Online customer loyalty has also been well researched. Srinivasan et al. (2002) identified several variables as being unique to online consumer markets (see Table 10.4). The variables are:

• Customisation - tailored content;

• Contact interactivity - dynamic nature of the buyer/seller relationship;

• Cultivation - relevance of online content;

• Care - attention retail pays to consumer buying behaviour;

• Community - online interaction amongst purchasing community;

• Choice - expectation of greater choice online;

• Convenience - perceived comparative advantage of online shopping;

Discussion point

Suggest how each of these variables might be realised in a transactional retail web site.

This section has considered the online consumer by looking at some of the variables that can be used to identify and develop an understanding of the individuals who shop online. Moreover, it has looked at customer expectations and the key factors that are likely to affect online purchasing behaviour: risk, trust and loyalty. The next section focuses on e-retailing and looks at how companies are attempting to meet the needs of the online consumer.

Table 10.4 Loyalty variables
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