Effects of socialization interactions on customer engagement in online travel communities

Nuan Luo (School of Economics and Management, Beijing Information Science and Technology University, Beijing, China)
Yu Wang (Beihang University School of Economics and Management, Beijing, China)
Chunhua Jin (Beijing Information Science and Technology University, Beijing, China)
Yuan Ni (Beijing Information Science and Technology University, Beijing, China)
Mingli Zhang (Beihang University School of Economics and Management, Beijing, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 30 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Travel companies are increasingly hosting online communities to extend their initiatives of customer relationship management and gain additional insight into their business. While the benefits to companies from hosting online communities are clear, another closely related issue has not been given comparative attention: Why do customers engage voluntarily in online travel communities? The purpose of this paper is to answer the question by developing and testing a conceptual model that exploring the influence of socialization interactions on customer engagement with the community.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested by applying structural equation modeling based on survey data collected from an online travel community (n=665).

Findings

The results supported the research hypotheses and demonstrated that socialization interactions (i.e. information and social exchange) in the online travel community are important catalysts for customer engagement.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is twofold. First, from a theoretical perspective, it offers new insights into the conceptualization of customer engagement and its antecedents in the context of the online travel community. Second, from a pragmatic perspective, the conceptual model derived from this research aids practitioners in stimulating customer engagement from the perspective of socialization interactions.

Keywords

Citation

Luo, N., Wang, Y., Jin, C., Ni, Y. and Zhang, M. (2019), "Effects of socialization interactions on customer engagement in online travel communities", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-08-2018-0354

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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