Title: Clicks vs. bricks: internet-facilitated relationships in financial services

Authors: Arthur Sweeney, Mark Morrison

Addresses: Department of Marketing, Griffith University, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre, Queensland 9726, Australia. ' School of Marketing and Management, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst NSW 2795, Australia

Abstract: A consensus has not yet been developed in the marketing literature about the ability of technology to facilitate relationships between organisations and their customers. One argument suggests that technology may facilitate dialogue between companies and customers, and thus transform their relationships. In contrast, some suggest that only people create relationships. We compare ||clicks|| (internet) banking and ||bricks|| (face-to-face) banking in their potential to facilitate common relationship marketing variables such as commitment, trust, satisfaction, and value. The study was conducted in two stages; in focus groups of customers we explored the issues about bank–customer relationships, followed by a mail survey experiment with 579 randomly selected customers. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling. We conclude that the fear that technology may harm the formation of customer relationships may not be justified, as long as there are compensating social components.

Keywords: clicks; bricks; internet banking; online banking; e-banking; bank–customer relationships; relationship marketing; financial services; e-commerce; electronic commerce.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2004.006329

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2004 Vol.1 No.4, pp.350 - 370

Available online: 20 Feb 2005 *

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