The influence of social presence on customer loyalty in emerging market retail industry: The mediating role of trust
Journal of African Business
Taylor & Francis
School of Science
Whilst extensive scholarly works on social presence, trust, and customer loyalty exist, no research specifically focuses on measuring the relational effect of social presence and trust on customer loyalty in both online and store-based retail environments. This study proposes and tests a model to demonstrate the mediation role of trust in the nexus between the dimensions of social presence (web, others, and interaction) and customer loyalty. Data were collected from 200 customers and analyzed via path analysis of structural equation modeling. The results of the study show that all the dimensions of social presence had a significant direct effect on trust. Social presence of others had a significant direct effect on customer loyalty. Trust fully mediated the associations between social presence of web, and interaction and customer loyalty, and partially mediated the relationship of social presence of others and loyalty. We have established the multidimensionality of the social presence construct and highlighted their nexus between trust and loyalty in an emerging market retail business. The implications of these findings are discussed.