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Volume 30 Issue 3 (March 2013), Pages 203-293

Third Party Customers Infecting Other Customers for Better or for Worse (pages 277-292)

ABSTRACT

In this article the effect of the displayed emotions of third party customers and purchase occasion on customers are examined, even when there is no direct interaction between customers. Three independent studies, including two experiments are employed. The first experiment examines the effects of both positive and negative displayed emotions of third party customers and purchase occasion on customer emotions and repurchase intentions, when there is no direct interaction between customers. The second experiment captures changes in the customers’ affective state on a moment‐by‐moment basis enabling differentiation between the effects of the service environment and the intervention of exposure to the displayed emotions of third party customers. Results show that customers are “infected” by the displayed emotions of third party customers even when there is no direct interaction between the customers. It is also demonstrated that the purchase occasion affects the type and intensity of emotions customers experience and the likelihood of repurchase. Implications for scholarly research and retailers are discussed.

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