Negative Online Shopping Experiences: An Exploration of Remembered Dissatisfaction and its Meaning for Consumers’ Future Experiences
Abstract: Consumers evaluate each step of their journey, which influences consumer’s expectations for further experiences and future intentions. Accordingly, past experiences are stored in consumers’ memory but each part of the journey will not be remembered. What drives further behaviours and intentions are the events of the experience that are considered more emotional and atypical, also called peaks. Therefore, negative peaks are those that consumers approach when remembering a negative shopping experience, driving future behaviours. These parts of the experience seem to have a deep meaning for consumers and deserve to be investigated in qualitative terms. This is what this thesis wants to explore. This thesis aims to qualitatively explore the remembrance of negative online shopping experiences, dissatisfaction’s formation and the associated meaning. The purpose is to provide new insights for the comprehension of how the remembrance of negative online shopping events is constructed and the meaning that online consumers associate to negative past experiences for the propensity towards future shopping experiences. By approaching a critical incident technique, this thesis presents material coming from an online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to dig on dissatisfaction’s roots and answer to the questions of what makes an online shopping experience dissatisfactory and the meaning that the negative event has for consumer’s future intentions. The findings emerging from the analysis dissect remembered dissatisfaction in three categories. "The trigger" involve the events that initiated participants’ dissatisfaction. These events seem to be considered dissatisfactory thanks to subjective reasons, as shown in the section “subjective intensifiers”. Finally, the section called “incident’s digestion” expose events’ interpretation and meaning in driving future intentions. The findings contribute to the knowledge on dissatisfaction from the lens of memory in online shopping, with managerial implications and suggestions for further research on the field.
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