Self-service operations at retail stores

The role of inter-customer interactions

Mei Li, Thomas Choi, Elliot Rabinovich, Aaron Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inter-customer interactions are important to the operation of self-services in retail settings. More specifically, when self-service terminals are used as part of customers' checkout processes in retail operations without the explicit involvement of retailers as the direct service providers, inter-customer interactions become a significant managerial issue. In this article, we examine the impact of inter-customer interactions at retail self-service terminals on customers' service quality perceptions and repeat purchase intentions at retail stores. We conduct a scenario-based experimental design (N = 674) using a 2 × 2 factorial design in which inter-customer interactions are divided into "positive" vs. "negative" and occur during the "waiting" or during the actual "transaction" stages of self-services at a retail store. We use attribution theory to develop the hypotheses. The results demonstrate that, through their interactions, fellow customers can exert influences on a focal customer's quality perceptions and repeat purchasing intentions toward a retail store. Furthermore, these influences were impacted by how customers attribute blame or assign responsibility toward the retail store. Service operations managers should leverage these interactions by designing into self-service settings the capacities and interfaces that are best suited for customers' co-production of their self-service experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)888-914
Number of pages27
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Fingerprint

Retail stores
Purchasing
Design of experiments
Managers
Service operations
Interaction

Keywords

  • attribution theory
  • inter-customer interactions
  • repurchase intention
  • self-service terminals
  • service quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Self-service operations at retail stores : The role of inter-customer interactions. / Li, Mei; Choi, Thomas; Rabinovich, Elliot; Crawford, Aaron.

In: Production and Operations Management, Vol. 22, No. 4, 07.2013, p. 888-914.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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