Many e-commerce companies adopt a product customization platform offering various choices for customers to configure products to better satisfy their needs. However, a method to effectively measure customer satisfaction is lacking. This paper aims to investigate customers' perception of time in the online configuration process of customized products and seeks to propose time perception as the measurement of the effectiveness of online product customization.
An online laptop customization system was used in an empirical experiment to collect respondents' answers in a set of research questions. Regression and correlation analysis were conducted to investigate the factors affecting customers' satisfaction as well as the relationships with time perception.
The experimental results reveal several factors in customers' perception of time during the online product customization process. First, customers tend to overestimate the amount of time spent in a short-duration task but underestimate the amount of time spent in a long-duration task. Second, customers' perceptions of time are significantly correlated with their satisfaction with the configured products, and perceived time is moderately correlated with their satisfaction with the configuration process. Third, the difficulty of customization tasks and customers' motivation to process information also significantly affect customers' perceptions of time.
This paper advances the research on time perception by developing a new relative segmentation-based method to estimate the subjective perception of time. This study also makes several contributions to product customization research: the authors fill a research gap in the field of product customization by incorporating customers' perceptions of time into the measurement of customer satisfaction and by identifying the significant relationships among customers' perception of time, the ease of task selection, the customers' motivation to process information, and customers' satisfaction with customized products. These results aid in the design of online product customization systems.
The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for the constructive comments during the review process. The work described in this paper was partially supported by the grants (UGC/FDS14/E06/18, UGC/FDS14/E08/21, RMGS project code: 700004) from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Wang, Y., Mo, D.Y. and Ma, H.L. (2023), "Perception of time in the online product customization process", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 123 No. 2, pp. 369-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-03-2022-0159
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited