Why do internet users stick with a specific web site? A relationship perspective

Dahui Li, Glenn J. Browne, James C. Wetherbe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations


To prevent users from switching to competitors, on-line companies in the B2C market are implementing various technologies and investing substantial resources to enhance the "stickiness" of their Web sites. The authors propose that users stick with a Web site through a process of developing a relationship with it. Thus, sticking with a Web site reflects a persistent Web site-user relationship. Theories from social psychology and relationship marketing are used to develop a model of Web site stickiness from the user's perspective. The model focuses on the relationship between user and Web site, with commitment and trust as key mediating variables. A total of 239 users responded to a survey concerning Web site stickiness. The survey results supported all the hypotheses generated from the model and explained 70 percent of the variance in stickiness intention. There was a significant association between intention to stick with a Web site and commitment to and trust in the Web site. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-141
Number of pages37
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Commitment
  • Continuous use
  • Partial least squares
  • Relationships
  • Trust
  • Web site stickiness


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