Authentic omnichannel: Providing consumers with a seamless brand experience through authenticity

Marta Massi, Chiara Piancatelli, Andrea Vocino

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Omnichannel represents a customer-oriented distribution paradigm through which retailers can deliver a seamless customer experience and create an authentic brand narrative that is communicated to customers across diverse touchpoints. Despite the increasing relevance of the omnichannel approach, research on how omnichannel can affect the customer experience remains scant. This research consists of a qualitative study and three experimental studies. Drawing from signaling theory, we contend that the signal congruency established by omnichannel—where all the channels are aligned and convey a consistent message to customers—can enhance consumers' purchase intention and perceptions of brand authenticity. We further investigate the role of brand authenticity as a mediator of the relationship between multichannel customer experience (seamless vs. nonseamless) and purchase intention, as well as of brand untrustworthiness as a moderator of the relationship between multichannel customer experience and brand authenticity. The results show that a seamless multichannel customer experience has a significant main effect on purchase intention and that participants in the seamless multichannel customer experience condition perceive the brand as more authentic than those in the nonseamless multichannel customer experience condition. Both the mediation and moderation hypotheses are supported. These findings enhance the literature on signaling theory and omnichannel. They also provide insightful implications for retailers in terms of managing the omnichannel customer experience. Overall, this study integrates the research areas of brand authenticity and omnichannel and provides valuable insights by indicating how seamlessness can boost consumers' perception of brand authenticity. Furthermore, the study advances our knowledge by investigating the impact of brand authenticity as both a result of the omnichannel customer experience and a predictor of purchase intention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1298
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul. 2023

Keywords

  • brand authenticity
  • brand experience
  • multichannel customer experience
  • omnichannel
  • seamlessness
  • signal congruency
  • signaling theory

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