while a consumer is unconsciously engaged in an activity or action, the user becomes so engrossed with activity, and they lose the sense.

CRM: Practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage customer interactions throughout the customer life cycle.

Online shopping: Purchasing products or services through the internet using a website or app.

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