General Online Research 2011

March 14-16, 2011, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf


Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview

B1: E-Commerce I

Time: Tuesday, 15/Mar/2011: 10:30am - 11:30am
Session Chair: Sabine Menzel


The impact of different trust facets on online buying behavior

Beate Müller, Marcel Paulssen, Julia Anna Knoll

FactWorks GmbH, Germany

(a) Relevance & Research Question: With relocating the marketplace to the Internet, market actors and the purchasing process become more intangible for customers. This perceived loss of control can only be counterbalanced by trust. Thus, the trustworthiness of online retailers is a key determinant of online purchase behavior. The present study investigates the customers’ trust perception of a leading online retailer. Four different trust facets are distinguished (competence, communication, benevolence and conflict handling) and their impact on customer purchase behavior investigated.

(b) Methods & Data: Analyzing the Experience-Trust-Activity-Chain enables us to identify the key experiences driving trust perception. By measuring trust with our tool “House of Trust” that incorporates the four different trust facets it is not only possible to analyze overall trust, which is measured by a trust index, but also its different dimensions. Data were collected via an online survey among customers of a leading online retailer (n = 3099) and benchmarked with the customers’ trust perceptions of competitors.

(c) Results: Trust perceptions are strong predictors of future purchase behavior in online shops as well as of online shop choice. Moreover the maximum amount consumers are willing to spend in an online shop is determined by their overall level of trust in the shop. Low levels of trust promote customer churn to more trustworthy competitors, even if prices are higher. The competitive benchmark comparison reveals that the analyzed online retailer performed rather well on the trust facets “competence” and “communication” but significantly lags behind in respect to “benevolence” and “conflict handling”. The customers’ perceptions of the four trust facets were linked to specific experiences.

(d) Added Value: The present paper provides a broad conceptualization of different trust facets for online marketplaces. Benchmark comparisons across different competitors show the strength and weaknesses of each online retailer in terms of trust. Understanding the drivers of trust allows companies to define actions for trust improvement. Trust is a highly relevant concept, since it impacts customer churn/switching as well as the maximum willingness to pay online.

The Role of Authenticity in Online Reputation Management

Sonja Utz, Yaa Fremponmaa, Peter Kerkhof, Camiel Beukeboom

VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, The

Relevance & Research Question: Companies have started to respond to negative consumer reviews. However, the question how companies should react on negative reviews is still understudied. Research can borrow from literature on service recovery or trust reparation. Research in these domains has usually compared the effectiveness of various strategies such as apology or denial. However, authenticity might play an important role, as for example research on the effects of authentic (Duchenne smiles) vs. unauthentic smiles showed. Therefore, the present research examined the effects of variations within an accommodative reaction. It was expected that adding a picture should have a positive effect on evaluation of the product and the company as well as on buying intention. An attractive picture should be even more effective because consumers can apply the “what is beautiful is good”- heuristic. It was also expected that a reaction in a personal style is more effective than a reaction in corporate voice.

Methods & Data: An online experiment (n = 125) with a 3 (picture: none vs. attractive vs. unattractive) x 2 (style: personal vs. corporate)-design was conducted. Participants were instructed to imagine that they were looking for a mobile phone. They then read a negative review and the reaction of the company. Evaluation of the product, purchase intention, and evaluation of the company were the dependent variables (measured on 7-point scales). Various facets of authenticity were assessed (human voice, communicated commitment, underlying motivation (e.g. company only wants to earn money), honesty).

Results: Purchase intention and evaluation of the company were higher in case of a personal reaction than in case of a reaction in corporate voice. Adding a picture had no effect. The effects were mediated by human voice and for evaluation of the company also by communicated commitment.

Added Value: The study clarifies the role of authenticity in online reputation management. The results show that words are more important than a picture. A personal reaction had more positive consequences than a corporate reaction. Authenticity plays an important role, but it are mainly the human and relational aspects that are important.

Utz-The Role of Authenticity in Online Reputation Management-115.pdf

New ways of smart community management – brand loyalty and retention in social web data

Thorsten Teichert1, Daniel Wagenfuehrer1, Peter Gentsch2, Anna-Maria Zahn2

1University of Hamburg, Germany; 2Business Intelligence Group GmbH

Relevance & Research Question: We are using a social web panels to investigate the relevant marketing questions regarding consumer word-of mouth, product loyalty and brand retention. Our approach offers new ways in community-management and influencer-marketing. We develop key performance indicators in community management and monitoring to achieve valuable data regarding consumer loyalty parameters.

Methods & Data: Several data sources are combined: We focus on a broad panel of social web data to investigate general customer interactions and sentiments in social web. We utilize user-related data of a well known German automobile forum (i.e. nick name, current automobile, previous automobiles) to get insights into customers loyalty and brand retention. Data are combined with users´ comments in the forum. Multivariate analyses, sentiment analyses and social network analyses are performed to understand costumer behavior and word-of-mouth influence in the forum interaction.

Results: We present a holistic methodological approach to understand costumer loyalty and brand retention trough analyzing individual posts, referring comments and their interdependencies on the aggregated level. Based on established methods of community monitoring we develop methods and key performance indicators for the management of user interaction in the marketing context. User profiles, social-influencer-scores and sentiment analysis constitute an integrated toolkit to monitor social media communities and forums to understand consumer behavior.

Added Value: Toolkits for monitoring social media activities traditionally focus on single characteristics of an online community, as e.g. the share of-buzz or influencer-analysis and influencer-marketing. We integrate all these methods to understand customer behavior in the social community and its impact toward brand loyalty.

Teichert-New ways of smart community management – brand loyalty and retention-133.pdf

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