Factors affecting stickiness and word of mouth in mobile applications

Seeun Kim, Tae Hyun Baek, Youn Kyung Kim, Kyunga Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate user perceptions of mobile app characteristics and interrelationships among identified mobile app characteristics, perceived benefits and post-adoption behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Using a self-administered online survey (n = 503) drawn from a consumer panel of US smartphone users, this study tests the proposed model that explains why stickiness and word of mouth (WOM) are enhanced during the post-adoption stage. Findings: The results indicate that user perceptions of mobile app characteristics, perceived ubiquity, perceived informativeness and perceived personalization are positively associated with mobile app usefulness, thereby leading to increased stickiness and positive WOM intentions. Furthermore, perceived personalization is found to become the strongest predictor of usefulness and playful engagement with the mobile app. Research limitations/implications: The findings are derived from a one-shot correlational study. There is no guarantee that the proposed model establishes causal directions among the latent constructs. Therefore, future research should test the conceptual model in an experimental setting by manipulating the degree and types of ubiquity, informativeness and personalization. Practical implications: The findings of this research provide managerial guidelines for developing effective mobile app strategies involving utilitarian and hedonic benefits, thereby enhancing user stickiness and WOM intentions. Originality/value: This paper is the first attempt to develop a conceptual framework that integrates user perceptions of mobile app characteristics into the underlying process of post-adoption behaviors. It empirically demonstrates the importance of ubiquity, informativeness and personalization in building and sustaining loyal relationships with mobile app users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Interactive Marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 8 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Mobile marketing
  • Personalization
  • Word-of-mouth marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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