Customer Retention Through Trust In The Sharing Economy : A Case Study Through Hospitality Businesses

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi; Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi

Abstract: Abstract Aim: To investigate the influence of trust in the sharing economy in general and customer retention in particular.  Methodology: This study uses constructivist and interpretative philosophical underpinnings. With an inductive approach, a qualitative research strategy was conducted through semi-structured interviews. Thirteen open ended questions were asked to ten respondents from four different countries who have been participating in the hospitality industry in the sharing economy, either as host and/ or guests. The respondents have experience from either of the four businesses from the hospitality industry (Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Misterb&b and Tujia). Findings: Sharing economy platforms are used because of smart technology and flexibility of usage. Economic (cost saving) and social (social interaction) factors motivate the users to resort to platforms for short term rental lodging. Security and privacy by the platforms and ratings and reviews of users are motivating factors to use the platforms as it develops and enhances the user trust on platform and on other users as well. Discrimination has been observed to exist in this context. Conclusion: Digital technology is critical for the sharing economy platforms. The new type of trust with a triad of relationships in SE is strengthened with technological affordances over sharing economy platforms using trust antecedents to develop customer satisfaction and ultimately retain them. Practical Contributions: Our study has supported and strengthened the trust building model with cognitive and affective based factors and attachment theory and has raised questions from the developed theories as well which could be studied in the future. Limitations: Only four countries were included for this study which is considered as a limitation and it could therefore not be generalised to have implications for other cultures. The interpretive nature of the study may have included unintentional biases in the data interpretation. Future research: A quantitative study with a larger base of respondents is suggested for future research on the topic of trust and customer retention in the sharing economy. Furthermore, a neurological study in the field of neuromanagement or neuromarketing is suggested. This would add to the body of knowledge regarding the biological causes and effects of trust.

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