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Purpose – In the context of relationship marketing, it is highly important for providers to identify the main buyer relational benefits influencing satisfaction and loyalty so that a continuous and satisfactory business relationship is guaranteed. Since it has been reported that information technology (IT) might constitute a source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, this paper aims to test the moderating role of IT in the relationships between perceived benefits, satisfaction and loyalty in a business‐to‐business (B2B) setting. Design/methodology/approach – A structural equations model was empirically tested. Additionally, the moderating role of IT in the relationships between perceived relational benefits, buyer satisfaction and loyalty towards the main supplier was tested through a multi‐sample analysis. Findings – The results show that IT contributes to strengthen the link between satisfaction and loyalty. In contrast, the relationship between social benefits and buyer satisfaction is only observed for suppliers with low technological intensity. Practical implications – While IT helps suppliers to turn satisfied customers into loyal customers, it hinders the relationship between social benefits and buyer satisfaction. Therefore, a series of recommendations on the use of IT solutions by service providers are proposed. Originality/value – Although relational benefits have been studied in the scope of tourism companies in their relationships with end customers, there is still little evidence in the context of B2B relationships. This paper sheds additional light on this issue as well as analyzing the impact of IT on these relationships.
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 30, 2010
Keywords: Relationship marketing; Customer satisfaction; Customer loyalty; Communication technologies; Travel; Buyer‐seller relationship
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