The effect of gaze on consumers’ encounter evaluation

Pernille Andersson, Erik Wästlund, Per Kristensson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
The research concerns the effect of frontline employees’ averted or direct gaze on consumers’ evaluation of the encounter. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that in normal interactions, a direct or averted gaze affects people’s evaluation of others. The question was whether this finding would hold true in commercial interactions.
Design/methodology/approach
The authors conducted three experiments using a written scenario with a photograph among a total sample of 612 participants.
Findings
This research showed that consumers’ social impression of the frontline employees mediated the effect of the employees’ gazing behaviour on consumers’ emotions and satisfaction with the encounters. The findings also showed that averting gaze had a negative effect on consumers’ first impression of the frontline employee, which affected consumers’ satisfaction with the encounter. The findings also showed that a direct gaze had a negative effect on encounter satisfaction when consumers sought to purchase embarrassing products.
Originality/value
The research demonstrated that the effect of gaze on encounter satisfaction was mediated by the social impression and moderated by consumers’ approach/avoidance motivation.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Volume44
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)372-396
ISSN0959-0552
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • satisfaction
  • frontline employee
  • encounter experience
  • eye gaze
  • social impression

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