In the last 5 years a large body of lit has developed and has shown the positive effect of sociability on consumers’ attitude and BI, driving VC success Moderating role of sociabilityWhile flexibility affects usability negatively, sociability can compensate as it is addressing the need for social interaction through social presence and social validationUGC-related functionalities turn regular Web sites into social network spaces (good old online communities)Consumers now also expect to turn to the Web to have social dimensions addressed while shopping onlinePeer recommendations influence product choice (Senecal & Nantel 2004)The growth of social commerce , consumer tribes (Cova, Kozinets & Shankar, 2007) and eWOM(Hennig-Thurau et al. 2004; Lin 2008)
Website sociability and flexibility in relation to customer online satisfaction
WEBSITE SOCIABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY INRELATION TO CUSTOMER ONLINESATISFACTION:A RESEARCH FRAMEWORKSandrine Prom Tep, Ph.D. candidate HEC Montrealsandrine.firstname.lastname@example.orgManon Arcand, Marketing Professor, ESG-UQAMarcand.email@example.com Oct.1st, 2011 – Boston, MA.
PRESENTATION OUTLINE Research context and objectives Literature review Website quality and performance Web site flexibility and Feature fatigue Paradoxes of choice and technology Sociability and the social Web Proposed conceptual model and hypotheses Contributions Future work as conclusive remarks References
RESEARCH CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES This study stands at the intersection of online consumer behavior in marketing and human-computer interaction (HCI) Electronic tools are more and more omnipresent and loaded with features (i.e. iPhone) The Web is now a market-driven space with a strong social dimension, even more so in the mobile context (Bernoff & Li 2008; Kaplan & Haenlein 2010) Ex. Ticket Master Facebook App Research Objectives Extend the Thompson, Hamilton & Rust (2005) paper on « Feature fatigue: When Product Capabilities Become Too much of a Good Thing » to online services Introduce the moderating role of sociability between Web site flexibility and PEOU and its indirect impact on satisfaction
LITERATURE REVIEW: WEB SITE QUALITY ANDPERFORMANCE A large body of research in last years focused on what make a Web site more effective Online service quality Visual design, quality/quantity of information, personalization, interactivity, security/privacy (Yoo & Donthu, 2001; Barnes & Vidgen, 2003; Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2003; Bressolles 2006) E-satisfaction as a key measure of performance (Szymanski & Hise2000; Hsu 2006; Evanschitzky et al. 2004) Technology Acceptance Model The central role of usability/ease of use : positive influence on attitude, satisfaction, intentions (Davis 1989; Aljukhadar & Sénécal 2009; Bressolles, Durieu & Giraud 2007)
LITERATURE REVIEW: WEB SITE FLEXIBILITY ANDFEATURE FATIGUE Flexibility in the online context All the alternatives offered by a Web site to serve one single purpose / to complete a single task (Bastien & Scapin, 1993; Hearst et al. 2002) e.g.; CNet.com (expert and consumer reviews, product description, pictures and video, price comparison, etc.) Important criteria for Web site ergonomics (Bastien & Scapin, 1993; Shneiderman, 1998) Flexibility brings Feature fatigue Too many features make the product overwhelming and difficult to use (less usability), resulting in “feature fatigue” and less satisfaction in usage & refuting the saying “the more the better” eTailers seducing consumers… Consumers tend to choose products loaded with a large number of features, attracted by their capability (Thompson, Hamilton & Rust, 2005) = Increasing Web site‟s flexibility and augmenting site complexity In the long term, marketers should seek to develop products with an “optimized level” of flexibility to maximize satisfaction and repurchase
LITERATURE REVIEW: PARADOXES OF TECHNOLOGYAND CHOICE Feature fatigue is an illustration of the Paradox of technology Polar opposite conditions can simultaneously exist in the same thing: competence/incompetence, freedom/enslavement (Mick & Fournier, 1998) Related to feature fatigue (or “too much of a good thing effect”) is the “Paradox of Choice” CB literature: Where choosing from among a large number of alternatives have negative effects (regret, decreased product and life satisfaction, lower self-control) (Murray & Haübl 2008; Schwartz 2005) Web site flexibility brings choice complexity Mass-customization Web sites giving consumers too many interactive features for customizing products lead to low behavioral intentions (Lee et al. 2011)
LITERATURE REVIEW: SOCIABILITY AND THESOCIAL WEB The social Web and the contribution revolution (Cook 2008) UGC features, eWOM, social shopping and peer recommendations (Senecal & Nantel 2004; Cova, Kozinets & Shankar, 2007; Hennig-Thurau et al. 2004; Lin 2008) Moderating role of sociability While usability focuses on HCI, sociability encompasses anything supporting social interaction in an online environment (human- human interaction) (Preece, 2000; Preece & Schneiderman 2010) While flexibility affects usability negatively, sociability can compensate as it is addressing the need for social interaction through social presence and social validation “Social cues induce perception of Web site socialness leading to increased pleasure and arousal, both of which positively influence flow, hedonic and utilitarian value and patronage intentions” (Wang et al. 2007) “A combination of system characteristics (e.g. information and system quality) and social factors (e.g. trust and social usefulness) contribute to virtual community‟s success” (Lin 2008) The influence of sociability is established in driving attitude toward the company and service quality perceptions in online product communities (Nambisan & Watt 2011)
CONCEPTUAL MODEL: OUR PROPOSITION Website P1(-) Perceived P3a(+) flexibility Ease of use Satisfaction (PEOU) P2 P3b(+) P4? BI Sociability (yes/no)P1: Website flexibility impacts negatively PEOUP2: Sociability interacts with flexibility to impact PEOU such as: P2a/P2b: social functionality presence (absence) weakens (does notweaken) significantly the negative impact of Website flexibility on PEOUP3a: PEOU impacts positively on satisfactionP3b: PEOU impacts positively on BIP4: Sociability impacts positively PEOU?? (Few literature found yet for theoreticalsupport, but we could suspect an informative social influence at work)
CONTRIBUTIONS Theoretical level Proposition of a research framework which Highlights the interplay between flexibility and sociability attributes on Website consumers‟ evaluations Integrates the cognitive and social dimensions of Web sites into one single model Sets the table for empirical testing Managerial level Help managers carefully plan the introduction of additional Web site features (functionalities), to balance flexibility and sociability for more perceived usability and satisfaction Being aware that « Too many features can encourage initial purchase but damage satisfaction and reduce repurchase probability » if not properly balanced to address the functional and social needs of the online consumers
FUTURE WORK FOR CONCLUSIVE REMARKS We plan to test this conceptual model empirically with 2 types of online social context flexibility Prom Tep & Arcand...website sociability and Open group vs closed group Using a consumer review platform (like Buzzilions or CNet) Using a collaborative work platform (like Zoho or Central Desktop) with proper manipulation checks for Flexibility H/L installing more or less features (ex. calendar, task list, alerts, folder categories, etc.) Sociability Y/N (ex. contact lists with online status, discussion threads, work groups/subgroups, etc.) Controlling for key variables (ex. need for social interaction, Web site experience, etc.)
Prom Tep & Arcand...website sociability and flexibility Suggestions?THANK YOU! Questions?
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