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This research seeks to investigate how in-store mobile use affects store loyalty directly or indirectly via the mediation of store value and whether social influence moderates such relationships.Design/methodology/approachBased on a sample of 862 actual customers from a market research company panel, we used structural equation modelling to test a series of research hypotheses.FindingsThe results show a positive but weak effect of in-store smartphone use on loyalty. This effect is significantly mediated by the store’s hedonic and symbolic value dimensions, but not by its utilitarian value. This research also uncovers significant moderation effects of social influence on the relationships investigated. The effect of in-store smartphone use on store loyalty is stronger when social influence is lower. However, the effects of hedonic and symbolic store value are stronger when social influence is higher.Research limitations/implicationsThis research is carried out in one country (France). It focuses on social influence through in-store mobile phone use; it would also be useful to consider physical social influence.Practical implicationsRetailers should position their stores on specific value dimensions and use social influence appropriately to improve loyalty. For instance, utilitarian value should be offered to customers with low social influence. To prevent negative social influence, retailers could develop “controlled” social influence through their own private mobile app to favour interaction.Originality/valueThis research underlines the critical role of store value and social influence on the relationships between smartphone use and store loyalty. It shows that the effects of value dimensions (utilitarian, hedonic and symbolic) on loyalty differ depending on social influence level.
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2021
Keywords: In-store smartphone use; Mobile; Store loyalty; Store value; Social influence
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