Antecedents and Consequences of Customer Satisfaction: Do They Differ Across Online and Offline Purchases?

Academic Article


  • Retailers seek to utilize both online and offline purchase channels strategically to satisfy customers and thrive in the marketplace. Unfortunately, current multichannel research is deficient in answering what drives customers’ satisfaction, and consequently their loyalty, differently when customers purchase online versus at a physical store. This gap in knowledge can be a significant concern for retailers due to the negative impact of having dissatisfied customers on their bottom lines. Using a version of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) model, we demonstrate several important purchase-channel differences in the antecedents of customer satisfaction and its subsequent effect on customer loyalty. Specifically, we show that when retail customers buy electronic goods online they view purchase value as a significant attribute in rating satisfaction, and are more satisfaction-sensitive when making repurchase decisions than when they purchase offline. On the other hand, the overall quality of the purchase experience and customer expectations are stronger drivers of customer satisfaction in the offline purchases. We provide evidence that these differences between the channels generally persist across customer demographics (gender, age, and education) and broader product categories, and we also discuss the specific contexts where they do not. Our work offers actionable guidance to retailers seeking to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty across both the online and offline channels.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hult GTM; Sharma PN; Morgeson FV; Zhang Y
  • Start Page

  • 10
  • End Page

  • 23
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • 1