How to create loyalty in the sharing economy? : a study of emotions, satisfaction and commitment among Airbnb customers
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- Master of Science 
The sharing economy is drastically erupting traditional industries all over the world, where services such as Airbnb and Uber no longer belong to only the niche. Over a quarter of US adult internet users - or 56,5 million people - will use a sharing economy service at least once in 2017, according to recent estimates by eMarketer. But how loyal are these users? And how can companies make sure that their services are not only tried once or twice, before people go back to traditional providers? This study aims to identify and explore the drivers of customer loyalty in the sharing economy, and particularly the role of emotions, the three dimensions of commitment and satisfaction. A cross-sectional design has been used through study 566 active Airbnb-customers in the U.S. The findings from the study show that Calculative commitment, Affective commitment, Satisfaction and Negative emotions are significant direct drivers of Loyalty among Airbnb-customers. No significant direct effects of Sustainable commitment or Positive emotions on Loyalty was found. However, Positive emotions do play a major role in predicting customer loyalty, as it has strong indirect effects through Satisfaction and Affective commitment. The results also show that customers using Airbnb out of pleasure (hedonic user motivation) have significantly higher levels of Positive emotions, Loyalty, and all three types of commitment, compared to customers using Airbnb because it solves a functional need (utilitarians), who have significantly higher levels of Negative emotions. We recommend managers not to underestimate the effect of calculative and rational measures such as price and switching cost in the sharing economy. Calculative commitment, which deals with this particularly, was found to be the strongest of the three commitment drivers on Loyalty. However, the total effect of Positive emotions, as well as the direct effect of Negative emotions, were also found to be significant drivers of loyalty, suggesting that affective measures are equally important when creating customer loyalty in the sharing economy. Of particular interest is the fact that Negative emotions have a direct negative effect on customer loyalty – while Positive emotions do not. Thus, managers should be aware that Negative emotions can be especially detrimental to customer loyalty in the sharing economy. A clear recommendation is then to focus on reducing negative emotions, such as fear, worry and guilt, through for instance campaigns focusing on risk reduction.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Marketing - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017