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The Influence Of In-store Personnel On Online Store Value : An Analogical Transfer Perspective

Tibert Verhagen, Willemijn van Dolen, Jani Merikivi
Published 2019 · Psychology

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In today’s multichannel retail environment, consumers’ experiences in one channel influence their perceptions of another channel. Specifically, consumer evaluations of a firm’s online store have been found to be influenced by consumer interactions with the firm’s in‐store personnel. This paper is among the first to address this assumption and test it empirically. Drawing upon the analogical transfer paradigm, we propose hypotheses and accordingly model in‐store personnel’s competence and friendliness as determinants of online store usefulness, online store enjoyment, and online store value. Using consumer data collected from two Dutch multichannel retailers, we test this model with partial least squares modeling. The results provide clear support for the model and confirm that consumers may use characteristics of in‐store personnel as analogies when evaluating a firm’s online store. Implications for research and retail managers are discussed.
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