This article aims at analysing the empirical categories and the main determinants of channel choices in the contractualized individual services category, with particular reference to multichannel search patterns and webrooming behaviours, whereby customers search online but purchase offline (namely, at the service provider’s premises). Based on an international survey of motor insurance customers, a set of hypotheses on the determinants of customers’ shopping journeys, inclusive of search and purchase channel decisions, have been tested with a multinomial logistic regression. Our results show that channel choices - both relative to search and to purchase - are significantly influenced by the customer’s preference for personal interaction (which typically favours the personal, offline, channels); overall, the relevance of channel choice determinants differs in the different shopping phases: indeed, while the search patterns (mono vs multiple; digital vs personal) are mainly determined by the customer need for information and by her/his preference for shopping innovation and enjoyment, the purchase channel choices are mainly driven by the customer’s preference for service quality (personal purchase) and by his/her price consciousness (digital purchase). In particular, webrooming behaviours occur when a less price-conscious customer, after having actively explored multiple channels to satisfy the appetite for information, eventually prefers to purchase the service at the provider’s physical store (i.e. the insurance agent) to satisfy his/her preference for personal interaction and service quality. These results shed light on multichannel behaviours in service industries and may help providers better inform the retail strategies of contractualized individual services.

Multichannel search patterns and webrooming behaviours in the service industries: the case of motor insurance

Tun-I HU
Methodology
;
Andrea Tracogna
Conceptualization
2021

Abstract

This article aims at analysing the empirical categories and the main determinants of channel choices in the contractualized individual services category, with particular reference to multichannel search patterns and webrooming behaviours, whereby customers search online but purchase offline (namely, at the service provider’s premises). Based on an international survey of motor insurance customers, a set of hypotheses on the determinants of customers’ shopping journeys, inclusive of search and purchase channel decisions, have been tested with a multinomial logistic regression. Our results show that channel choices - both relative to search and to purchase - are significantly influenced by the customer’s preference for personal interaction (which typically favours the personal, offline, channels); overall, the relevance of channel choice determinants differs in the different shopping phases: indeed, while the search patterns (mono vs multiple; digital vs personal) are mainly determined by the customer need for information and by her/his preference for shopping innovation and enjoyment, the purchase channel choices are mainly driven by the customer’s preference for service quality (personal purchase) and by his/her price consciousness (digital purchase). In particular, webrooming behaviours occur when a less price-conscious customer, after having actively explored multiple channels to satisfy the appetite for information, eventually prefers to purchase the service at the provider’s physical store (i.e. the insurance agent) to satisfy his/her preference for personal interaction and service quality. These results shed light on multichannel behaviours in service industries and may help providers better inform the retail strategies of contractualized individual services.
8-mar-2021
Pubblicato
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43039-021-00021-0#citeas
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2991396
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