Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

A Longitudinal Study of Habit and Its Antecedents in Coffee Chain Patronage

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

A Longitudinal Study of Habit and Its Antecedents in Coffee Chain Patronage

Article excerpt

Over the past several years, the increase in coffee consumption has led to the coffee industry growing dramatically worldwide (Global Coffee Market, 2018). Coffee chains provide a venue and ambience to meet customers' need for social interaction, beyond just selling a cup of coffee; however, challenges such as growth in the number of competitors mean that it is critical for coffee chains to establish long-term relationships with customers and create a competitive advantage. Accordingly, we examined the reasons behind coffee chain customer revisiting patterns.

Researchers have shown that retaining customers is less cost intensive than gaining potential ones (Anderson & Mittal, 2000; Kim, 2017). It is assumed in conscious decision-making processes that repurchase intention is the primary antecedent of repurchase behavior (Ryu, Lee, & Kim, 2012). However, conscious decision-making processes do not fully capture customers' repurchase behavior in frequently visited services, because frequently performed behavior tends to become habitual (Ouellette & Wood, 1998). Thus, in the context of frequent visits (e.g., daily) to a coffee chain, repurchase behavior may not be predominantly affected by conscious intention but may, rather, be the result of habitual visits (e.g., Kim, 2012; Limayem, Hirt, & Cheung, 2007). When a visit to a coffee chain becomes routine, repurchase behavior is largely influenced by two independent sources of habit: automated processes and behavioral intention (e.g., Kim, 2017; Wang, Harris, & Patterson, 2013). Similarly, Lee (2014) demonstrated that the continued use of information systems is guided by both behavioral intention and habit.

Therefore, we examined both habit and repurchase intention as independent factors that influence customers' repurchase behavior, and the key enablers that facilitate habitual visits. First, we developed a research model to understand customers' repurchase behavior in frequently visited coffee chains, and investigated the effects of conscious and automatic mechanisms on repurchase behavior. Second, we investigated the effects of customer satisfaction and perceived value on repurchase intention and sought to provide insights into the role and antecedents of habitual visits in these relationships.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development

In the theories of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) and planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), it is posited that the only salient predictor of behavior is behavioral intention, which is defined as an individual's motivation in the sense of his or her conscious plan to exert effort to carry out a behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Therefore, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Repurchase intention will positively influence customers' repurchase behavior at a coffee chain.

Habit is defined as a repeated behavioral pattern that automatically recurs without conscious awareness; thus, it contributes to forming habitual behavior (Triandis, 1971). Ouellette and Wood (1998) verified that when a behavior has been performed frequently, subsequent behavior is shaped by an habitual and automatic process. Several researchers have shown that actual behavior is guided by reasoned conscious intention as well as automatic responses (Kim, 2012; Lee, 2014), with Kim (2012) reporting that behavior is mainly driven by unconscious and automatic processes in mobile data service use. Further, Wang et al. (2013) have shown that continued use of self-service technologies is significantly influenced by both customers' intention and habit. Therefore, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2: Habit will positively influence customers' repurchase behavior at a coffee chain.

Customer satisfaction is a postpurchase evaluation of a consumption experience with a product or service (Bhattacherjee, 2001). It is a reliable predictor of repurchase intention in various service environments (e.g. …

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