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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2019

Jochen Wirtz, Chiara Orsingher and Hichang Cho

This paper aims to examine the psychological consequences of a customer engagement initiative through referral reward programs (RRPs) in online versus offline environments.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the psychological consequences of a customer engagement initiative through referral reward programs (RRPs) in online versus offline environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative study followed by a scenario-based experimental study.

Findings

The authors show that recommenders’ concern about how they are viewed by recommendation recipients (i.e. their metaperception) mediates the effects of incentives on referral likelihood in both offline and online environments. However, metaperception has a stronger effect offline where recommenders show higher impression management concerns compared to online. Furthermore, tie-strength and communication environment moderate the effect of incentives on metaperception. When referrals are made to weak-ties, incentives decrease metaperception favorability offline more than online. For strong-ties, this effect is lower, and it is similar in offline and online environments.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on an online versus offline dyadic communication and did not consider the differences among social media. Furthermore, the authors did not consider how other forms of positive metaperception, like being seen as helpful or knowledgeable, could be increased in an online incentivized referral context. It is possible that a recommender thinks others see him as more helpful or knowledgeable online because a lot more useful information and other resources could be offered here compared to offline communications.

Practical implications

The authors recommend managers to design both online and offline RRPs that minimize metaperception concerns; target strong ties in any communication environment as metaperception concerns are low; and target weak ties online where metaperception concerns are muted.

Originality/value

This work is the first to examine how recommenders’ psychological responses differ offline and online.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Ioannis Krasonikolakis, Adam Vrechopoulos, Athanasia Pouloudi and Sergios Dimitriadis

Positioned in the e-retailing field, this study aims to investigate the effect of the retail store’s atmosphere on consumer behavior in 3D online shopping environments

Abstract

Purpose

Positioned in the e-retailing field, this study aims to investigate the effect of the retail store’s atmosphere on consumer behavior in 3D online shopping environments, focusing on store layout as a critical influential factor.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a mixed research method approach that includes two complementary studies. First, a three-round Delphi study with domain experts is used to develop a store layout classification scheme (Study 1), resulting in five distinct types of store layout. Subsequently, 3D online retail stores that use the five layouts are designed and developed. These serve as treatments of a laboratory experimental design, which is used to assess layout impact on a number of attitudinal and behavioral variables (Study 2).

Findings

Five distinct types of store layout have been identified in Study 1, and their distinctive features are presented. The findings of Study 2 indicate that online shopping enjoyment, entertainment and ease of navigation are influenced by the store layout types of 3D online environments. Specifically, the “avant-garde” layout type facilitates the ease of navigation of customers in the store and provides a superior online customer experience. The “warehouse”’ adopts long aisles for the display of products, which simplifies the comparison of products, whereas the “boutique” layout was found to be the best in terms of shopping enjoyment and entertainment. The “department” layout shares many common characteristics with traditional department stores, providing an entertaining and enjoyable store, whereas the “pragmatic” layout emphasizes low system requirements.

Practical implications

The paper presents characteristics that make store layouts effective for different aspects of online customers’ experience and identifies opportunities that 3D online store designers and retailers can explore for the provision of enhanced, customized services to online customers.

Originality/value

This paper examines recent technological developments in store design and visual merchandising. It identifies five layout types of 3D online stores, which are different from those of brick–and–mortar and 2D online stores, and investigates their impact on consumer behavior. Further, the paper examines how each layout type influences online shopping enjoyment, entertainment, ease of navigation, online customer experience and, in turn, purchase and word-of-mouth intentions. Finally, the paper examines the moderating role of telepresence. Individuals with high sense of telepresence conceive 3D environments as “real” and are more concerned about the attributes that trigger the sense of enjoyment they experience while browsing.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Catherine Demangeot and Amanda J. Broderick

The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in the literature on experiential elements of online shopping environments.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in the literature on experiential elements of online shopping environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a theory‐building approach to understand how consumers perceive their experience of the navigation of an online shopping environment and identifies the facets which make up their experiential intensity. The paper first reviews the literature on the experiential attributes of web sites. It then outlines the methodology and explains the use of a “shopping with consumers” approach to uncover consumer perceptions.

Findings

Combining think‐alouds with in‐depth interviews, four dimensions of experiential intensity are found (context familiarity, product presence, visual impact and site‐user understanding), and related to four perceptions of a shopping navigation, as: an experience, a tool, an environment, and a dialogue between shopper and web site.

Originality/value

This conceptualisation adds to the literature on experience creation, which is critical in delivering consumer value. It is more specific and extensive than extant typologies, clarifies the construct and increases its explanatory power. Think‐alouds and depth interviews are shown to yield valuable insights. Consumer perceptions reflect the expectations they have of shopping environments. When shopping online, consumers think like shoppers, not computer users. They want to feel in a familiar shopping context. They want to examine products closely and seek the sense of personal relationship and involvement induced by site‐user understanding. Marketers need to harness technological developments to respond to these expectations. Practically, the study provides e‐retailers with a framework to assess the current levels of experiential intensity, or initiate the creation of more intense experiences.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Barbara A. Ritter

This chapter suggests that traditional views of gender and other social categories existing in a face-to-face environment are reproduced and even exacerbated online

Abstract

This chapter suggests that traditional views of gender and other social categories existing in a face-to-face environment are reproduced and even exacerbated online (Allen, 2000; Barak, 2005; Bell & de La Rue, 1995; Cooper, Safir, & Rosenmann, 2006; Hargittai, 2008; McGerty, 2000; Soukup, 1999; Sussman & Tyson, 2000). Further, characteristics of the online environment such as anonymity, acceptability, and aloneness allow for the perpetuation of prejudicial attitudes and accompanying misbehavior. This chapter will focus on the characteristics of the online environment that perpetuate misbehavior, especially with regard to harassment based on social demographic categories. In addition, this chapter will explore how social and experiential learning theories can help us understand the increased propensity of misbehavior online and will suggest how universities and organizations can use these principles to decrease misbehavior.

Details

Misbehavior Online in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-456-6

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2013

Ryan C. White, Sacha Joseph-Mathews and Clay M. Voorhees

This research aims to provide insight on the interactive effects of service quality and e-service quality on perceptions of retailer brand equity and also extend and test…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to provide insight on the interactive effects of service quality and e-service quality on perceptions of retailer brand equity and also extend and test the efficacy of Baker ' s service environment typology in both offline and online service experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

A within-subjects, simulated shopping experience immerses consumers in both offline and online shopping environments and, subsequently, consumers are surveyed regarding both offline and online quality as well as aggregated evaluations of retailer brand equity.

Findings

Results demonstrate that consumer perceptions of offline and online service quality have a positive effect on retailer brand equity and service quality and e-service quality interact, such that e-service quality has a stronger effect on brand equity offline quality is low. The results also support the application of offline service environment frameworks for online retailing.

Research limitations/implications

The results demonstrate the applicability of Baker ' s typology in both online and offline environments and reveal that customer perceptions of offline and online operations can interact to affect global attitudes toward the retailer.

Practical implications

The results suggest that retailers can improve quality perceptions by enhancing both their offline and online service environments and that these quality improvements can result in enhanced consumer perceptions of brand equity.

Originality/value

This study provides a first look at the applicability of offline frameworks for the service environment in an online context. Moreover, the results provide an initial assessment of how consumers update global attitudes toward a brand by consolidating perceptions across both offline and online interactions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2007

Emmanuelle Vaast

To investigate the presentation of self of participants in occupational online forums.

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the presentation of self of participants in occupational online forums.

Design/methodology/approach

Interpretation of more than 300 profiles of participants to a banking‐related occupational online forum based on Goffman's seminal analysis of presentation of self and on the literature on mystification and fragmentation in virtual environments.

Findings

Contributors to the occupational online forum adopted one of several main categories of profiles. These categories differed in the degree of detail with which profiles were filled and showed that forum users chose a certain degree of mystification or de‐mystification for their profile. The presentation of self in the online occupational forum was related to the presentation in offline environments, such as in the workplace as well as to other online contexts, such as in electronic chats. The categories of profiles were also associated with strikingly different registration dates and number of posts per year and per contributor.

Research limitations/implications

The research analyzed only the profiles of contributors to the online forum, but not their motivations or posts.

Practical implications

Employees and employers should hone their ability to present online information about themselves and to interpret the virtual image(s) others present.

Originality/value

This paper covers: grounded categorization of adopted fronts in occupational online forums; conceptualization of the presentation of self in online environments as related to the participation of multiple online and offline social contexts; identification of simultaneous processes of fragmentation and continuity at play in online forums through their participants' presentation of self.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Dipayan Biswas and Bidisha Burman

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a product‐related variable like digitalization and a market‐related variable like price dispersion might differentially…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a product‐related variable like digitalization and a market‐related variable like price dispersion might differentially influence consumer search intentions across offline versus online shopping interfaces, and how this relationship might be mediated by consumers' perceived risks. Prior research findings are extended and examines how the perceived risk – search intention relationship might be different in online contexts. The distinction is drawn between perceived performance risk versus perceived transaction risk and examines how each of these risks would differentially influence search intentions across the two shopping interfaces (offline versus online).

Design/methodology/approach

Two experimental studies are conducted.

Findings

Study 1 shows that under conditions when perceived performance risks are enhanced, such as for non‐digitalized (versus digitalized) products, consumers' search intentions are enhanced, with the effects getting magnified in online shopping interfaces. In Study 2, the effects of a condition are examined when instead of performance risks, transaction risks are enhanced by a market‐related variable – price dispersion. The results of Study 2 show that when there is higher price dispersion in the marketplace, in the offline environment, participants have higher search intentions, while in the online environment, participants have lower search intentions. In addition, the effects of price dispersion on search intention in the online environment are mediated by perceived transaction risk.

Originality/value

Limitations of the studies suggest that future research may extend these findings to include non‐student samples, differential search costs, customer‐related factors like trust and involvement, other types of risks like social and psychological, social networking sites, and multichannel search behaviors.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2017

Larissa Carine Becker and Cristiane Pizzutti

Most customers want to interact, whether on social networks or on company websites. This study aims to examine the relationship between customer-to-customer (C2C…

Abstract

Purpose

Most customers want to interact, whether on social networks or on company websites. This study aims to examine the relationship between customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction and value, considering the roles of social anxiety and the retail environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents three written-scenario experimental studies, where C2C interaction and the retail environment are manipulated, and social anxiety levels are measured. The settings and the measures are changed across the experiments to increase the results’ validity.

Findings

A three-way interaction among C2C interaction, social anxiety and retail environment has impacts on experience value and other value-related variables (satisfaction and positive mood). In the offline retail environment, as social anxiety levels increase, the effects of C2C interaction on these variables become weaker. In the online retail environment, as social anxiety levels increase, these effects become stronger.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the literature in three ways. First, it investigates the downside of positive C2C interactions when considering social anxiety and the retail environment where they occur. Second, this paper amplifies the literature about value by extending it to other consumers who can affect the service experience. Finally, this study explores online C2C interaction in a retail environment, an aspect that has been neglected in the research about online interactions.

Practical implications

This paper suggests strategies to manage C2C interaction for customers of varying levels of social anxiety in offline and online retail environments to maximise value for them.

Originality/value

This paper challenges the widespread idea that a positive C2C interaction always leads to value. By considering social anxiety and the retail environment in C2C literature, this paper explains why and when it is a false notion.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Nathan Lowrance and Heather Lea Moulaison

Readability applications are the software products designed to make online text more readable. Using information foraging theory as a framework, the purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Readability applications are the software products designed to make online text more readable. Using information foraging theory as a framework, the purpose of this paper is to study the extent, if at all, using a readability application improves skimming comprehension in a low-clutter online environment. It also seeks to identify the perceived benefits or effects of using a readability application for skimming comprehension.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten participants skimmed two articles each, one in a low-clutter online document presentation environment, the other using an online readability application, as a timed, information foraging exercise. After reading each article, respondents answered true/false comprehension questions and follow up questions.

Findings

There was little difference in the comprehension of respondents after skimming in the two online documentation presentation environments. The readability environment was the preferred environment.

Practical implications

This study suggests that since participants claimed to prefer the text presentation of the readability application interface, interface designers may wish to create library interfaces for information seeking that follow the readability application format. Because some of the participants found themselves reading rather than skimming when using the readability application, readability for tasks other than skimming may be enhanced.

Originality/value

This is a practical study investigating an existing online readability application and its effects on an existing online reading environment as they pertain to information seeking behavior in general and to information foraging in particular.

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Felicity Small, David Dowell and Peter Simmons

Teachers have access to a growing range of online tools to support course delivery, but which ones are valued by students? Expectations and satisfaction are important…

Abstract

Purpose

Teachers have access to a growing range of online tools to support course delivery, but which ones are valued by students? Expectations and satisfaction are important constructs in the delivery of a service product, and how these constructs operate in a service environment, such as education where the student can also take on the role of the customer is unknown. This study focuses on the student perspective of online tools. The aim of this paper is to measure students' expectations and perceived importance of, and satisfaction with, a range of tools available in a virtual learning environment.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey (n=396) was conducted and descriptive measures and statistical analysis were produced.

Findings

Results show that the tools that enable instructors to communicate with students and vice versa are more important to students and more satisfying to them than tools that enable students to interact with each other. Also, business students appear to be different from non‐business students, with respect to desired communications tools.

Practical implications

The findings help us to understand business students' communication preference, which in turn helps teachers to create an educationally meaningful learning environment.

Originality/value

This work connects an established model for online interactions with students' expectations and level of satisfaction with tools that are currently being used in the online education environment.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

Keywords

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