Researchers to study loyalty on Internet

Jun 27, 2002, vol. 24, no. 5
By Terry Lavender

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A team of researchers from Simon Fraser University Surrey has been awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant to study how consumer loyalty on the Internet relates to how their Internet experience is designed.

Members of the research team are Dianne Cyr, Jim Budd, Russell Taylor, John Bowes and Thecla Shiphorst. All were professors at the Technical University of British Columbia when the grant was awarded.

The grant, one of the first to be awarded under SSHRC's initiative on the new economy, is worth $268,000 over three years.

E-business is a new frontier for buying and selling in the new economy, according to Cyr.

“To date, little attention has been paid to how trust and e-loyalty are developed in e-business contexts, especially with reference to cross-cultural differences,” she says.

“Consumer trust and loyalty have long histories as vital elements of building successful businesses. This research aims to move beyond traditional commerce theory and applications to look at conditions unique to building loyalty and trust in online environments. Trust and loyalty are complex ideas. The goal of the research is not to fully redefine these concepts, but rather to examine specific elements of trust unique to e-business, and recommend practices that enhance business success.”

In particular, Cyr and her colleagues will examine three areas:
• Trust development in e-business.
• Culturally sensitive interface design.
• Adaptive designs for mobility.

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