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Conversations during purchase consideration: sales assistants and customers

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Abstract:

Conversations among and between our fellow customers and sales personnel provide social and informational exchange to support material exchange in retail settings. A 2 x 2 factorial field experiment (in a ladies' clothing retailing context) was undertaken to compare perceptions of the effects of oral contributions made by sales assistants, and by fellow customers, on levels of satisfaction, purchase intentions and credibility during the service experience. Conversations with other customers are shown to lead to greater perceived satisfaction in the consideration phase than those with sales assistants. Sales assistants are confirmed as less credible, and the notion that spoken interactions with assistants may lead to increased purchase intention is rejected.

Keywords: CONVERSATIONS; LADIES' FASHION RETAILING; PURCHASE INTENTIONS; SATISFACTION; SOURCE CREDIBILITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/095939697342987

Publication date: July 1, 1997

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