Can customer loyalty created by online brand experience affect physical product sales?

Jin, Yuchen (2022) Can customer loyalty created by online brand experience affect physical product sales? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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The brand experience has been a focus of research in the marketing field since it was introduced. Numerous studies have previously demonstrated that brand experience has a positive impact on customer loyalty. In addition, brand experience has also been shown to be a multi-dimensional construct, with each dimension having a different degree of impact on customer loyalty. Nowadays, with the popularity of the internet, it is becoming more and more common to offer brand experiences to customers in an online environment. In this new era, a category of virtual brands has emerged that offer customers an online brand experience solely through their app or website. Previous research on brand experience and customer loyalty has mainly focused on offline brand experiences. This study pays attention to the online health brands in China, with the aim of examining whether virtual brands can still have a positive impact on customer loyalty despite the online only brand experience they provide. Furthermore, once some online health brands have gained a stable user base through their apps or websites, they have begun to expand their marketing and develop related offline products through brand extension. Previous research has demonstrated that both brand experience and customer loyalty have a positive effect on brand extension. However, as the virtual brands are a type of brand that has emerged since the popularity of the internet, there is little research on the development of offline extensions for virtual brands. The second objective of this study is to fill this research gap by examining whether customer loyalty, influenced by the online brand experience, has a positive effect on the sale of these products when these online brands extend their brands offline to launch physical products.

This study has adopted a quantitative approach, and "KEEP", a representative online health brand in China, has been selected as the subject of the empirical study. The data has been collected by distributing an online questionnaire to users of the KEEP app through the Chinese questionnaire distribution platform "WENJUANXING", and the 210 questionnaires collected have been then analysed by SPSS. The results of the multiple regression analysis show that online brand experience still has a positive effect on customer loyalty and that different dimensions of online brand experience do have different degrees of influence on customer loyalty. However, due to the different research contexts, the impact of each dimension on online brand experience differs significantly from previous research. In this context, emotional experience and usability experience has been found to have the greatest impact on customer loyalty, followed by cognitive experience. The loyalty of customers to virtual brands is rarely influenced by social experience. The sensory experience and behavioural experience offered by online health brands through apps have no impact on customer loyalty. Furthermore, the results of the univariate regression analysis demonstrate that user loyalty to online health brands has a positive impact on the sale of offline brand extensions offered by these brands.

This study fills a gap in research on the relationship between brand experience, customer loyalty and brand extensions for online health brands. The results have implications for the design of online brand experiences and the launch of offline brand extensions for online health brands and even for all virtual brands in China.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Jin, Yuchen
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2023 13:25
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2023 13:25

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