Despite the technological advances in online retailing, the human touch continues to be essential to relationships between retailers and customers. Although a handwritten note is proposed as a simple means to help establish a personal relationship, its economic significance and alignment with current practices have been insufficiently studied. In this article, the authors evaluate the benefits of a handwritten note for an online retailer and reveal the boundary conditions of its benefits. A randomized field experiment demonstrates that presenting a handwritten note has a positive and significant effect on customer spending. More importantly, the authors observe that an additional marketing incentive (i.e., giveaway, price discount) attenuates this beneficial effect. Further, the study shows that these two effects arise with loyal customers, but not with nonloyal customers. A follow-up experiment reveals that warmth underlies the key findings, lending support for the theoretical prediction. The article concludes with a general discussion that the authors hope will inspire future research on relationship management in online retailing.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Interactive Marketing|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Nov|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020S1A3A2A02093277). This research was supported by the Yonsei Signature Research Cluster Program of 2021-22-0006. This paper was partially supported by the Barun ICT Research Center at Yonsei University.
© American Marketing Association 2022.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management