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Online consumer engagement: understanding the antecedents and outcomes




Reitz, Amy Renee, author
Switzer, Jamie, advisor
Yan, Ruoh-Nan, advisor
Ogle, Jennifer, committee member
Rouner, Donna, committee member
Seel, Peter, committee member

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Given the adoption rates of social media and specifically social networking sites among consumers and companies alike, practitioners and academics need to understand the role of social media within a company's marketing efforts. Specifically, understanding the consumer behavior process of how consumers perceive features on a company's social media page and how these features may lead to loyalty and ultimately consumers' repurchase intentions is critical to justify marketing efforts to upper management. This study focused on this process by situating online consumer engagement between consumers' perceptions about features on a company's social media page and loyalty and (re)purchase intent. Because online consumer engagement is an emerging construct within the marketing literature, the purpose of this study was not only to test the framework of online consumer engagement but also to explore the concept of online consumer engagement within a marketing context. The study refined the definition of online consumer engagement as an attempt to align the industry and academic definitions of the construct. The social networking site, Facebook, was utilized to test the online consumer engagement framework. Specifically, the study examined whether and how perceived Facebook company page features (i.e., perceived information quality, perceived enjoyment, and perceived interactivity) predicted online consumer engagement, and further investigated whether and how online consumer engagement with companies on Facebook related to loyalty and ultimately (re)purchase intent. First, focus groups were conducted to get a better understanding of the "liking" behavior on Facebook and to refine the survey questionnaire. Next, 233 online surveys were collected from U.S. adult Facebook users who "like" companies on Facebook to test the online consumer engagement framework. Hypotheses were tested through structural equation modeling. Findings suggest that perceived Facebook characteristics (i.e., perceived information quality, perceived enjoyment, and perceived interactivity) influence online consumer engagement, which influences loyalty and ultimately (re)purchase intent. Results also revealed that online consumer engagement is a multidimensional construct that encompasses both cognitive/affective and participative dimensions. This study provides the first steps in understanding the role that online consumer engagement plays within a mediated environment that includes both consumers and companies. Implications both academically and for the industry are discussed, and directions for future research endeavors are presented.


2012 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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consumer behavior
online consumer engagement
social media
social networking sites


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