Using chatbots in e-retailing: how to mitigate perceived risk and enhance the flow experience

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Resumo

Purpose: Chatbots represent an undeniable player between online retailers and customers as they boost operational efficiency and bring cost savings to businesses while offering convenience for customers in terms of timing and immediacy. However, as chatbots represent a new-born online touchpoint in retailing, especially when it comes to online pre-purchase and purchase experience, this study examines whether and how effort expectation, facilitating condition, performance expectancy, social influence, trust, perceived risk and flow affect consumers' intention to use chatbots for online shopping. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 226 respondents participated in an online survey. Participants were asked to try a new online service and interact with a chatbot designed using Chatfuel, a platform within the Facebook Messenger setting. Structural equation modelling was used to test the proposed research model regarding the intention to use chatbots. Findings: This study discusses the importance of offering useful and trustworthy conversational agents for online shopping and argues and explains the insignificant paths amongst other studied factors and intention to use chatbots concluding with the need to explore more drivers for such contemporary technologies. Moreover, the findings indicate that trust turns out to be an important predictor of behavioural intention towards chatbots, in addition to its role in mitigating perceived risk and enhancing flow experience. Originality/value: Given the lack of empirical evidence related to chatbots applied for business purposes, this paper fills a gap in this research field and provides a deeper understanding of what leverages consumers' intention to use chatbots for online shopping.

Idioma originalEnglish
Número de páginas23
RevistaInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
DOIs
Estado da publicaçãoAceite para publicação - 2022

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