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Investigating customers’ responses to artificial intelligence chatbots in online travel agencies: the moderating role of product familiarity

Yao Zhu (Management College, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China)
Rongteng (Renata) Zhang (School of Business and Economics, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)
Yongguang Zou (College of Tourism Management, Huaqiao University, Quanzhou, China)
Dan Jin (Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 18 January 2023

Issue publication date: 17 February 2023

3330

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how consumers’ perceptions of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots influence individuals’ cognitive and emotional states and their subsequent behavioural intentions vis-à-vis online travel agencies (OTAs).

Design/methodology/approach

The survey sample comprised 566 customers who had experienced the use of travel AI chatbots in China using a combination of online and offline questionnaires. Partial least squares structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results revealed that interaction and information quality, as AI chatbot stimuli, significantly increase potential tourists’ trust and purchase intention. Perceived usefulness plays a mediating role in the relationship among interactivity, information quality, customer trust and purchase intention. Furthermore, the findings indicated that customers with high product familiarity exhibited greater trust in products demonstrating a high level of perceived usefulness.

Originality/value

By integrating cognitive consistency theory, this study theoretically validates the applicability of the stimulus–organism–response framework on AI chatbots and provides academics with useful insights regarding the influence mechanisms of human–computer interaction and information quality on customer response within OTA settings.

研究目的

研究旨在检验消费者对人工智能聊天机器人的感知如何影响潜在旅游者个体的认知、情绪状态以及购买意愿。

研究设计/方法/途径

研究结合线上、线上问卷调查方式共调研了566名体验过在线旅行社中聊天机器人的消费者, 进一步利用偏最小二乘结构方程模型对理论假设进行实证检验。

研究结果:

研究发现人机互动性和信息质量作为聊天机器人的外在刺激, 显著影响潜在游客的信任和购买意愿; 感知有用性在互动性、信息质量、顾客信任和购买意愿之间起中介作用。此外, 产品熟悉度高的顾客对具有高感知有用性的产品会产生更大的信任。

研究原创性/价值

研究结合认知一致性理论, 从理论上拓展了SOR框架在旅游聊天机器人的适用性, 解释了消费者响应人机交互的内在机制。

Keywords

Citation

Zhu, Y., Zhang, R.(R)., Zou, Y. and Jin, D. (2023), "Investigating customers’ responses to artificial intelligence chatbots in online travel agencies: the moderating role of product familiarity", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 208-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-02-2022-0041

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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