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Comfort your online customer: quality, trust and loyalty on the internet

Dina Ribbink (Junior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Allard C.R. van Riel (Arcelor Chair of Innovation Strategy, Ecole d'Administration des Affaires, University of Liège at Sart Tilman, Sart Tilman, Belgium)
Veronica Liljander (Acting Professor in the Department of Marketing, Hanken Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland)
Sandra Streukens (Doctoral Candidate, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

In e‐commerce, loyal customers are considered extremely valuable. Loyalty is generally attributed to satisfaction with the quality of service. Since online transactions involve many uncertainties for the customer, trust is a condition for exchange. Trust in the electronic medium – here called “e‐trust” – is believed to increase online customer loyalty, but empirical confirmations are scarce. The present study empirically investigates the roles of service quality, satisfaction and trust in an e‐commerce context. In the study, e‐trust is found to directly affect loyalty. The e‐service quality dimension of assurance, i.e. trusting the merchant, influences loyalty via e‐trust and e‐satisfaction. Other e‐quality dimensions, such as ease of use, e‐scape, responsiveness, and customization influence e‐loyalty mainly indirectly, via satisfaction. Managerial implications and suggestions for further research are provided.

Keywords

Citation

Ribbink, D., van Riel, A.C.R., Liljander, V. and Streukens, S. (2004), "Comfort your online customer: quality, trust and loyalty on the internet", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 446-456. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604520410569784

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited