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Ebrahim Mazaheri

Do customers across cultures react similarly to experiential value online?

The digital context of e-retailing makes it both a suitable platform for experiential consumption and an easily accessible shopping method across cultures. As e-retailers strive to expand their customer-base by targeting customers internationally, this study looked at how consumers across different cultures react differently to experiential value offered by e-retailers.

What You Need to Know

Experiential value refers to the shopping benefits that go beyond the traditional factors of quality and price, as retailers focus on the promise of a pleasurable customer experience, rather than merely promising superior product attributes. It is based on enhanced aesthetics, elements of playfulness, service excellence and providing higher return on customers’ investment.

But do customers across cultures react similarly to experiential value? This research found out by looking at the cultural differences between Chinese and North American customers, and how they shape the way these customers behave differently when offered experiential value on e-retailing websites. Overall, experiential value has a stronger positive impact on the involvement and patronage of the website for American customers than on those of Chinese customers.

More Details

What Did the Researchers Do?

Saeed Shobeiria, Ebrahim Mazaheri and Michel Laroche collected data from North American and Chinese customers to investigate how experiential value derived from their online shopping determines customers’ involvement and attitude towards the site, and subsequently their loyalty intentions towards the website.

What Did the Researchers Find?

Incorporating experiential value on a company’s website is more influential for North American than for Chinese customers. Specifically, the effects of experiential value on website involvement and customers’ patronage intentions are stronger for North Americans than for Chinese customers. On the other hand, the impact of website involvement on attitudes and the influence of attitudes on patronage intentions are stronger for Chinese customers compared with the North American customers. These differences stem from the distinct cultural values of these groups of customers.

How Can You Use This Research?

Online retailers are not limited by geographic restrictions, and often cater to an international customer base. That also makes it important to better understand the cultural, and the resulting behavioral differences that exist among these customers.

Using this research, online businesses can adapt their websites across regions to better suit the behavioral tendencies of the customers. Experiential value, for instance, should be a bigger focus when marketing to North American customers.

Want to Know More?

Contact: Ebrahim Mazaheri

Article citation: Shobeiri, S., Mazaheri, E., & Laroche, M. (2018). Creating the Right Customer Experience Online: The Influence of Culture. Journal of Marketing Communications, 24(3), 270-290.

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