Servicescape is a concept that was developed by Booms and Bitner[1] to emphasize the impact of the physical environment in which a service process takes place. The concept of servicescape can help assess the difference in customer experience between a fast-food franchise restaurant and a small, family-run restaurant. Whereas the quality of the food may be the same, the customer may perceive higher quality in the latter over the former based on the environment in which the service is provided.For consumers visiting a service or retail store, the service environment is the first aspect of the service that is perceived by the customer and it is at this stage that consumers are likely to form impressions of the level of service they will receive.[2]

Booms and Bitner defined a servicescape as "the environment in which the service is assembled and in which the seller and customer interact, combined with tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service".[1]:36

The servicescape includes the facility's exterior (landscape, exterior design, signage, parking, surrounding environment) and interior (interior design and decor, equipment, signage, layout, air quality, temperature and ambiance). In addition to its effects on their individual behaviors, the servicescape influences the nature and quality of customer and employee interactions, most directly in interpersonal services.[3] Companies design the space they have carefully to add an atmosphere that will affect buyers’ decisions in the store.[4]

Colours and the certain spaces a store has can manipulate a customers’ emotions. For example, the positioning of furniture and objects around the store lead customers into a better traffic flow.[4] Ambient factors such as music is used in servicescapes to influence consumers. It was found that “positively valenced music will stimulate more thoughts and feeling than negatively valenced music”,[5] hence, positively valenced music will make the waiting time feel longer to the customer than negatively valenced music. Little things can change the way in which a customer reacts in a store, for example, changing the background music to a quicker tempo may influence the consumer to travel around the store at a quicker pace, therefore improving traffic flow.[6] However, there is also evidence to suggest that playing music reduces the negative effects of waiting from the perception of the customer because it distracts the customers [7]



  1. 1 2 Booms, BH; Bitner, MJ (1981). "Marketing strategies and organisation structures for service firms". In Donnelly, J; George, WR. Marketing of Services. Chicago, IL: American Marketing Association.
  2. Hooper and Coughlan, Daire and Joseph (2012). "The servicescape as an antecedent to service quality and behavioral intentions" (PDF). Journal of Services Marketing: 271.
  3. Bitner, Mary Jo (2016). Journal of Marketing. American Marketing Association. p. 61.
  4. 1 2 Hooper, Daire; Coughlan, Joseph; Mullen, Michael R. (2013). "The servicescape as an antecedent to service quality and behavioral intentions". Journal of services marketing. 27(4): 271–280.
  5. Hul, Michael K.; Dube, Laurette; Chebat, Jean-Charles (1997-03-01). "The impact of music on consumers' reactions to waiting for services". Journal of Retailing. 73 (1): 87–104. doi:10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90016-6.
  6. Bitner, M.J. (1992). "Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees". The Journal of Marketing: 57–71.
  7. "The Impact of Music on Consumers' Reactions to Waiting for Services" (PDF). 1997. Retrieved 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. Kim, Kyoungtae; Bae, Sungwon; Stringfellow, Don (12 April 2005). The Servicescape in Golf Courses: The Effects of Physical Environment on the Consumers' Internal Response and Behavioral Outcome (Sport Management). 2005 AAHPERD National Convention and Exposition. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  9. Rosenbaum, Mark S.; Wong, Ipkin A. (2007). "The Darker Side of the Servicescape: A Case Study of the Bali Syndrome". International Journal of Culture, Travel, and Hospitality Research. 1 (3): 161–174. doi:10.1108/17506180710751696.
  10. Rosenbaum, Mark S.; Montoya, Detra (2007). "Exploring the Role of Ethnicity in Place Avoidance and Approach Decisions". Journal of Business Research. 60 (3): 206–214.
  11. Rosenbaum, Mark S. (2005). "The Symbolic Servicescape: Your Kind is Welcomed Here". Journal of Consumer Behaviour. 4: 257–267. doi:10.1002/cb.9.
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