Today's customers can be characterised by having rich information at their fingertips, a short attention span and access to multiple channels. This makes it challenging for organisations to engage such customers, especially in online environments, which are characterised by rapid changes in technology. This research applied Hoffman and Novak's (1996) initial insights of the flow construct in smart devices mediated online environments to solve the modern battle for customer attention and engagement. This research aimed to establish antecedents of engagement and flow constructs and their interplay during online product/service consumption scenario.
By undertaking a quantitative descriptive study, 274 valid responses by means of an electronic survey were received from South African consumers of online mobile banking services. By enhancing brand engagement and flow scales used in previous studies, 41 statements measured the brand engagement and flow perceptions through 10 antecedents. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse structural relationships between latent constructs of engagement, flow and loyalty.
The study established that although all seven antecedents were predictor of flow experience, four antecedents (skills, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived control) were stronger predictor of the flow compared to the other three (Hedonic value, concentration and positive challenges) in smart devices mediated online service environment such as mobile banking App. Usage intensity was found to be a better predictor of user engagement compared to Brand self-concept (BSC), and brand interaction value (BIV). Also it was found that brand engagement was stronger predictor of flow experience and was a moderate predictor of brand loyalty in online service environment. As technology landscape is evolving on continuous basis and smart devices are becoming integral part of the consumer's life, brands need to ensure that above mentioned antecedents are present on their online service platform to engage users and to provide compelling flow experiences.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.