University of Tasmania
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Storescape and customer citizenship behaviour in retail stores : the mediation and moderation effects of customer attitudes

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posted on 2023-05-28, 12:27 authored by Gorji, M
In the competitive environment of retailing, where retailers routinely provide similar products or services, it can be difficult to create a competitive advantage to attract and retain customers. In this context, a higher level of positive customer experience is more likely to generate a unique and sustainable competitive advantage for organisations. Research has shown that customer citizenship behaviour is an indicator of customers' positive in-store experience. Such behaviour can provide the retailer with extra resources to achieve success. Therefore, an understanding of the factors that result in positive in-store experiences and customer citizenship behaviour is important for retailers. Although prior research has considered some of the antecedents of customer citizenship behaviour, to date, no study has investigated the predictor effect of the physical and social environment, referred to in this research as 'storescape', on customer citizenship behaviour. To fill this gap, this study draws on Resource and Social Exchange Theories and the Stimulus-Organism-Response model and examines the effect of storescape (physical and social) on customer citizenship behaviour in the context of department stores and discount department stores. Both department stores and discount department stores offer very different in-store environments, and so can be expected to differ in terms of the extent to which their storescapes will attract and retain customers. Therefore, an understanding of the factors that result in these differences between the outcomes of department stores and discount department stores is important. The study further investigates the mediating effects of customer affective attitudes (i.e., store attachment, customer satisfaction and loyalty) on the physical and social storescape and customer citizenship behaviour link. The study also examines the moderating effects of customer cognitive attitudes (i.e., perceived product quality and price fairness), employee citizenship behaviour towards customers and store type (i.e., department stores versus discount department stores) in the relationship between the research model constructs. This study utilises a quantitative method. Data were collected via a survey administered by an online research panel provider to 205 customers of department stores and 210 customers of discount department stores in Australia. Structural equation modelling was used to test the direct and mediating effects by Amos v.23 and the PROCESS macro for SPSS was used to test the moderation hypotheses. Social storescape was found to be an important predictor of customer citizenship behaviour; however, physical storescape was not. The findings show that affective attitudes mediate the relationship between physical and social storescape and customer citizenship behaviour. Results reveal that an interaction between storescape and cognitive attitudes positively affect customer affective attitudes. Results also demonstrate the moderating role of store type on storescape-affective attitudes link; that is, the effects of storescape factors on affective attitudes in discount department stores were stronger than department stores. Finally, findings demonstrate the interaction effect of employee citizenship behaviour towards customers in the link between loyalty and customer citizenship behaviour. This study makes significant theoretical contributions to the marketing literature. The study is the first known to explore the direct effect of storescape on customer citizenship behaviour drawing on Resource Exchange Theory. Thus, the study provides a sound basis for future research of the store/service environment and its influence on extra-role behaviours. The study also extends the Stimulus-Organism-Response model by including the moderating effects of cognitive attitudes. Using the lens of Social Exchange Theory, the study extends the relationship between loyalty and customer citizenship behaviour by incorporating employee citizenship behaviour towards customers. The study also has considerable practical implications. By implementing specific measures to acknowledge the direct effect of social storescape on customer citizenship behaviour, and noting this direct effect was not significant for physical storescape, retail managers can consider emphasising the factors that improve social storescape including retail policies and procedures and employees' social behaviours. The study results clearly show that social storescape is more important as a direct predictor than physical storescape, but both physical and social storescape can raise customers' motivation to engage in customer citizenship behaviour through shaping positive affective attitudes. Therefore, managers should consider the effects of both physical and social storescape in creating favourable emotions, which affect customer behaviour. The study also highlights the moderating role of cognitive attitudes in the storescape and affective attitudes relationships. Therefore, employing strategies that improve customers' perception of price fairness and product quality can help retailers shape affective attitudes and subsequently customer citizenship behaviour. In conclusion, the findings of the study contribute to the marketing literature such that storescape provides both direct and indirect valuable resources to customers and affects affective attitudes which subsequently improves customer citizenship behaviour. Furthermore, as well as the improvement of physical and social storescape quality, considering the quality of products, prices fairness and employee citizenship behaviour towards customers can increase customer citizenship behaviour. Therefore, it is important for retailers to identify the factors that encourage customers to engage in citizenship behaviours because customer citizenship behaviour can contribute to the success and effectiveness of retailers by providing additional resources and specific opportunities to create a competitive advantage.


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