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Mediating service experiences with online photos: the role of consumers' perceptions of the mediated servicescape

Zeya He (School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan, China)
Laurie Wu (School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Xiang (Robert) Li (Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 21 December 2022

78

Abstract

Purpose

Photos are powerful tools to attract individuals’ attention and convey service experiences. Yet exactly how visual cues in a photo contribute to the perceptions of the staged servicescape, and how these perceptions inspire online booking/reservation behaviors, remains underexplored. Addressing the gap, this study aims to uncover (1) how perceptual information mediated by an online photo contributes to the formation of consumers' holistic perceptions of the service environment and (2) how such consumers' holistic perceptions further influence customers' online purchasing behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts an innovative crowdsourcing approach and refers to field data on consumers' online hotel booking behaviors to examine relationships among inferred servicescape dimensions, consumers' holistic perceptions of the mediated servicescape and their actual online booking/reservation behaviors (e.g. page-view and meta-click behaviors).

Findings

Confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis indicated that five mediated servicescape dimensions (i.e. color, lighting, furnishings, layout and style) contribute significantly to consumers' perceptions of the mediated servicescape (CPMS) and exert different impacts on CPMS. Connecting the crowdsourced rating and consumer behavioral data, CPMS is found to influence consumers' aggregated page-view and meta-click behavior, especially in the US market.

Originality/value

Building upon servicescape theory, the medium theory and the online booking literature, this research proposes a novel conceptual framework of CPMS to theorize the process by which visual cues in online photos contribute to CPMS and subsequent online purchase behaviors. Findings from this research extend Bitner's servicescape framework to mediated service contexts and provide practical implications for promoting service businesses.

Keywords

Citation

He, Z., Wu, L. and Li, X.(R). (2022), "Mediating service experiences with online photos: the role of consumers' perceptions of the mediated servicescape", Journal of Service Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-11-2021-0429

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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