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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Experience and Inspiration in the Customer Journey

Published: May 25, 2021


Dennis Herhausen, KEDGE Business School; Carla Freitas Silveira Netto, University of Bologna; Heiner Evanschitzky, Alliance Manchester Business School The University of Manchester; Gianluca Scheidegger, University of St.Gallen, Institute of Retail Management; Mirella Kleijnen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


"Customer experience and inspiring customers lie at the heart of marketing and are important construct in customer journeys. However, due to the explosion of digital content, the ubiquity of mobile, the “platformization” of business, and more general the rise of new technologies, customers and employees alike now interact with firms through a myriad of touchpoints. As a result, customer journeys have become more extensive and versatile, which makes it difficult for firms to provide a positive experience and inspiration to their customers and employees. To date, there is still limited research focusing on experience and inspiration in journeys. This special session addresses this shortcoming with four research papers. The first paper titled “What Drives Channel Choice in Customer Journeys: A Meta-Analysis” by Umut Konus, Carla Silveira Netto, and Sara Valentini uses a meta-analysis to provide a systematic empirical review of both antecedents and consequences of channel choice within complex customer journeys. Customers’ channel choice influences a firm’s ability to inspire their customers, and these cumulative insights provide some important foundational knowledge to foster inspiration during the customer journey. The second paper titled “What Drives Customer Inspiration in Retailing Journeys?” by Heiner Evanschitzky, Christof Backhaus, Markus Blut, Marc Linzmajer, and Thomas Rudolph uses a critical incident study from 1,174 customers (Study 1) to extract a set of inspiration-inducing retailer activities. In a quantitative cross-sectional field study with 874 grocery shoppers (Study 2), they find evidence that certain retailer activities are related to inspiration and relevant downstream outcomes. In an experiment with 696 subjects, they then investigate the process through which retailer activities lead to customer inspiration (Study 3) and thereby uncover the crucial role of cognitive disruption. The third fourth paper titled “In-Store Inspiration: How to Elicit Impulse Buying in the Shopper Journey” by Dennis Herhausen, Gianluca Scheidegger, Dhruv Grewal, and Davide Scheidegger investigates customer inspiration at the point of purchase with 142 randomized field experiments that include 52,400,331 shopping journeys. The cumulative results indicate that the product category and the video content determine the effectiveness of inspiration. The fourth paper titled “Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Patient and Staff Experience in the Healthcare Journey” by Nick Lee, Mirella Kleijnen, Matthew Carter, Laura Chamberlain, and Geoffrey Durden uses data from all acute hospitals in the English NHS to illustrate that that patient experience evaluations compliment, rather than substitute for, clinical outcomes. Interestingly, staff advocacy of nurses and doctors is indicative of clinical outcomes as well as patient experience evaluations."