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Chapter Four: Consumer Behavior, Market Research, and Advertisement

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ONLINE FILE W4.1

ONLINE BUYER DECISION MODEL
EXHIBIT W4.1.1 Overview of Design Space for Online Buyer

Decision Support
Buyer Behavioral Stage Identify & Manage Criteria Search for Products & Merchants Compare Alternatives & Choose Updated Miles et al. (2000) Modified Guttman et al. (1998)

Product Representation DSS Design Choices (Current Transaction) • Table • Text • Image Product Parameters • Listings • Tech explanations • Reviews

Site Metaphor • Browse • Search • Bot/Wizard Search Type • Keyword • Conceptual • Parameter • Natural language Trouble Management • Help/FAQ • Error recovery

Scope of Comparison • Single seller • Multi-seller • X-exchange Mode of Comparison • Tabular • Graphical • Reviews

Price Negotiation • None • e-Bidding • Call support Shipping Options • One • Many

Finance Center • Line of credit • Instant loan • Lease

Personalization Cross-Transaction Concerns • Display • Product info • Content • Suggestions

User Preferences • Past buying habits • Psycho-demographics • Likely tendencies

Customer Help • Call-In • 24 x 7 support • CRM software • Live chat

Source: Overview of Design Space for Online Buyer Decision Support from International Journal of Human Computer Studies, vol. 55, Silverman, B.G. et al. “Implications of Buyer Decisions Theory for Design of E-Commerce Web Sites,” 2001, ©2006. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier.

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Part 2: Internet Consumer Retailing

Online File W4.2 Customer Exit Barriers
What can companies do to keep customers from leaving their company for another? The following nine “exit barriers,” based on Diorio (2002), can help companies bolster e-loyalty: 1. Customers’ learning curve. The company’s Web site should be easier to use than any other company’s. To achieve this goal, use familiar and easy-to-negotiate menus, similar to eBay’s online help. 2. Process integration. Become a part of the way your customers work. Examples include shared equipment or contractual commitments such as volume purchases online. 3. Personalization. Use information to match offerings with customers’ tastes. Ways to do this include customer databases, tracking of customer behavior, and targeted marketing. 4. Mass customization. Expand choice so customers will not look elsewhere. The desire to change vendors is minimized if you offer a large variety of mass-customized products/services and a rapid product evolution. The Web can be a great help in mass customization (see Chapters 1 and 2). 5. Risk reduction and trust. Make yourself the “safer” choice. Generate trust through service history and superb customer support (like Amazon.com). Using TRUSTe and BBBOnLine can be helpful. 6. Loyalty programs. Give economic incentives for customers’ loyalty. Programs include “points” and frequency plans (e.g., frequent-flyer miles), volume discounts, special promotions, and referral awards. These can be managed online with auto tracking via the Web. 7. Brand affinity. Give emotional incentives for customers to stay with your company. This can be accomplished by aggregating products and Web page content to particular interest or lifestyle groups. Forums and chat rooms on the Web site also are incentives to stay with a product or company. 8. Customer collaboration. Talk with and listen to customers more. Ongoing value-added dialog, including chat rooms and dynamic e-mail messaging, keeps customers happy. 9. Be the standard. Find ways to become the only, or the best, choice. By dictating industry standards, you can keep customers from going elsewhere. One prime example of this is Microsoft. However, according to Coyles and Gokey (2002), customer retention is not enough in the long run. Customers may change their buying patterns, and these changes can undo the power of loyalty. Therefore, to keep up with changing markets and consumer tastes, companies must understand their customers—what they want now...
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