Conceptualising customers' Online Community Experience (OCE): an experimental study
by Priya Nambisan
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (IJIMA), Vol. 5, No. 4, 2009

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.

Online publication date: Tue, 11-Aug-2009

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