The purpose of this study is to examine the roles that social cues play in affecting patronage behavior and how consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence would moderate the influence of social cues on store image.
A two (high vs low socially‐oriented in‐store graphics) by two (high vs low personalized customer service) between subject experimental design was conducted to achieve the research objective. A total of 193 surveys were used for data analysis.
Consumers had a more favorable attitude toward merchandise and service quality and felt more aroused or pleased with a store where more social cues were present. They also had a more favorable perception of store image when high‐personalized service was provided. Consumers perceived that they would be more likely to shop in a store that had more in‐store displays of graphics with social meaning. Consumer susceptibility to informational influence (SII) played a moderating role in some cases.
Retail service needs to be reinvented to create excitement. Consumers may use social cues embedded in the store environment as an information source. Sales skills of staff and in‐store graphics should be especially appealing to low‐SII customer.
This study has added to the retail literature by demonstrating that the social cues in store environment can affect consumers' perception of store image and patronage intention. It provides interesting insights on how retailers can use a socially meaningful environment as a source of competitive advantage.
Hu, H. and Jasper, C. (2006), "Social cues in the store environment and their impact on store image", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 25-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550610642800Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited