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"Alexa? What Keeps Consumers From Engaging With You?"

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Abstract

As the digital era continues to have a strong influence on how consumers effectively leverage technology, the prospect of introducing artificial intelligence, including smart speakers, into our homes and routines has become largely unavoidable (Bressgott, 2019; Davenport et al., 2020). Consumer use of smart speakers can provide both a competitive advantage for firms (though large amounts of valuable consumer data), as well convenience benefits for users. However, the availability of this data requires continued engagement with these devices in a deep, meaningful manner. This paper employs a mixed methods strategy to investigate the underlying reasons for how individual user, task, and technology characteristics influence deep customer engagement with smart speakers. While much research has been conducted concerning technology adoption and self-service technology adoption, in particular, this research seeks to add to current marketing and IS literature by examining the drivers of actual, continued, and deep engagement with smart speakers in the post-adoption phase. Currently, we see mixed findings between a willingness and resistance to engage with AI technology, many of which seem to be rooted in a) user characteristics such as personality, b) technology characteristics such as perceived anthropomorphism, and/or c) task characteristics such as willingness to delegate tasks to AI (Serenko, 2007; Swartz, 2003; Waytz et al., 2010a). Therefore, depth interviews in study one of this paper seek to examine how user, task, and technology characteristics that interact to influence or deter engagement with smart speakers. It also employs a metaphor analysis technique to identify moderating variables that may strengthen or weaken relationships between user, task, and technology characteristics and engagement. Findings from study one brought forth several user, task, and technology characteristics that were used in the development of a new empirical model. Study 2 tests this model through partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), subsequently contributing empirical evidence on drivers of engagement with smart speakers to the current body of literature (Wagner & Schramm-Klein, 2019).

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Once artificial intelligence (AI) is indistinguishable from human intelligence, and robots are highly similar in appearance and behavior to humans, there should be no reason to treat AI and robots differently from humans. However, even perfect AI and robots may still be subject to a bias (referred to as speciesism in this article), which will disadvantage them and be a barrier to their commercial adoption as chatbots, decision and recommendation systems, and staff in retail and service settings. The author calls for future research that determines causes and psychological consequences of speciesism, assesses the effect of speciesism on the adoption of new products and technologies, and identifies ways to overcome it.
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This article explores the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in aiding personalized engagement marketing—an approach to create, communicate, and deliver personalized offerings to customers. It proposes that consumers are ready for a new journey in which AI is a tool for endless options and information that are narrowed and curated in a personalized way. It also provides predictions for managers regarding the AI-driven environment on branding and customer management practices in both developed and developing countries.
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In this study, Structural Equation Modeling was utilized in an exploratory manner to answer the following questions: (1) Can relationship marketing practices be predicted by Big Five personality traits? (2) If yes, which type of personality trait has an effect on which type of relationship marketing practice? The findings show that all relationship marketing (RM) preferences can be predicted by personality traits of customers. Agreeableness and extroversion personality traits are the only predictors that explained all RM practices significantly. Conscientiousness had a great impact on financial and structural RM practice preferences, while higher degree of openness to experiences explained financial and social RM. Customers with higher scores in emotional stability who displayed higher levels of trust and calmness only explained financial RM preferences.
The fourth industrial revolution is making possible augmented reality (AR), which has the potential, among other things, to alter profoundly the ways in which individuals purchase and consume goods. Yet despite significant growth in the AR industry, the impact of this technology on consumers and other stakeholders in the retail environment has been little explored. In particular, the influence of anthropomorphism on consumers' perceptions of AR in the retail environment remains poorly understood. Specifically, randomly selected adults (n = 319) participated in a field based retail shopping experience using augmented reality on a mobile device, the findings presented here demonstrate that anthropomorphism indeed influences consumers' experiences of AR and their attitudes toward brands that use it. This study therefore has important theoretical implications as well as practical implications for managers. We begin by elaborating a theory of anthropomorphism in the context of retail marketing that can account for consumers' perceptions of AR in general. We then discuss how our findings can assist managers in the retail sector in leveraging the anthropomorphisation of AR as part of the effort to build effective relationships with their customers. Our findings further suggest that brands benefit when managers make AR a key part of the retail experience.
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In this study, we highlight the need and develop a framework for customer engagement (CE) by reviewing the marketing literature and analyzing popular press articles. By understanding the evolution of customer management, we develop the theory of engagement, arguing that when a relationship is satisfying and has emotional connectedness, the partners become engaged in their concern for each other. As a result, the components of customer engagement include both the direct and the indirect contributions of CE. Based on the theoretical support, our proposed framework elaborates on the components of CE as well as the antecedents (satisfaction and emotion) and consequences (tangible and intangible outcomes) of CE. We also discuss how convenience, nature of the firm (B2B vs. B2C), type of industry (service vs. product), value of the brand (high vs. low), and level of involvement (high vs. low) moderate the link between satisfaction and direct contribution, and between emotions and indirect contribution of CE, respectively. Further, we show how customer engagement can be gained and how firm performance can be maximized by discussing relevant strategies.
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The study suggests that the effect of repeated advertising exposures on brand evaluations is moderated by the ease with which the advertising message is processed. Increasing exposures enhanced the effectiveness of a difficult appeal, increased then decreased the effectiveness of a moderately difficult appeal, and decreased then increased the effectiveness of an easy appeal. These outcomes support the premise that message effectiveness can be affected by the time available for message processing and the time required for that task.
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Although a considerable amount of research in personality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality, identify the “Big Five” dimensions, and explore the meaning of each dimension, no parallel research has been conducted in consumer behavior on brand personality. Consequently, an understanding of the symbolic use of brands has been limited in the consumer behavior literature. In this research, the author develops a theoretical framework of the brand personality construct by determining the number and nature of dimensions of brand personality (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness). To measure the five brand personality dimensions, a reliable, valid, and generalizable measurement scale is created. Finally, theoretical and practical implications regarding the symbolic use of brands are discussed.
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The service encounter frequently is the service from the customer's point of view. Using the critical incident method, the authors collected 700 incidents from customers of airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The incidents were categorized to isolate the particular events and related behaviors of contact employees that cause customers to distinguish very satisfactory service encounters from very dissatisfactory ones. Key implications for managers and researchers are highlighted.
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The authors highlight the need for and develop a framework for engagement by reviewing the relevant literature and analyzing popular- press articles. They discuss the definitions of the focal constructs-customer engagement (CE) and employee engagement (EE)in the engagement framework, capture these constructs' multidimensional, and develop and refine items for measuring CE and EE. They validate the proposed framework with data from 120 companies over two time periods, and they develop strategies to help firms raise their levels of CE and EE to improve performance. They also observe that the influence of EE on CE is moderated by employee empowerment, type of firm (business-to- business [B2B] vs. business-to-consumer [B2C]), and nature of industry (manufacturing vs. service); in particular, this effect is stronger for B2B (vs. B2C) firms and sen/ice (vs. manufacturing) firms. The authors find that although both CE and EE positively influence firm performance, the effect of CE on firm performance is stronger. Furthermore, the effect of CE and EE on performance is enhanced for B2B (vs. B2C) and for service (vs. manufacturing) firms.
Article
Purpose Voice-activated smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home were recently developed and are gaining popularity. Understanding and theorizing the underlying mechanisms that encourage or impede consumers to use smart speakers is fundamental for enhancing acceptance and future development of these new devices. Therefore, building on technology acceptance research, this study aims to develop and test an acceptance model for investigating consumers’ intention to use smart speakers. Design/methodology/approach First, antecedents that may significantly affect the usage intention of smart speakers were identified through an explorative approach by a netnographic analysis of customer reviews ( N = 2,186) and Twitter data ( N = 899). Afterward, these results and contemporary literature were used to develop and validate an acceptance model for smart speakers. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the proposed hypotheses on data collected from 293 participants of an online survey. Findings Besides perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, the quality and diversity of a system, its enjoyment, consumer’s technology optimism and risk (surveillance anxiety and security/privacy risk) strongly affect the acceptance of smart speakers. Among these variables, enjoyment had the strongest effect on behavioral intention to use smart speakers. Originality/value This is the first study that incorporates netnography and SEM for investigating technology acceptance and applies it to the field of interactive smart devices.
Article
The present research proposes a new perspective to investigate the effect of product anthropomorphism on consumers’ comparative judgment strategy in comparing two anthropomorphized (vs. two nonanthropomorphized) product options in a consideration set. Six experiments show that anthropomorphism increases consumers’ use of an absolute judgment strategy (vs. a dimension-by-dimension strategy) in comparative judgment, leading to increased preference for the option with a more favorable overall evaluation over the option with a greater number of superior dimensions. The effect is mediated by consumers’ perception of each anthropomorphized product alternative as an integrated entity rather than a bundle of separate attributes. The authors find the effect to be robust by directly tracing the process of participants’ information processing using MouseLab software and eye-tracking techniques, and by self-reported preferences and real consumption choices. Moreover, the effect is moderated by the motivation to seek maximized accuracy or ease. These studies have important implications for theories about anthropomorphism and comparative judgment as well as marketing practice.