Shopper experience with non-competitive webrooming: an empirical investigation into the home retail industry in Thailand

Jason Sit, Sarunwit Pakdeenok Pakdeenok, Jason Pallant

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

The development of multichannel retailing has brought forth webrooming which involves shoppers searching online and buying instore. It has become a shopper behaviour prevalent in today’s retail landscape, particularly in developed markets (e.g. UK and US). On the contrary, webrooming represents an emerging shopper behaviour in developing markets like Thailand due to several environmental forces (e.g. infancy of multichannel retailing, lack of trust in online websites and cultural emphasis on in-store service). Webrooming can be characterised as competitive and non-competitive in nature (Gensler et al., 2017), whereby the former refers to consumers searching online and purchase in-store from different retailers and the latter involves customers visiting and buying from the same retailer. The chief interest of the present study is the latter and, more specifically, its development in the home retail industry in Thailand. Three research issues guide the empirical investigation of the present study: 1) how can shopper experience with non-competitive webrooming be conceptualised and measured, particularly in relation to the online search and in-store purchase processes?; 2) how significantly do these two processes relate to each other?; and 3) how do these two processes collectively influence shoppers’ subsequent behaviours? The empirical investigation was grounded in the customer-experience framework of Gentile et al. (2007) and comprised of a computer-assisted survey administered to 222 customers of a national home retailer in Thailand. At the macroscopic level, exploratory factor analysis identified three factors meaningfully and consistently encapsulate the shopper experience with both online search and instore purchase processes, namely i) pragmatic experience, ii) sensorial experience, and iii) emotional experience. At the microscopic level, however, the in-store purchase experience is more complex and multifaceted than the online-search experience, specifically with respect to the pragmatic experience factor which consists of three sub-factors (i.e. promotion, employee, and price). Regression analysis revealed that the emotional experienced provided by the in-store purchase process has the most significant and positive effect on shoppers’ choice confidence and purchase intention. The present study aims to contribute to the extant literature of webrooming by illuminating the complex and yet measurable nature, and the positive outcomes of this consumer behaviour from a customer-experience perspective. It also aims to provide home retailers with practical suggestions on how to positively manage and harness this consumer behaviour. As suggested by our empirical investigation, it is most likely via designing and delivering favourable in-store experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2018
Event25th Recent Advances in Retailing and Services Science - Madeira Island, Portugal
Duration: 16 Jul 201819 Jul 2018

Conference

Conference25th Recent Advances in Retailing and Services Science
CountryPortugal
CityMadeira Island
Period16/07/1819/07/18

Keywords

  • webrooming
  • multichannel shopping
  • consumer behaviour

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