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The effect of perceived risk on information search for innovative products and services: the moderating role of innate consumer innovativeness

Zhe Zhang (Fudan University, Shanghai, China)
Yuansi Hou (University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to explore the effects of two dimensions of perceived risk (functional and emotional risk) on two types of consumer information search (ongoing and pre-purchase search) in the context of innovative products and services and examine the moderating effect of innate consumer innovativeness.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings in this study are generated with a quantitative design using a multiple linear regression model and a residual centering method on data-collected survey responses related to tablet PC adoption in an online community and laboratory experiment on online bike-renting services.

Findings

The results show that functional and emotional risks influence on-going and pre-purchase search differently in innovative products and services context. On the one hand, functional risk affects on-going search negatively, whereas emotional risk affects on-going search positively; on the other hand, the effect of functional risk on pre-purchase search is not significant, and the effect of emotional risk on pre-purchase search is positive. Furthermore, these relationships are moderated by innate consumer innovativeness. For on-going search, consumer innovativeness moderates the negative effect of functional risk negatively and moderates the positive effect of emotional risk positively; for pre-purchase search, consumer innovativeness moderates the positive effect of emotional risk negatively on pre-purchase search.

Originality/value

Unlike established products and services, innovative products and services possess some elements that are unfamiliar to consumers. Companies typically pre-release innovative products and services long before officially launching them in the market, enabling consumers to assess potential risks and seek information in advance, thereby priming the market. Since innovative products and services are becoming more ubiquitous, research on the impact of perceived risk on information search is crucial for marketers. The present work is designed to be the first to consider the effects of two dimensions of perceived risk (functional and emotional risk) on two types of consumer information search (ongoing and pre-purchase search) and the moderating effect of innate consumer innovativeness. The present research is, therefore, intended to make contributions to the literature on perceived risk, information search and innovation management.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely thank seminar participants at the Center for Data-Driven Managerial Decision-Making. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants71672038, 71428004).

Citation

Zhang, Z. and Hou, Y. (2017), "The effect of perceived risk on information search for innovative products and services: the moderating role of innate consumer innovativeness", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 241-254. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-04-2016-1768

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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