Consumers are increasingly connected to each other through electronic devices. Consequently, the potential for online retailer (hereafter, e‐tailer) initiated communications delivered through electronic media to inspire viral‐like e‐WOM processes among consumers is also expanding. Microblog postings and e‐mails may impact consumers' perceptions of retail web sites (e‐servicescape). These perceptions may trigger other outcomes (i.e. greater trust, patronage, or e‐WOM) that redound to e‐tailers' interests. The first purpose of this paper is to expand online e‐tailers' (e‐tailers') understanding of how and whether microblog postings affect consumers' e‐servicescape perceptions. The second purpose is to investigate how and whether e‐servicescape perceptions influence consumers' trust in e‐tailers' web sites, patronage of e‐tailers, and propensity to engage in e‐WOM about e‐tailers' messages.
By integrating the e‐servicescape construct with the Network Coproduction Model of WOM theory, a model is developed. This model examines how e‐communication efforts affect consumers' perceptions of e‐servicescape, trust, e‐tail patronage and e‐WOM. Each relationship is investigated through a consumer survey.
Findings suggest: microblog postings may have a negative impact on consumers' e‐servicescape perceptions; retail web site's usability, financial security, customization, and entertainment value positively affect consumers' trust; and consumers' trust positively impacts retail patronage and e‐WOM intentions.
Prescriptive insights for managing microblogging in ways that more favorably influence consumers' perceptions of e‐tailers' e‐servicescapes – and subsequently consumer trust in, patronage of, and e‐WOM about the retailer and its web site – are developed.
The paper is the first to integrate word‐of‐mouth theory with e‐servicescape to test a model examining how microblog postings affect e‐servicescape perceptions, consumer trust, consumer retail patronage, and e‐WOM intentions.
Tran, G.A., Strutton, D. and Taylor, D.G. (2012), "Do microblog postings influence consumer perceptions of retailers' e‐servicescapes?", Management Research Review, Vol. 35 No. 9, pp. 818-836. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409171211256217
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited