Title: Conceptualising customers' Online Community Experience (OCE): an experimental study

Authors: Priya Nambisan

Addresses: Department of Health Policy, Management & Behavior, School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY, 1 University Place, Rensselaer, NY 12205, USA

Abstract: Online or web-based product communities are |social spaces| and customers could go through various experiences when they visit and interact in such communities. What is the nature, or what are the dimensions, of |customer experience| in such online communities? Can positive customer experiences be proactively facilitated by companies? This study proposes a new theoretical construct, Online Community Experience (OCE), to enhance our understanding of customers| interactions in online product communities and to address the above questions. We draw on diverse theoretical areas including computer-mediated communication, consumer psychology, information processing and brand communities to identify the critical antecedents of OCE. The research model was validated using an experimental study involving 108 subjects. The study findings offer strong support to the research model and imply the importance of OCE as a construct in studies of online product communities and consumer behaviour. The key implications for future research and managerial practice are discussed.

Keywords: online product communities; virtual communities; web based communities; online communities; customer experience; consumer behaviour; pragmatic experience; hedonic experience; online community experience; OCE; CMC; customer interaction; computer-mediated communication; consumer psychology; information processing; brand communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2009.027813

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2009 Vol.5 No.4, pp.309 - 328

Published online: 11 Aug 2009 *

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