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The Role of Flow in Creating e-loyalty: The Case of Online Hotel Booking Websites

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
This dissertation aims to examine the concept of (")online customer experience("), (")flow("), and its role in influencing online customers' loyalty to a hotel booking website. To achieve this aim, a model was developed, which proposed that online flow is generated by both hedonic and utilitarian website features. A model was developed based on literature review to measure the relationships between the constructs. To initiate this research, a survey approach was taken. After conducting a pilot study, a marketing company was contacted to distribute the link for the online questionnaire. Five hundred and eleven (511) questionnaires were completed by guests who booked a hotel room online. Participants completed the self-administered online questionnaire by answering questions related to their last hotel booking experience. Study results found that hedonic and utilitarian website features affect the flow experience positively. Results highlight that hedonic website features has a stronger effect on the flow experience compared to utilitarian ones. In addition, the results revealed that hedonic features positively impact brand equity and utilitarian features impact trust towards the hotel booking website. Further, both trust and brand equity have significant and positive relationship with e-loyalty. However, according to study results, flow experience does not have a direct significant effect on e-loyalty. The study findings suggest that consumers who are able to achieve a state of flow while shopping online will perceive higher brand equity and trust. Therefore, their perceptions of the brand are improved. With enhanced levels of trust and brand equity, consumers are more likely to build bonds and stay loyal to the hotel booking website. It is important to note that enhancing the brand equity and trust via hedonic and utilitarian website features is important to increase loyalty because flow experience does not directly influence loyalty. This study contributes to existing research on flow experience in several ways. Firstly, it developed and tested a model with precursors of flow experience in e-commerce by establishing a link between website features and flow experience. Antecedents and consequences of flow experience can help researchers understand when this experience occurs and what to expect from this optimal experience in online environments. Thus, this study makes a contribution to the existing literature by examining the effects of features of the website on flow experience. It is worth noting that in the model, hedonic website features had the largest impact on flow experience. This is particularly an important contribution, considering that precious related research examined variables such as attractiveness, novelty, playfulness, personal innovativeness, content of the website, interactivity, teleperesence and perceived ease of use as the precursors of flow experience, but they have not examined the website characteristics that derives from shopping orientations. Study results can give hotel booking website designers and marketers a better understanding of the online consumer experiences and loyalty.
Title: The Role of Flow in Creating e-loyalty: The Case of Online Hotel Booking Websites.
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Name(s): Bilgihan, Fehmi, Author
Okumus, Fevzi, Committee Chair
Nusair, Khaldoon, Committee Member
Kwun, David, Committee Member
Bai, Haiyan, Committee Member
Cobanoglu, Cihan, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation aims to examine the concept of (")online customer experience("), (")flow("), and its role in influencing online customers' loyalty to a hotel booking website. To achieve this aim, a model was developed, which proposed that online flow is generated by both hedonic and utilitarian website features. A model was developed based on literature review to measure the relationships between the constructs. To initiate this research, a survey approach was taken. After conducting a pilot study, a marketing company was contacted to distribute the link for the online questionnaire. Five hundred and eleven (511) questionnaires were completed by guests who booked a hotel room online. Participants completed the self-administered online questionnaire by answering questions related to their last hotel booking experience. Study results found that hedonic and utilitarian website features affect the flow experience positively. Results highlight that hedonic website features has a stronger effect on the flow experience compared to utilitarian ones. In addition, the results revealed that hedonic features positively impact brand equity and utilitarian features impact trust towards the hotel booking website. Further, both trust and brand equity have significant and positive relationship with e-loyalty. However, according to study results, flow experience does not have a direct significant effect on e-loyalty. The study findings suggest that consumers who are able to achieve a state of flow while shopping online will perceive higher brand equity and trust. Therefore, their perceptions of the brand are improved. With enhanced levels of trust and brand equity, consumers are more likely to build bonds and stay loyal to the hotel booking website. It is important to note that enhancing the brand equity and trust via hedonic and utilitarian website features is important to increase loyalty because flow experience does not directly influence loyalty. This study contributes to existing research on flow experience in several ways. Firstly, it developed and tested a model with precursors of flow experience in e-commerce by establishing a link between website features and flow experience. Antecedents and consequences of flow experience can help researchers understand when this experience occurs and what to expect from this optimal experience in online environments. Thus, this study makes a contribution to the existing literature by examining the effects of features of the website on flow experience. It is worth noting that in the model, hedonic website features had the largest impact on flow experience. This is particularly an important contribution, considering that precious related research examined variables such as attractiveness, novelty, playfulness, personal innovativeness, content of the website, interactivity, teleperesence and perceived ease of use as the precursors of flow experience, but they have not examined the website characteristics that derives from shopping orientations. Study results can give hotel booking website designers and marketers a better understanding of the online consumer experiences and loyalty.
Identifier: CFE0004519 (IID), ucf:49293 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-12-01
Ph.D.
Education, Dean's Office EDUC
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Hotel Booking -- Hotel Website -- Online Customer Experience -- Flow -- eLoyalty
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004519
Restrictions on Access: public 2012-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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