Timothy K. F. Fung
It is widely accepted as a truth in the business industry that customization is an indispensable element for viable e-commerce websites. However, some critical questions have been overlooked: does the inclusion of website customization induce users’ commitment to the website more than does its absence? Do certain types of website customization enhance relational bonds while others are detrimental? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of types of customization on commitment toward the website. Building on the conceptual framework of levels of processing [Craik & Lockhart 1973], this paper identified three types of customization: remembering, comprehension and association. An experiment with pretest-post test control group (N = 100) was designed to assess the impact of these three types of customization on commitment to the website. The results indicated that comprehension- and association-type of customization significantly induce higher commitment to, and a higher tendency to stay with, the website than that without any customization. Remembering-type of customization was found insignificant on all dependent measures as compared with non-customization. Implications of the findings are discussed.