Original Research

The influence of transaction cost variables on e-buyer satisfaction and loyalty: An e-business-to-consumer retailer context

Christine F. De Meyer-Heydenrych, Ilse Struweg
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 14, No 1 | a565 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v14i1.565 | © 2021 Christine F. De Meyer-Heydenrych, Ilse Struweg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2020 | Published: 30 September 2021

About the author(s)

Christine F. De Meyer-Heydenrych, Department of Marketing Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ilse Struweg, Department of Marketing Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Orientation: Considering the shifts in online buyer behaviour in the past few years, e-buyer satisfaction and loyalty should be at the forefront of any business strategy.

Motivation for the study: Despite the confluence of transaction cost economics (TCE) and marketing, which predominantly appeared in relationship marketing and international marketing studies, there is a scarcity specifically of studies of the convergence of online retailing and TCE.

Research purpose: This study therefore advances the convergence of TCE and marketing research to describe the influence of online retail transaction cost variables (specifically, uncertainty and asset specificity) on e-buyer satisfaction and loyalty. In this study, uncertainty in the TCE is linked to online price and risk reduction, whilst asset specificity refers to special offers online.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative, descriptive research design was followed, and 355 responses from e-buyers were analysed through structural equation modelling.

Main findings: The key findings of the study show that reducing uncertainty is the strongest predictor of e-buyer satisfaction and loyalty.

Practical/managerial implications: This implies that online retailers need to focus on developing marketing and online retail strategies that, from an economic perspective, unambiguously communicate all terms and conditions of the costs involved and provide alternative, safe payment options.

Contribution/value-add: These results further imply that TEC could be refined to ensure e-buyer satisfaction on loyalty from an online retail perspective and to focus on the role and relevance of uncertainty and asset specificity.


transaction cost economics theory; price and risk reduction; exclusive offers; e-buyer behaviour; satisfaction; loyalty; online retail


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