Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Xiaojing Yang, Syed Akhter, Tracy Rank-Christman
Prior studies suggest that retailer’s brand image, location of the store etc. have significant impacts on traditional brick & mortar stores (i.e., off-line retailers) in terms of the customers’ attraction for visiting these stores. Earlier research also reveals that a good website design which facilitates a user’s web browsing behavior would generally lead to better web site traffic in case of on-line retail stores. However, the extant literature confirms that there is not much research done on customer satisfaction in the online domain that predicts the web site traffic significantly. Therefore, in my Essay 1, I empirically investigate if web site traffic is a function of customer satisfaction in this internet saturated business world. In today’s world, businesses across industries are keenly interested in elevating the site traffic to their own websites. This is not a surprise since websites perform a variety of functions such as being the storefront for sales transactions, a mode of communication to (and from) potential and actual customers, and a tool for building the equities of the company’s brands. Previous research has suggested several potential drivers of web site traffic such as a variety of types of website characteristics. Little research exists on how customer satisfaction with a company may determine web site traffic. We utilized customer satisfaction data from U.S. companies to try and explain customers’ web traffic behavior. We found that for certain types of scenarios, satisfaction was a significant determinant of web traffic pattern whereas for other conditions, it was not. These patterns were consistent with some hypotheses that we developed following our review of the literature. Understanding these patterns and online shoppers’ preferences not only allow marketers to better position their company’s virtual presence but also open up opportunities to gain competitive advantages. Our findings have managerial implications that are very relevant in today’s world of business. At the end, we discussed the important theoretical contribution and the managerial implications along with the empirical evidence of the impact of customer satisfaction on website traffic.
The second essay of my dissertation explores if engaging (of companies) corporate’s philanthropic behavior affects the consumers’ overall web site traffic behavior for those companies. Today many rising social enterprises have integrated corporate philanthropic activities into their marketing program, let alone the top-notch Fortune 500 companies. Our investigation is based on theory that web site traffic is affected by the direct and indirect influences of the corporate philanthropic behavior of the companies. Although considerable research has examined the effectiveness of CSR as a marketing strategy, scant research has examined if and how corporate prosocial behavior affects consumers’ website traffic in the online domain. Specifically, it is not clear whether corporate donation activities have any effects on the consumers’ site traffic behavior. In this essay, I examined the effect of corporate donation and other important variables on the consumers’ site traffic behavior by using the corporate philanthropy data available for Fortune 500 companies. Our findings have market place implications.
Al-Emran, Md, "Investigating the Roles of Customer Satisfaction and Corporate Donation in the Digital Marketing Environment" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 1571.
Available for download on Thursday, August 29, 2019