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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Xiuyuan Gong, Zhiying Liu, Xiabing Zheng and Tailai Wu

Mobile social apps permeate every facet of daily life through the pervasive use of smartphones. Customer retention with mobile social apps has become extremely important…

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile social apps permeate every facet of daily life through the pervasive use of smartphones. Customer retention with mobile social apps has become extremely important for app-related companies. The purpose of this paper is to explore why experienced users in mobile social apps (e.g. WeChat) are likely to continue using the app.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposed a conceptual model to identify key determinants of continuance intention of WeChat users and highlight the effects of individual experience. Data were collected from WeChat users, which is one of the most popular mobile social apps in China. The study employed partial least squares regression to test the research model based on a survey of 295 valid responses.

Findings

Results showed that trust, which was driven by user satisfaction and perceived critical mass, played a critical role in influencing the continuance intention of WeChat users. Moreover, tie strength exerted a negative moderating effect on the relationship between trust and continuance intention. Specifically, tie strength and perceived critical mass had strong impacts on the continuance intention of low-experience users. In addition, the effect of frequency was closely associated with the continuance intention of high-experience users.

Research limitations/implications

This study addressed the issue of mobile social app continuance intention by providing an innovative means to explore the key antecedents of user continuance intention from the experience perspective. The findings not only prove that trust plays a central role in influencing the continuance intention of experienced users but also reveal that the determinants of continuance intention vary among users with different experience. The results provide insights into the key antecedents of experienced WeChat user continuance intention and contribute to the literature on mobile social apps and individual differences.

Practical implications

The results provide suggestions for mobile social app practitioners to effectively plan mobile social app retention practices and to set up appropriate incentive mechanisms for retaining users with different experiences.

Originality/value

Although abundant studies have focused on the adoption of media users, few studies have investigated the post-adoption behavior of experienced users in the context of mobile social apps. This study revealed the key determinants of the continuance intention of WeChat users and pinpointed the different impacts of these antecedents on users with different levels of experience. It also provides useful guidelines for practitioners to effectively retain users with different levels of experience.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Xiabing Zheng, Xiao Shi and Feng Yang

This study aims at exploring users' motives to form attachments within the social Q&A community context and identifying the differences between active users and lurkers…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at exploring users' motives to form attachments within the social Q&A community context and identifying the differences between active users and lurkers when building emotional attachments. By utilizing the media system dependency (MSD) theory, this study investigates into the driving factors of dependency relations (understanding, orientation and play) to user attachments (i.e. attachment to the social Q&A community, attachment to content creators).

Design/methodology/approach

The research model is empirically validated by an online questionnaire among users of a social Q&A community. Deriving from the actual behavioral data, the authors divide 262 valid responses into 157 active users and 105 lurkers according to whether they post or not. The partial least squares (PLS) method is exploited to analyze the relationships in the model. In addition, the PLS-based multi-group analysis is conducted for comparing active users and lurkers.

Findings

The empirical results confirm that dependency relations (understanding, orientation and play) significantly influence user attachments. Multi-group analysis suggests that the effect of understanding dependency relations on attachment to content creators is stronger for active users than for lurkers. However, the effect of orientation dependency relations on user attachment is significant for lurkers but not significant for active users.

Originality/value

This study enriches the knowledge of the MSD theory by extending it to the social Q&A community setting. Based on the MSD theory, the relationships between three sides of dependency relations and two types of user attachments are hypothesized in the research model. Besides, the impact of user heterogeneity in building user emotional attachment still lacks consideration. This study is one of the first in the field of comparison studies to compare active users and lurkers in such context, providing a novel contribution in understanding the motivations and emotional responses of different users.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Li Xiang, Xiabing Zheng, Kem Z.K. Zhang and Matthew K.O. Lee

The purpose of this paper is to integrate broaden theoretical perspectives in the investigation of the key antecedents of consumers’ continuous review contribution…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to integrate broaden theoretical perspectives in the investigation of the key antecedents of consumers’ continuous review contribution behavior on restaurant guide online opinion platforms (OOPs). Integrating both rational and relational theoretical perspectives with an extension of the investment model, a research model was proposed to explain what factors influence consumers’ intention to continuously contribute electronic WOM (eWOM) on OOPs.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model was empirically tested with an online survey study of 438 eWOM contributors from a leading Chinese restaurant guide OOP, Dianping.com.

Findings

The results indicated that satisfaction, affective commitment, and continuance commitment were key determinants of consumers’ continuance intention to contribute eWOM on the platform. Satisfaction was driven by concern for other consumers, social benefits, platform assistance, and venting negative feelings. Quality of alternatives and investment size significantly affected continuance commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The selection of respondents is bound to the China area within a particular OOP, although the chosen OOP is a leading one in China. In addition, this study focuses on the perspective of commitment, but some social factors are neglected.

Originality/value

This paper provides an integrated theoretical framework to explore the factors determining consumers’ continuance intention to contribute restaurant reviews on OOPs. From both rational and relational theoretical perspectives, the proposed model reveals the factors that encourage consumers to continue contributing eWOM on OOPs.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Xiabing Zheng, Matthew Lee and Christy M.K. Cheung

Existing research has long considered e-loyalty as a key to the success of online shopping. The purpose of this paper is to advance the theoretical understanding of…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing research has long considered e-loyalty as a key to the success of online shopping. The purpose of this paper is to advance the theoretical understanding of e-loyalty by exploring the roles of coupon proneness and value consciousness in the context of online shopping platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors empirically tested the research model using a sample of 537 users of an online shopping platform in a longitudinal setting.

Findings

The results provided support to all the hypotheses in the research model; particularly, the authors found that coupon proneness and value consciousness play important roles in explaining e-loyalty. They both exhibited significant moderating effects on the relationship between loyalty intentions and repurchase behaviors. The impact of trust on loyalty intentions was also examined.

Research limitations/implications

The authors believe that this study will shed light for practitioners and enable researchers to deepen their understanding of e-loyalty in online shopping platforms.

Originality/value

The research better explains the gap between two important price-tactics-related variables (including coupon proneness and value consciousness); and further examines their roles in determining customers’ repurchase behaviors in the context of online shopping, which is not well examined in previous studies.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Xiabing Zheng, Christy M. K. Cheung, Matthew K.O. Lee and Liang Liang

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of user engagement in the context of online brand communities. A research model is proposed to explain how brand…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of user engagement in the context of online brand communities. A research model is proposed to explain how brand loyalty is developed through user engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model was empirically tested with an online survey study of 185 current Facebook users.

Findings

Results revealed that user engagement influenced brand loyalty both directly and indirectly through online community commitment. Users tend to focus on the benefits (rather than the costs) derived from the usage when they engage in an online brand community.

Research limitations/implications

The selection of respondents is bound to the Hong Kong area, while Facebook members are globally distributed. In addition, this study involved a cross-sectional design instead of investigating the development of brand loyalty from a long-term perspective.

Practical implications

The results inform e-marketers the importance of user engagement behaviors for building brand loyalty through online communities. Strategies that encourage members to engage in online brand communities on social networking sites such as Facebook are also provided.

Originality/value

The concept of user engagement in online brand communities is still poorly understood, underscoring the need for theoretically based research of user engagement. This paper enriches the knowledge in the area of brand engagement by presenting a research model that introduces the concept of user engagement in social media research and empirically examines its role in building brand loyalty in online brand communities.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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