Servicescape irritants and customer satisfaction: The moderating role of shopping motives and involvement

Nathalie Demoulin, Kim Willems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study investigates the effect of the servicescape's ambient, design, and social factors on customer irritation and satisfaction, focusing particularly on the moderating effects of shopping motives and involvement. Across four retail sectors with variations in involvement (i.e., high vs. low) and shopping motives (i.e., utilitarian or hedonic), consumer surveys were conducted at the exits of grocery, electrical appliances, home decoration, and fashion retailing stores (n = 669). SmartPLS analyses reveal that poorly managed social servicescape factors are the most irritating, and customers' irritation in turn decreases satisfaction, particularly in high-involvement settings. In low-involvement settings, design elements matter relatively more. Furthermore, while social factors prevail as drivers of irritation in utilitarian settings, ambient elements matter more in hedonic contexts. This study is one of the few to focus on servicescape-induced negative affect, allowing managers to prioritize atmospherics in their quest to minimize customer irritation, depending on the particular service sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2019
EventAMA Servsig 2014 - International Service Research Conference - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 13 Jun 201415 Jun 2014


  • IrritationServicescapeAtmosphericsInvolvementShopping motivesRetailing

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