Purpose – This work aims at exploring the approaches to online experience management aimed at enhancing customer involvement. The literature review and the empirical exercise aim at identifying a research agenda on the topic and at providing preliminary evidences. Design/methodology/approach – Two in‐depth case studies in companies operating in the toy sector in Italy were conducted. Findings – The findings suggest that online experience management can be considered by companies an important lever for getting customer involvement in NPD; moreover the evidences show that the experiential stimuli to provide may vary according to the stage of product development and to the characteristics of the target. Also the manufacturer's culture may drive some diversity in the stimuli provided. In detail, the Mediterranean company seem to look at generating group experiences to exploit the creative potential of collectivism more than the Anglo‐Saxon one. Research limitations/implications – The discussion highlights a series of research propositions for future research aimed at improving the understatement of the problem. As for the limitations, only two cases in a single sector have been analysed, and there is a lack of concrete outcomes about the economic performances of the online experience strategies adopted by the companies, even if some positive correlation between successful online experience management and innovation rate of success seem to emerge. Practical implications – The findings suggested some managerial implications for managing online customer experience to enhance customer involvement in NPD. Originality/value – The paper provides empirical evidences in a field extremely debated at a theoretical level over the last few years, but extremely poor in terms of fact‐based research; moreover it suggests areas of investigation for future research.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 15, 2009
Keywords: Customer service management; Worldwide web; New products; Product development; Italy