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Investigating Customer Resistance to Change in Transaction Relationship with an Internet Vendor

Authors


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Hee-Woong Kim, Professor, Yonsei University, 262 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Korea (kimhw@yonsei.ac.kr)

ABSTRACT

Many academics and practitioners have reiterated the importance of online customer retention to ensure long-term profitability. Consequently, a number of studies have identified various means of customer retention. These studies lay significant emphasis on creating customer loyalty. However, retaining customers, especially in the context of Internet shopping, is very difficult because of the low costs in comparison and switching. Most of the loyalty programs have also shown disappointing results. This study suggests that by tapping on an individual customer's inclination to resist changes in a transaction relationship, an Internet vendor can achieve customer retention. Using status quo bias theory, this study examines customer resistance to change (CRC) as a means of retaining customers in a transaction relationship with the Internet vendor. The empirical study of an Internet bookstore reveals that trust, relative attractiveness, and switching costs together influence CRC. The empirical results also show that CRC and switching costs have positive effects on willingness to pay more. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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