The purpose of this study is to identify customer-specific differences in a general model of e-loyalty taking into account the existence of unobserved heterogeneity. Specifically, this paper aims to test for the presence of customer heterogeneity; assess the impact of potential bias when there is no control for heterogeneity; analyse the distinct customer segments that emerge from the empirical estimation of the model; and describe the segments by their demographic and psychological characteristics. Panel data from a survey of online shoppers are used in a post hoc segmentation method, which will enable us to identify segments, while estimating the parameters by means of structural equation models. Three distinct consumer segments emerge. The relative importance of e-loyalty and e-satisfaction is significantly determined by consumers’ shopping styles. This study highlights the need to consider unobserved customer heterogeneity when attempting to explain satisfaction and loyalty development processes in the retail context in general and e-commerce in particular. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time this approach has been used to analyse the impact of customer heterogeneity on e-satisfaction and e-loyalty.
This paper addresses empirically two issues. One is whether or not basic marketing relationships at the establishment level are robust to a substantial change in the market environment. Another one is whether after this event takes place the marketing relationships for new establishments are the same as those for existing establishments. We rely on two data sets: a survey of gas stations in 1998 in Pamplona, Spain, when prices of gasoline products were fixed by the government; and a similar survey in 2007, when gas retail prices were determined by market participants as a result of the price liberalization law. Briefly put, customer satisfaction and its determinants have a robust, stable relationship with respect to the law’s change in market environment during this nine year period. On the other hand, some aspects of the relation between future patronage intentions and its determinants are substantially altered by the law’s change in market environment.