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Understanding online retail brand equity: a cross-cultural perspective

Pablo Farías (Departamento de Administración, Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Miguel Reyes (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de la Administración, Escuela Nacional del Deporte, Cali, Colombia)
Jenny Peláez (Departamento de Administración y Organizaciones, Facultad de Ciencias de la Administración, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 4 April 2022

Issue publication date: 23 March 2023




This study aims to assess how department store websites can add online retail brand equity. A quick, relatively easy and low-cost diagnostic tool for stakeholders (e.g. retailers, investors) is presented.


A content analysis of department store websites in the USA and Latin America was conducted.


The findings show that Latin American and US department store websites exhibit acceptable use of online retail brand equity dimensions related to emotional connection and trust. In contrast, compared to their US counterparts, Latin American department store websites show weak usage on some of the dimensions of responsive service nature, online experience and fulfillment. The results also show that higher online retail brand equity is positively associated with average daily time on site. This indicates the usefulness of this index for developing effective websites to creating online retail brand equity.

Practical implications

This study suggests that Latin American department stores should improve three dimensions of online retail brand equity: responsive service nature, online experience and fulfillment. The online retail brand equity index presented can serve as a diagnostic tool for department store managers to monitor the online retail brand equity they are building on their websites. It is also possible to analyze the websites of competing department stores and monitor the long-term impact of modifications made to their websites and those of competitors.


This paper proposes an easy-to-apply index to assess online retail brand equity through website design partially. In addition, this research is the first to evaluate how Latin American department store websites, compared to those in the USA, are building online retail brand equity.



Farías, P., Reyes, M. and Peláez, J. (2023), "Understanding online retail brand equity: a cross-cultural perspective", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 420-430.



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