ABSTRACT

Purpose - The online-to-offline (O2O) business model has brought considerable changes to the traditional Chinese business model. The main difference between O2O and pure online consumption is that O2O offers a richer experience and word-of-mouth. it is easier to trigger online word-of-mouth. However, few scholars have been concerned about the impact of experiential value on customer satisfaction and online word-of-mouth (e-WOM) in the study of O2O. This study takes the O2O business model in China’s catering industry as its research object and uses structural equation modelling to analyze the impact of online and offline experiential values on customer satisfaction and e-WOM. Research design, data, and methodology - According to previous researches, consumer experiential value is mainly divided into return on investment (economy and efficiency), service excellence, playfulness and aesthetics. According to the characteristics of O2O in China’s catering industry, this study divides the online experience value into efficiency and economy (return on investment). The offline part is divided into return on investment (economy and efficiency), service excellence, playfulness and aesthetics. Using a web-based survey, we collected 303 valid samples. Structural equation modelling was used to create the research model. Results - The results show that efficiency (online) and service excellence (offline) have a significant effect on customer satisfaction. Economics (online) and playfulness (offline) have a positive impact on customers’ e-WOM. In addition, the higher the customer satisfaction, the greater the positive impact on the spread by word of mouth. However, aesthetic(offline) and return on investment(offline) have no significant impact to customer satisfaction and e-WOM. Conclusions - The study findings show that the key to boost customer satisfaction in the catering industry is to improve product quality and service. Although traditional competitive strategies such as online discount have been questioned by many scholars about their decreasing effectiveness, they are indispensable means to attract online traffic and trigger e-WOM. The traditional enterprises can reconstruct traditional business processes through the O2O model to effectively improve customer satisfaction and word of mouth by improving the experiential value of economy and efficiency. Additionally, it can be used as the natural advantages of online communication to induce customers to engage in word of mouth and attract more potential customers.

KEYWORD

Experiential Value, O2O, e-WOM, Customer Satisfaction.

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