Date of Award

Winter 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt

Committee Member

Kiran Karande

Committee Member

Joan Mann


The World Wide Web and Internet have transformed the competitive business environment and altered the customer-firm relationship by creating a new retailing format and service enterprise. It is rapidly growing as a competitive distribution medium in which customer satisfaction will be a major success factor in the development and maintenance of this new retailing format. Despite its growing importance as a new shopping medium, little empirical research has been conducted that examines the relationship between Internet shopping, customer satisfaction, company image, and future online purchasing. Research is needed to develop theoretical models that will systematically explain and predict behavior related to Internet shopping.

The purpose of this dissertation research was to examine how consumers become satisfied with an Internet purchasing experience, how company image is impacted by the shopping experience, and how satisfaction and company image affect future purchase behavior. Specifically, the constructs of information quality, ease of use, value, and expectation congruency were examined to determine their influence on satisfaction and company image in the context of shopping over the Internet. In order to assess the various relationships that exist in the proposed model of customer satisfaction with Internet purchasing, a structural modeling approach was employed. In addition, analysis of variance test of significance was conducted to determine if there were any differences in the mean ratings of satisfaction with an Internet purchase among different groups of consumers.

Overall, the results of testing the model in this study support the assertion that a positive and direct relationship exists between customer satisfaction and the intention to continue shopping at a firm's Web site. The results also provide evidence for the factors that significantly influence satisfaction with online shopping. Economic value and ease of use were found to have a positive and direct effect on consumer satisfaction with an Internet purchasing experience. These findings may be important for marketing managers because they can provide guidelines for planning Internet strategies to develop customer satisfaction and maintain customer loyalty. A positive and direct effect between company image and consumers' desires to continue shopping on the firm's Web site was also statistically supported by the data. The factors found to influence a positive company image after shopping at a firm's Web site are ease of use and economic value. The results of the study also revealed that expectations and frequency of Internet shopping affected consumer's ratings of satisfaction. The findings from this study may provide future researchers with evidence to expand their understanding of how the electronic retail medium of the Internet impacts the customer-firm relationship. In summary, this study provides empirical support for the factors that influence satisfaction with an Internet shopping experience, company image, and future purchasing behavior from a firm's Web site.


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