This study aims to provide a taxonomy of relational benefits that drive customer loyalty in sharing-economy services, assess the relative strengths of these relational benefits in influencing customer loyalty and examine whether commitment mediates the influence of relational benefits on customer loyalty in this context.
Relational benefits of sharing-economy services were explored through a focus group interview, followed by an online survey completed by 440 respondents in China. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses.
This study shows that confidence and social benefits have significant and positive effects on commitment in sharing-economy services. In addition, safety benefits, a new type of relational benefits, also significantly affect commitment in this context. Furthermore, the findings suggest that commitment acts as a mediator between confidence, social and safety benefits and customer loyalty. Special treatment benefits had no effect on commitment and loyalty in the sharing-economy context.
This paper provides sharing-economy service providers with insight on how to better create and sustain loyal relationships with customers through the provision of relational benefits.
This study offers initial insight into why customers would stay in peer-to-peer relationships in the sharing economy, and suggests how to strengthen relationships between customers and peer service providers.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supports from the National Science Foundation in China (No. 71172036, 71531006, and 71602026), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 15D210808 and 16D110811) and China Scholarship Council (No. 201506105044). The authors greatly appreciate Dr. Catharina von Koskull and two anonymous reviewers' time and efforts to carefully review the manuscript and help the authors improve this paper.
Yang, S., Song, Y., Chen, S. and Xia, X. (2017), "Why are customers loyal in sharing-economy services? A relational benefits perspective", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 48-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-01-2016-0042Download as .RIS
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