Web-based virtual communities are regarded as potential channels for conducting e-commerce because of their capabilities in building long-term relationships between the vendor and the members. A virtual community (VC) provides repeat points of contact to the customer, thus increasing the stickiness of the Web site. This ability of a VC to retain people or customers to the Website of an online vendor is useful for relationship management, central to which is the relationship commitment of the customers to the VC. By having a community of committed customers, a vendor can obtain numerous benefits especially relevant to relationship marketing (like enhanced store image and loyalty). This study examines the factors which enhance online customers’ relationship commitment to the VC from the balanced beliefs and feelings perspective. By adapting the behavior model developed by Fazio et al. (1978), this study examines the roles of beliefs and feelings of the customer in the formation of commitment to a VC. This study then offers theoretical reasoning for the balanced effects of customers’ beliefs and feelings on enhancing the commitment to the VC and discusses the theoretical and practical implications of this study.
Gupta, Sumeet and Kim, Hee-Woong, "Enhancing the Commitment to Virtual Community: A Belief and Feeling Based Approach" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 9.