Revisiting customer loyalty toward mobile e-commerce in the hospitality industry: does brand viscosity matter?

Jialin Wu, Shun Ye, CHEN ZHENG, Rob Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


To better understand how to retain hospitality customers in the fierce competition among mobile applications, this study aims to propose and empirically validates an integrative framework, which elaborates how conscious and subconscious factors, together with affective factors, may induce app loyalty and how brand viscosity moderates such effects.

The authors conducted an online survey to collect data and received a total of 268 valid responses. This study splits the data into two groups (brand viscosity vs non-viscosity). Then, the authors performed a multi-group structural equation modeling with Chi-square difference tests to compare the model between the two groups.

The findings support the integrative model and reveal that the influence of app satisfaction on loyalty is stronger for app users who do not stick to one brand across the website and mobile app channels. Moreover, for those with brand viscosity, habit and switching cost are two significant determinants that exert positive effects in inducing app loyalty.

Research limitations/implications
Brand viscosity across different channels matters for the effects of habit and switching costs in shaping app loyalty. E-commerce managers should elaborate on brand management among various booking channels and establish effective digital marketing strategies to facilitate the formation of usage habits and switching costs and to enhance brand viscosity across channels.

This research advances the knowledge of app loyalty in hospitality by providing a comprehensive explanatory framework from affective, conscious and subconscious lenses. This research is among the first to unveil the impact of brand viscosity on the links between loyalty and its determinants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Early online date5 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2021


  • brand viscosity
  • habit
  • switching cost
  • multi-group structural equation modeling
  • mobile app
  • loyalty
  • status quo bias theory


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