Year of Publication: Jun - 2012
Page Numbers: 145-155
Authors: Shari S. C. Shang, Yi-Chen Yeh, Ya-Ling Wu
Conference Name: The International Conference on Informatics and Applications (ICIA2012)
- Malaysia


A reward system is a diverse and popular program implemented by many firms in various circumstances to motivate customers’ behavior for frequent and loyal patronage. With the evolving diversity of electronic platforms (e-platforms), more dynamic, cost-effective and interactive electronic rewards (e-rewards) are developed as a tool or strategy to retain customers and enhance frequent visits to the platform. For instance, Facebook uses virtual currency to gain user participations; Dropbox uses bonus storage to attract memberships and prolong service usage; Myspace uses virtual badges to encourage users to achieve specific goals in order to encourage frequent visits. The rewards on the e-platform can range from real items such as cash and discounts to virtual recognitions to enhance self-esteem. These strategies differ from those used by enterprises dealing with face-to-face customers. As variant services on e-platforms have emerged, little research has been done to understand the novel concept and effects of reward systems on e-platforms. We propose a taxonomy of e-rewards based on forms of reward, degree of interaction, and targeted needs. Using content analysis we examine the world’s most accessed 1,000 websites to define different types of e-reward systems: material, authority, achievement, personal gratification, and affiliation. It is hoped that the findings could provide a base for further study on various impacts of reward systems and provide a guide for managers in designing and implementing more effective reward systems on e-platforms.