Informations and abstract
Keywords: Customer Experience; Touchpoints; Word-of-Mouth; Relationship Commitment; Omnichannel Retailing.
The current availability of multiple touchpoints enables customers and retailers to continuously interact, leading to an increase in the complexity of the customer experience. Retailers manage the customer experience with the final aim to achieve long-term customer loyalty by designing and continually renewing touchpoint combinations. It becomes therefore relevant to measure the role of each touchpoint within the customer experience and its contribution to the relationship between the customer and the retailer. However, few studies provide a comprehensive view on the role of touchpoints within the customer experience and no studies focus on the relative contribution of touchpoints with respect to customer loyalty. This work aims to address these gaps by providing a comprehensive examination of the relative importance of retail touchpoints in fostering customer loyalty. Data were collected by means of an online survey of over two thousands consumers belonging to the Italian Nielsen panel. Multiple regression models estimate the relationship between retail touchpoint exposure - measured in terms of positivity (the quality of the experience with touchpoints) of exposure - and loyalty measured in terms of relationship commitment and positive word-of-mouth. Empirical evidence reveals that only five out of twenty-three touchpoints contribute to customer loyalty. «Traditional» touchpoints, such as store, store flyers and private labels, as well as «promotional» touchpoints, i.e. loyalty programs, are present among the most important touchpoints.