The impact of anthropomorphism on customer satisfaction in chatbot commerce: An experimental study in the food sector

Katharina Klein, Luis F. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Food retailers are lagging behind other industries in implementing innovative mobile solutions offering their services and purchasing processes on their online platforms. Chatbots can be leveraged as an application to provide customer-centric services while retailers benefit from collecting consumer data. Previous literature on chatbot technology provides evidence that human characteristics enhance the customer experience. This is the first experimental study to investigate consumer attitudes and satisfaction with anthropomorphic chatbots in food e-commerce. A sample of 401 participants was tested to verify the proposed hypotheses. The test group interacted with a standard chatbot without human-like characteristics, while the control group communicated with the anthropomorphically designed agent. The results confirm the vast potential of anthropomorphic cues in chatbot applications and show that they are positively associated with customer satisfaction and mediated by the variables enjoyment, attitude, and trust. The findings suggest that to remain competitive, food retailers should immediately adopt innovative technologies for their omnichannel strategy and incorporate anthropomorphic design cues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalElectronic Commerce Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 May 2022

Keywords

  • Anthropomorphism
  • Chatbot
  • Consumer behavior
  • Conversational commerce
  • Customer experience
  • Customer satisfaction
  • e-commerce

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