Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Spring

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)

Department

Computing

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Computing

First Advisor

Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandeep Reddivari

Third Advisor

Dr. Lakshmi C. Goel

Department Chair

Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy

College Dean

Dr. Mark Tumeo

Abstract

The wide spread of the Internet has allowed businesses to present information, sell products, and provide relevant services through websites. Many researchers argue that websites are an imperative channel for communication and online shopping. However, businesses struggle to retain customers due to low switching cost and lack of face-to-face communication. Customers who do not appreciate the user interface and information presented in the website may choose a competitor’s site to achieve their goals. Therefore, e-loyalty, which is about attracting and retaining customers in an online environment, is crucial to remaining a successful business.

In the context of e-loyalty, the website serves as a gateway to access loyal customers. Many studies have found that website quality affects customer’s perceived risk. Perceived risk is the extent to which a customer believes there is a potential for an uncertain or negative outcome with an online transaction. Several studies have found an inverse relationship between perceived risk and purchase intention, which is the likelihood that a customer will purchase from the website. Studies have also shown that an increase in purchase intentions positively affects e-loyalty.

In this thesis, the effect of perceived risk on purchase intentions is studied. Purchase intentions can be further categorized as initial or continued purchase intention. Initial purchase intention refers to the likelihood that a customer will purchase from the website for the first time. Continued purchase intention refers to the likelihood that a customer will return to the website to purchase again in the future. Although purchase intentions have been recognized as a major factor affected by website quality and subsequently impacting e-loyalty, few studies have examined how initial purchase intention affects continued purchase intention.

To fill the aforementioned research gaps, the purpose of this study is to examine whether: a) perceived risk moderates the relationships between website quality and initial/continued purchase intention, and b) perception of initial purchase intention influences continued purchase intention in an online context. Survey methodology was used to investigate the relationships between the above factors. The study population was a sample set of University of North Florida students. Multiple regression technique was employed for analyzing data collected from a questionnaire. This research contributes to the understanding of the moderator that could impact website quality in the business environment. Such an understanding would allow researchers to explore a wide range of variables that could affect the relationship between website quality and purchase intention to increase customer retentions.

Included in

E-Commerce Commons

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