To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The role of mixed emotions in consumer behaviour: Investigating ambivalence in consumers' experiences of approach‐avoidance conflicts in online and offline settings

Elfriede Penz (Wirtschaftsuniversität (WU), Institute for International Marketing and Management, Vienna, Austria)
Margaret K. Hogg (Department of Marketing, Management School, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 15 February 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Mixed emotions (i.e. consumer ambivalence) play a central role in approach‐avoidance conflicts in retailing. In order to assess how consumer ambivalence impacts shopping behaviour, this paper seeks to conceptualize and investigate the multi‐dimensional antecedents of approach‐avoidance conflicts, experienced by shoppers in changing retail environments, and the importance of approach‐avoidance conflicts for consumers' decision to stay and complete their purchase in that particular shopping channel.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a cross‐country study, which compared online and offline consumers, the paper tested the influence of the situation, product, and reference group on shoppers' intentions; and identified how consumers' mixed emotions influenced approach‐avoidance conflicts in different retail settings.

Findings

Whereas some distinctions could be drawn between online and offline contexts when examining the impact of market‐related, product‐related and social factors on consumers' decision to shop (H1, H2, H3 and H4), no clear distinction could be drawn between online and offline channels in terms of mediating effects of mixed emotions (H5, H6 and H7). Mixed emotions (ambivalence) did mediate the impact of certain product‐related, market‐related and personal factors on consumers' intention to purchase.

Practical implications

Retailers need to reduce the impact of consumers' emotional responses to the retail setting where mixed emotions are likely to lead to consumers leaving the stores. For online shops, those retailers are successful who are able to induce behavioural reactions that make consumers return and explore the web site and not use it for search only.

Originality/value

Responding to calls for further research on mixed emotions and their consequences, the paper captures the complex impact of consumers' mixed emotions on approach‐avoidance conflicts, and thereby extends earlier work on consumer ambivalence.

Keywords

Citation

Penz, E. and Hogg, M.K. (2011), "The role of mixed emotions in consumer behaviour: Investigating ambivalence in consumers' experiences of approach‐avoidance conflicts in online and offline settings", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 1/2, pp. 104-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561111095612

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited