Effect of Sensory Experience on Customer Word-of-mouth Intention, Considering the Roles of Customer Emotions, Satisfaction, and Loyalty

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Industrial Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Although word-of-mouth (WOM) intention has been studied as an outcome variable of some constructs such as loyalty, satisfaction, and trust in retail businesses but less attention has been given to the investigating the effect of sensory experience on customer WOM intention. Since studying concurrently the effects of sensory experience on customer emotions and customer WOM intention in retail chain stores are rare, the purpose of this paper is to study how customer sensory experience affect customer WOM intention in retail chain stores, considering the mediating role of customer emotions. For this purpose, 306 valid questionnaires were collected and analyzed from customers of one of the largest and oldest retail chain stores in Iran (ETKA chain stores). The proposed conceptual model of this research is developed on the basis of S-O-R model. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and multiple regression analysis used to examine the conceptual model of research. This model has been tested using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach by SmartPLS software. The results demonstrate that customer sensory experience directly and significantly affects customer emotions. It was also found that the direct effect of customer sensory experience on customer WOM intention is not very considerable but customer sensory experience indirectly affects customer WOM intention through customer emotions, satisfaction, and loyalty. In addition, regression analysis demonstrates that among the five sensory experiences (taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell), taste has the most effect on customer positive emotions. After taste experience, touch, sight, and sound have the most effect on customer positive emotions, respectively. Similarly, it was found that taste and touch experiences have negative and significant effect on customer negative emotions, and the effect of taste experience is stronger than the effect of touch experience.


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