Isabel P. Riquelme
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence of several consumer characteristics (gender, age, education, agreeableness, conscientiousness and prior online experience) on consumers’ frustration levels with retail website performance in the online shopping process, as well as the impact of frustration on consumers’ positive word of mouth (WOM) communications. Data from 398 online consumers show that male, older, less educated, more conscientious, less agreeable and less experienced consumers on the Internet are more easily frustrated when buying online and that this frustration influences WOM negatively. This is one of the first studies to examine the influence of key consumer personal antecedents of frustration in the context of online shopping and the effect of frustration on WOM. Although many of the incidents that occur on the Internet are unpredictable and, hence, hard to control, personal factors related to frustration are more predictable and, therefore, to some extent, easier to address. Our findings provide insights into the consumers’ characteristics that most easily cause frustration when purchasing online and, consequently, this study provides several guidelines for online retailers to facilitate the online shopping process to specific segments of online consumers.