Det digitala kundmötet - En kvantitativ studie om hur införandet av ett kundmöte online påverkar konsumenters betalningsvilja

Detta är en C-uppsats från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Sammanfattning: In a digital world, brick and mortar retailers are struggling to compete with e-tailers and their competitive prices. Physical stores are closing due to consumers going online, pressuring brick and mortar retailers to do the same. Furthermore, due to the high demands of the consumers, retailers have to align their offline and online channels to create a seamless customer experience. To be able to compete with pure online retailers, brick and mortar retailers need to create an additional value that makes the consumers willing to pay a higher price. This study proposes that an additional service online can help retailers create that value and compete with e-tailers in an online environment. Previous literature shows a gap between the definition of service offline and online, where the main discrepancy is the service encounter between staff and customer, which in the majority of online channels, is non-existent. The purpose of this study is to explore whether an additional service online, by way of a service encounter, can lead to a competitive advantage for brick and mortar retailers competing online by increasing consumers' willingness to pay. To explore this proposition, a quantitative study on a fictitious beauty retailer's website is performed. The results indicate that a service encounter online increases consumers' perceptions of the retailer's expertise, as well as the consumers' individual attention from the company. The individual attention a consumer receives from the retailer induces a higher willingness to pay. Moreover, the retailer's expertise indirectly contribute to a higher willingness to pay, with consumer effort as an indirect mediator. Consequently, the results suggest a number of managerial and theoretical implications. To compete with e-tailers online the study recommends brick and mortar retailers to impose a service encounter in their online channels. Theoretically the study decreases the current gap in the previous literature regarding service offline and online. Furthermore, the study opens up for future research within a new area of service online.

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