Role of social media in retail network operations and marketing to enhance customer satisfaction

Ramanathan, Usha, Subramanian, Nachiappan and Parrot, Guy (2017) Role of social media in retail network operations and marketing to enhance customer satisfaction. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 37 (1). pp. 105-123. ISSN 0144-3577

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Abstract

Purpose: Technology evolution compels retail network to come out with unique business models to retain customers and to win competitive advantage. Customer reviews available through social media need to be taken into account by retail networks to design a model with unique service operations and marketing approaches that will improve loyalty by value addition to the customers. Hence our study attempts to understand how retail network leverages the potential of social media review along with its unique service operations to satisfy customers. Additionally we plan to study the impact of marketing function’s brand and promotional offers interaction with social media review and service operations to satisfy customers.

Design/methodology/approach: We develop a conceptual model for this era of social media. We combine the idea of loyalty based and value based models of Chatterjee (2013). We use a survey questionnaire method to get opinions of retail customers satisfaction based on social media review, service operations and marketing efforts. We derive measures of our model from existing literature and expert opinions.

Findings: Social media review is having a strong impact on customer satisfaction. Similarly our empirical analysis identifies the significant positive role of service operations in customer satisfaction. Interestingly we didn’t find enough support for brand satisfaction on customer satisfaction. However, when promotion interacts well with service operations, the customer satisfaction is significantly affected. Similarly we didn’t see positive outcome when there is an interaction between promotion and social media review. After reading the reviews, some potential buyers make a visit to store before making final decisions and surprisingly promotional effects are not changing their mind set.

Practical implications: Research findings insist the importance of social media review, marketing and interaction between promotion and service operations would help retail network to build loyalty and value based models. This sends a strong message to retail network that promotions combined with service operations, good planning and reasonable pricing can help retail network to sustain in the competitive business market.

Originality/value: We combine social media review, promotions with service operations of the retailers to improve customer satisfaction. The idea of combining social media review, marketing and operations will help businesses to survive competition in the social media era.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Nachiappan Subramanian
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2017 16:00
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2017 16:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66408
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