Enterprises' multichannel operations provide various avenues for customer interaction; however, existing literature investigating customer-to-customer interaction (CCI) mainly focuses on a single channel. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the spillover effect of CCI and potential underlying mediating mechanisms in different information channels.
Three between-subjects experiments with 946 participants were employed to empirically validate the proposed hypotheses in the context of an experiential product and a material product.
Results suggest the clear spillover effect of CCI, indicating that positive CCI improves focal customers' satisfaction and purchase intention, whereas negative CCI reduces focal customers' satisfaction and purchase intention. Moreover, CCI's spillover effect varies based on the CCI channel. Offline CCI has a stronger positive spillover effect than online CCI. Contrarily, online CCI has a stronger negative spillover effect than offline CCI. Customer experience and trust are demonstrated to have mediating roles in this process.
This study is the first to comprehensively understand and compare the CCI spillover effect of the two information channels. The findings add to the existing knowledge of information processing in the psychological mechanisms influencing the belief in addition to providing insights for companies engaged in multichannel operations management across different channels.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers: 71672150, 91746301], and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [grant number: JBK18505008].
Liu, Y., Fu, X. and Ren, X. (2023), "Online or offline? Spillover effect of customer-to-customer interaction in a multichannel background", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-11-2021-0855
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