Transference and congruence effects on purchase intentions in online stores of multi-channel retailers: initial evidence from the U.S. and South Korea
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Drawing from research on retailing, online shopping behavior, and theories of cognitive psychology, we develop and test a framework that investigates purchase intentions in online stores of multi-channel retailers. The framework simultaneously examines the influence of transference of attitude and trust from the multi-channel retailer’s physical to online stores, image congruence between the multi-channel retailer’s physical and online stores, and image congruence between the multi-channel retailer’s online store and a prototypical online store. Further, recognizing that several retailers now operate as multi-channel retailers in different countries, we examine the influence of cultural differences in thought processes (i.e., holistic versus analytic thinking) on shoppers’ evaluation of online stores of multi-channel retailers. Toward this end, we test the framework using data collected from respondents in the U.S. (analytic thinkers) and South Korea (holistic thinkers). We conclude with a discussion of the findings, suggestions for future research, and potential limitations.
KeywordsMulti-channel retailing Online purchase intentions Trust and attitude transference Image congruence Analytic versus holistic thinking styles
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