The Effects of 3rd Party Consensus Information on Service Expectations and Online Trust –
Journal of Business Research by Ray Benedicktus, OC Marketing Analytics

Abstract: The marketing literature has recently explored a number of ways in which trust can be communicated by Internet retailers, including 3rd party consensus ratings. This paper explores the impact of consensus sequences over time and across high and low ranges, rather than the mere valence of ratings as presented in past research. Second, effects are compared across products with variant levels of risk. Two experiments investigate service quality inferences, expected satisfaction, and trust beliefs for online retailers as outcomes of 3rd party consensus information (i.e., agreement among a firm’s past customers). Results indicate that online trust beliefs vary positively with consensus ratings and trust is higher when ratings trends increase rather than decrease. Service quality inferences and expected satisfaction are shown to mediate these relationships. More interestingly, results of study two suggest sequence direction becomes insignificant when ratings do not approach certain range limits (e.g., high, moderate, low cut-offs). Comparisons across products varying in risk show that consensus ratings are more important when consumers evaluate high risk products. Implications for both researchers and practitioners are offered.

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Conveying Trustworthiness to Online Consumers: Reactions to Consensus, Physical Store Presence, Brand Familiarity, and Generalized Suspicion – Journal of Retailing by Ray Benedicktus (OC Marketing Analytics), Michael Brady, Peter Darke, and Clay Voorhees

Abstract: Etailers have been losing market share to brick and mortar retailers that also sell products online. Two related studies investigate means by which etailers can convey trustworthiness to consumers and thereby increase purchase intentions relative to hybrid firms. Study 1 examines whether consensus information (i.e., the extent of satisfaction agreement among previous customers) and brand familiarity exert independent or interactive effects on consumer perceptions across retailers that possess, or lack, a physical presence. Study 2 tests a potential boundary condition of the effects of consensus information and brand familiarity by introducing generalized suspicion, which is a common condition for online buyers. Results suggest that consensus information provides a broad cue that conveys trustworthiness and leads to greater purchase intentions for both familiar and unfamiliar brands, as well as hybrid and etailer firms. In comparison, the effects of physical presence and brand familiarity were somewhat narrower in scope.

However, we find that consensus information alone is not sufficient to buffer against active, generalized suspicions online. Instead, a combination of high consensus and brand familiarity is necessary for this purpose. The paper concludes with recommendations on how etailers can convey trustworthiness in online exchanges and how future research can build upon these findings.

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The Effect of Incentives on Customer Evaluations of Service Bundles – Journal of Business Research by Ray Benedicktus (OC Marketing Analytics), Melinda Andrews, and Michael Brady

Abstract: Effects of service bundle incentives on perceived value, search intentions, and switching intentions are assessed in two independent studies. The first study demonstrates that service bundling influences switching and search intentions through perceived value. Results related to bundle incentives support the salience of the convenience associated with consolidating charges onto one bill. Further analysis reveals that explicit valuation of savings creates higher perceived value than convenience alone; however, search and switching intentions are unaffected by incentives or valuation thereof beyond the convenience effect. A second study replicates key parts of these results. Research and practical implications are discussed.

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Loyalty’s Influence on the Consumer Satisfaction and (re) Purchase Behavior Relationship –
Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction & Complaining Behavior by Sunil Thomas (OC Marketing Analytics), Thaweephan Leingpibul, Allen Broyles, and Robert Ross

Abstract: While consumer satisfaction has been a topic of significant scholarly interest in recent years, continued studies that further our understanding of satisfaction and its association with (re)purchase behavior are valuable because such knowledge will enhance theorists’ and practitioners’ ability to develop more effective marketing strategies. Interestingly, current literature indicates that consumer loyalty may have an association with satisfaction, (re)purchase behavior and the predictive relationships between these phenomena. To this end, we present here an empirical study which finds that consumer loyalty is two distinct constructs (behavioral loyalty and attitudinal loyalty) and that they mediate the predictive relationships between the meets expectations and feeling state satisfaction constructs and (re)purchase behavior. The study employed two well-known brands and Structural Equation Modeling.

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