Why Do Internet Users Stick with a Specific Web Site? A Relationship Perspective

Dahui Li, Glenn J. Browne, and James C. Wetherbe
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 10, Number 4, Summer 2006, pp. 105.

Abstract: To prevent users from switching to competitors, on-line companies in the B2C market are implementing various technologies and investing substantial resources to enhance the “stickiness” of their Web sites. The authors propose that users stick with a Web site through a process of developing a relationship with it. Thus, sticking with a Web site reflects a persistent Web site-user relationship. Theories from social psychology and relationship marketing are used to develop a model of Web site stickiness from the user’s perspective. The model focuses on the relationship between user and Web site, with commitment and trust as key mediating variables. A total of 239 users responded to a survey concerning Web site stickiness. The survey results supported all the hypotheses generated from the model and explained 70 percent of the variance in stickiness intention. There was a significant association between intention to stick with a Web site and commitment to and trust in the Web site. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Key Words and Phrases: Commitment, continuous use, partial least squares, relationships, trust, Web site stickiness.