The purpose of this paper is to identify and map out consumer emotions and their triggers and coping strategies practiced when the consumer has a dissatisfactory footwear product experience.
A content analysis approach was employed to determine various types of consumer emotions and coping strategies and organize them into content categories in a systematic fashion. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 female consumers.
The researchers propose a typology of emotional triggers in the pre- and post-purchase stages which describe consumers’ dissatisfactory purchase experiences with footwear products. Three negative emotional triggers in the pre-purchase stage were identified, including the act of shoe shopping itself, poor availability of products, and unfair return on investment. Negative emotional triggers that caused consumers’ stresses in the post-purchase stage included uncertainty in outcome and unmet expectation. Problem- and emotion-focussed coping strategies were also identified.
This study used snowball sampling for locating a hidden consumer population that was dissatisfied with footwear products. Although the number of interviewees was appropriate for a qualitative study, the size limits generalization of study findings.
Implications of this study for the footwear industry are to provide better products for the consumer to reduce her emotional stress and increase satisfaction. The industry may consider restructuring size assortments, evaluating users’ experiences, improving product quality, performance, and service, and providing customization.
Literature is lacking on the ways in which consumers manage stressful emotional experiences of footwear purchase-related situations. This research is the first to identify valuable information on the mechanism of female consumers’ negotiation process of pre- and post-purchase footwear experiences. It is of value to researchers, designers, manufacturers, and retailers.
G. Curwen, L. and Park, J. (2014), "When the shoe doesn’t fit: female consumers’ negative emotions", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 338-356. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-12-2012-0078Download as .RIS
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