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The role of shopping sophistication in creating satisfying purchase outcomes

Stephen J. Newell (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA)
Bob T. Wu (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Philip A. Titus (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Susan M. Petroshius (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)

American Journal of Business

ISSN: 1935-5181

Article publication date: 28 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: are sophisticated consumers more likely to be satisfied with their purchases? Are consumers who are more knowledgeable more apt to feel in control of their purchase decisions? Are they more likely to believe the transaction was fair? Are they less likely to have cognitive dissonance post‐purchase?


An empirical study examining the role of consumer sophistication on consumers' purchase satisfaction was conducted with a national sample of approximately 700 home purchasers.


The results revealed that shopping sophistication is a key determinant of whether consumers are satisfied with their purchase experience. Sophistication not only seems to affect satisfaction but also customer perceptions of control, fairness and dissonance.

Practical implications

Implications for marketing strategy and suggestions for future research are discussed.


This paper suggests that perception of sophistication plays a much more important role in affecting consumer purchase satisfaction than previously understood. Consequently, businesses need to be much more active in educating consumers so that they are better able to make more informed purchase decisions. Ultimately, by helping to facilitate this information flow, consumers will be more satisfied with the products and services they purchase, develop a greater loyalty to the company providing the data and be more likely to purchase similar products and services in the future.



Newell, S.J., Wu, B.T., Titus, P.A. and Petroshius, S.M. (2011), "The role of shopping sophistication in creating satisfying purchase outcomes", American Journal of Business, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 129-144.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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