Understanding the virtual tours of retail stores: how can store brand experience promote visit intentions?

Eunsoo Baek, Ho Jung Choo, Xiaoyong Wei, So Yeon Yoon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: As consumers spend more time shopping online, traditional retailers are facing a decline in on-site shoppers. To help the industry in the omnichannel era, we propose that a virtual tour of a store could affect brand equity and promote store visit intentions, based on a well-established brand experience account. Design/methodology/approach: The virtual tour stimuli were created using 360-degree photos of real stores. Participants explored the store virtually and then completed an online survey. With 240 responses drawn from the general population in the US, structural equation modelling (SEM) was used. Findings: Results showed that store brand experiences significantly affected consumers and the four brand experience dimensions exerted differentiated effects. Sensory and behavioural experiences directly increased intentions to visit the store, whereas intellectual and emotional experiences promoted visit intentions via enhanced brand equity. Originality/value: This is the first retail study investigating a virtual tour through the lens of brand experience. It is also one of a handful that examined the distinctive effects of the four brand experience dimensions, which deserve scholars’ attention and further inquiry. The virtual tour can be a powerful branding tool in the online-dominant retailing era. Retailers can employ a virtual tour not only to increase brand equity but also to cultivate consumers’ intentions to visit their stores. Furthermore, the use of 360-degree interactive media to evoke the virtual experience of a store renders higher generalizability and extendibility in future research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-666
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2020

Keywords

  • Brand equity
  • Store brand experience
  • Virtual tour
  • Visit intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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