Effects of Dissatisfaction on Customer Repurchase Decisions in E-Commerce-An Emotion-Based Perspective

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Dissatisfaction is one of the factors that drive customers' decisions to reduce repurchase intention. Repurchase is crucial to the success of online stores. The present study attempts to examine what coping behavior will be triggered by negative emotion in e-commerce and examines the potential influence of coping behavior on customer repurchase decisions in e-commerce. A research model that reflects the relationships among dissatisfaction, negative emotion, and customers' behavior is developed and tested by structural equation modeling on data sets consisting of 411 subjects in China. Our findings show that negative emotion is an important mediator between dissatisfaction and repurchase intention. Different coping behaviors have different impacts on repurchase intention. Based on empirical findings, we offer managerial suggestions for enhancing purchase intention in e-commerce.

Keywords: Dissatisfaction, Negative emotions, Repurchase intention, Coping behavior, E-commerce

1. Introduction

Ensuring customer satisfaction is the goal of online sellers [Eid 2011], but few sellers can guarantee that customers will be completely satisfied with every purchase. It can be reasonably assumed that satisfaction leads to repurchase behaviors [Fornell & Wernerfelt 1987]. Similarly, dissatisfaction is one of the factors that lead to customers' reduced repurchase intentions [Lam et al. 2004]. However, customers often decide to leave a supplier because of inadequate responses rather than for the dissatisfying problem itself [Bitner et al. 1990]. Based on the assumption that customers often complain before they leave suppliers, service recovery and complaint management efforts are employed as the main methods for retaining customers [Holloway & Beatty 2003; Schoefer & Ennew 2005]. However, customers don't always show dissatisfaction before they leave a provider [Colgate & Hedge 2001] and the phenomenon is especially prevalent in e-commerce.

Online shops have provided customers with services through which they can post reviews about products purchased online, and these reviews are made available to other prospective customers. For example, bulletin board systems (BBS) on eBay.com link to Twitter and Facebook; in China, BBS on Taobao.com (the largest consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace in China and is provided by Alibaba) links to popular social networking sites. However, it is not particularly common for customers to post online reviews. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) [CNNIC 2009], only 29.5% of customers are inclined to comment on their online purchases. Among the customers who shared their purchase information, 63.8% provided reviews in the e-shops' BBS, and about 65.7% reviewed their purchases on social networking sites such as blogs, virtual spaces and virtual communities. Some dissatisfied customers express their dissatisfaction to sellers through their complaining behaviors, while others do not necessarily report their dissatisfaction directly to the sellers-they tend to remain silent about the problems, or they seek support via social networking sites. Because of these tendencies, it is not enough to retain or recover customers just by handling complaints in e-commerce. Other post-purchase behaviors triggered by dissatisfaction should also be carefully examined [Stewart 1998].

Post-purchase behaviors are influenced by emotions rather than cognitive aspects [Bigne & Andreu 2004; Bonifield & Cole 2007]. Previous studies have indicated that an unfavorable service experience will result in negative emotions [Bougie et al. 2003]; and negative emotions signal a great need for coping behaviors such as complaining and non-complaining [Lazarus 1991; Chebat et al. 2005; Chebat & Slusarczyk 2005]. However, insufficient research has been conducted regarding the relationship between negative emotions and customer post-purchase behavior in e-commerce. …