An article by two Drexel LeBow marketing professors about online customer loyalty first published in 2002 is this year’s No. 1 paper on the list of 25 Hottest Articles released by the Journal of Retailing.
“It’s rewarding to learn that our article is being so frequently cited by scholars eight years later,” said Rolph Anderson, Ph.D., the Royal H. Gibson, Sr. Professor of Marketing. His co-authors were Srinivasan Swaminathan, Ph.D., a marketing professor at LeBow, and management consultant Kishore Ponnavolu, Ph.D.
The article, “Customer Loyalty in e-Commerce,” reported that the loyalty of online customers is not affected by convenience, but that it is impacted by customization, contact interactivity, care, community, cultivation, choice and character. For example, if you buy a product from Nordstrom, you’ll often receive a handwritten thank you letter from the salesperson who served you that also includes information about special upcoming sales. This is excellent cultivation.
Contact interactivity is closely related to cultivation but focuses more on anticipating and answering customer questions promptly, resolving product or service problems, and keeping customers informed about how best to benefit from using their products.
The study also found that loyal online customers are more likely to promote the products they buy to others, and they are more willing to pay high prices. The professors’ findings were based on collecting data from 1,211 online customers.
“This paper has stood the test of time and demonstrates how marketing research being conducted at LeBow College is advancing our understanding of online commerce,” said George Tsetsekos, Ph.D., the R. John Chapel, Jr. Dean of the business school.