A Global Study of How Goals and Emotions Influence Consumers’ Satisfaction with Their Retail Channel Experiences

Crina Tarasi, Central Michigan University
Ruth N. Bolton, Arizona State University
Anders Gustafsson, Karlstad University
Lars Witell, Linköping University

Since more than 80% of retailers operate multiple channels, the delivery of a seamless and satisfying channel experiences is extremely important – especially in a global markets. This study models how consumers assess their satisfaction with different channels based on their focal goals, emotions and perceptions of experiential attributes, such as “ease of finding products.” The model is estimated with responses from 2.5 million consumers surveyed by a retailer operating more than 400 stores – plus catalogs and website channels – in 44 countries. Separate satisfaction equations are estimated for three shopping goals−searching, browsing and buying− for each of three different channels − yielding 304 satisfaction equations. Our hypothesis tests show that the magnitudes of the coefficients of the satisfaction equations are very different across channels for the same goal and across goals for the same channel. The theoretical explanation for these differences is that consumers’ focal goals and emotions influence their attentional mechanisms, assessments of goal progress and evaluative processes. Hence, consumers’ selection of a channel and focal goal, as well as their channel-evoked emotions, moderate the effect of perceptions of experiential attributes on his/her satisfaction with the channel experience. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for multi-channel retailers.

 

This is a working paper.