Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review and extend previous work involving branding and website performance and aesthetics by applying a best-worst scaling (BWS) approach. Respondents were tasked with choosing the best and worst from 16-brand attribute statements representing website communications and aesthetics, a more effective understanding of consumer segmentation is revealed between the offline facility to the online retail experience. Design/methodology/approach: A research design utilising BWS was deployed to provide an alternate perspective of consumer choice in an omni-channel retail environment. Findings: Findings indicate a bifurcated audience with one-half reliant on communication and the other half on aesthetics is most important in the online environment when generating a positive relationship towards the retail brand. Research limitations/implications: This study was conducted within a single retail format category (sportswear and apparel) so future studies need to estimate cross-category implications. The authors also suggest online experimental designs for consumers to compare traditional retail brand images. Finally as this study utilised Australian responses only the authors suggest cross-cultural comparisons to better understand the universal nature of website functionality and its link with traditional retail formats. Practical implications: Retail executives will find the results from this study useful in two ways. To ensure consistency of brand image across channels managers must communicate efficiently and effectively. Brand managers must mediate between customer segments with some preferring clear concise website communications and others well established aesthetics. Originality/value: This study adopts a BWS approach to better understand consumer choices in an online/offline branding environment.
- brand management
- consumer experience management
- choice modelling
- internet retail