This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Enhancing Brand Loyalty through Brand Experience: Application of Online Flow Theory




Shim, Soo In

Type of Degree



Consumer Affairs


Companies strive to increase loyalty to their brand by providing their customers with positive brand-related experiences. However, no published work has investigated how consumers become absorbed in shopping a brand’s Website and how their optimal experience on that Website, called online flow, can influence their general brand experience and brand loyalty. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between consumers’ skill, perceived challenge of the task, online flow, brand experience, and brand loyalty. Data were collected using an online survey with a national sample of 500 female adults 20 to 34 years old. Respondents performed a given online browsing task on an existing brand’s Website randomly assigned to them and completed a questionnaire. The results from structural equation modeling analysis of the data show that the more skillful the consumers, the more likely they are to reach a state of online flow on a brand’s Website, providing support for flow theory. Results also showed that the relationship between skill and online flow was greater for consumers who felt more challenged by the given task, confirming the principle of flow theory that flow occurs when high skill is matched with high challenge. Further, online flow positively influenced brand experience, which in turn positively influenced brand loyalty. This study provides important theoretical, methodological, and managerial implications. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also discussed.