Original Research

Influencing consumer engagement in online customer communities: The role of interactivity

Mercy Mpinganjira
Acta Commercii | Vol 16, No 1 | a381 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v16i1.381 | © 2016 Mercy Mpinganjira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2016 | Published: 18 August 2016

About the author(s)

Mercy Mpinganjira, Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article was to investigate consumer engagement in online customer communities and the influence of interactivity on it. A conceptual model linking different dimensions of interactivity and consumer engagement was proposed and tested.
Rationale: The ability of managers to ensure high levels of consumer engagement depends on them gaining a good understanding of the concept, its manifestations in their context, as well as factors that influence it. This article aims at contributing to this understanding in the context of online customer communities.
Methodology: The article followed a quantitative research approach. Data were collected from 303 members of online customer communities based in Gauteng, South Africa. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses proposed in the article.
Findings and implications: The results showed that system-related dimensions of interactivity and human interactivity are positively associated with consumer psychological engagement. Psychological engagement was in turn found to be positively associated with behavioural engagement. The findings point to the need for managers to pay attention to system and human related interactivity if they are to influence consumer engagement levels on their sites.
Originality and value of research: Little research exists on consumer engagement, resulting in limited understanding of the concept as well as its antecedents. Focusing on online customer communities, this article contributes to addressing this gap in literature. Managers of online customer communities can use the findings to monitor levels of consumer engagement on their sites and find ways of enhancing it.

Keywords

Consumer engagement; Online Customer Community; Interactivity; Service Dominant Logic

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