Essays on user acquisition, retention, experience, engagement and purchase decisions of a hybrid mobile wallet
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The popularity of “mobile wallets” (or “mobile payment” platforms) is one of the most prominent trends in the mobile commerce (m-commerce) era. However, like most mobile applications (apps), mobile wallet apps usually suffer from low repeat usage rates. Most extant research on mobile users’ app usage behavior focuses on the early stage of app usage, such as app download and adoption intentions, and researchers know little about what makes a mobile payment app successful in engaging users, maintaining user base, and achieving favorable economic outcomes. In addition, extant research on mobile users’ experience, engagement and usage are based primarily on subjective survey responses, and there has been a lack of empirical investigation on users’ actual behavior. To bridge these research gaps, this dissertation empirically examines multiple stages during users’ app usage with individual-level tap stream data from a hybrid mobile wallet app. The first essay explores three intersections: first, it considers jointly users’ acquisition and retention processes with the mobile wallet app; it also examines the relationship between acquisition and retention; and third, it analyzes the effects of marketing and operational factors on the previous two processes. Results of the analysis suggest that while an aggressive “onboarding” promotion at “born” stage has a positive effect on user acquisition, it does not have any effect on subsequent retention. In addition, this dissertation finds a negative duration dependence on both acquisition and retention compounded by a negative correlation between the two processes. This negative duration indicates an unfavorable situation, which suggests the ineffectiveness of current marketing promotion strategies in gaining loyal users for the mobile wallet app. The second essay examines user experience and user engagement with the mobile wallet app during multiple usage sessions. Measuring user experience and engagement with observable user actions based on individual-level tap stream data, the essay investigates the effecs of user experience and firms’ marketing efforts on user engagement and purchase decisions. The results reveal an intermediate role of user engagement between user experience and purchase decisions. Surprisingly, the negative experience of technical failure does not always discourage users in engaging with the app or making purchases. Through empirical exploration and novel findings on mobile users’ app usage pattern, and through new determinations of the effects of marketing in the context of the emerging mobile payment, this dissertation contributes substantively to the literature of mobile marketing.