Research Tool for Evaluating In-store Consumer Attitudes and Behavior
The researchers investigated the impact of in-store product review displays for enhancing affective responses and purchase intentions toward products with sustainability branding. Previous research in the context of online shopping has shown that reviews are highly emphasized by consumers, while there is no existing research on the marketing effects of excerpting such reviews for use in physical store displays. We used a virtual-reality approach to simulate a physical retail outlet, which made it possible to hold all environmental variables constant apart from the presence or absence of in-store product reviews. The findings indicated that the presence of such reviews was strongly associated with greater reported trust, satisfaction, and confidence in the sustainable products’ value. Purchase intentions toward the products were also higher when reviews were present, though this effect was smaller and more marginally significant compared to the affective responses. The findings also indicated that the perceived source credibility of the reviews was strongly linked to their impacts on trust, satisfaction, and confidence. These results demonstrate that in-store reviews can be a valuable marketing approach for products with added value such as sustainability claims, and that managers who use such displays should take steps to reinforce the reviews’ source credibility.
Saleh Kalantari, Bill Xu, Viraj Govani, Armin Mostafavi