Omnichannel consumers are more proactive, engage in longer shopping journeys and share their experiences. However, their postpurchase behavioral responses remain understudied. This paper aims to examine how a seamless omnichannel environment can contribute to a more optimal shopping experience (flow state) and the subsequent impact on the likelihood of generating mixed (positive and negative) word of mouth (WOM).
A controlled experiment was conducted with 220 participants to test the proposed model based on the stimulus–organism–response (S-O-R) model and flow theory. The authors conducted an analysis of variance, two regression analyses and two mediation analyses to test the hypotheses.
The results confirm a positive direct effect of a seamless environment on consumers' flow state and a positive (negative) direct impact of flow on the likelihood of generating positive (negative) WOM. Additionally, the results suggest that flow mediates the effect of a seamless environment on WOM.
This study contributes to omnichannel and WOM literature by exploring the critical role of seamlessness in consumers' subjective experience (flow state) and postpurchase behaviors (mixed WOM). In conjunction with the relevant theoretical contributions, these findings also offer guidelines for practitioners to manage the seamless environment and mixed WOM in the omnichannel context.
The authors wish to thank the editors and the anonymous reviewers of the Journal who have contributed to this study. The authors are also grateful for the financial support received from the Junta de Castilla y León (Spain) [project reference VA085G18] and the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness (Spain) [project reference ECO2017- 86628-P].
Rodríguez-Torrico, P., San José Cabezudo, R., San-Martín, S. and Trabold Apadula, L. (2023), "Let it flow: the role of seamlessness and the optimal experience on consumer word of mouth in omnichannel marketing", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-06-2021-0154
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