This study aims to explore the dimensions of perceived consumption vulnerability (PCV) for the elderly citizens (EC) in India and its consequences. Consumer vulnerability is a recent and important construct for marketers and policymakers to understand the consumption behavior of the EC.
To achieve the study objectives, the authors conducted 50 in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions of ECs in two large cities in India. The authors used grounded theory methodology to understand the PCV construct.
The findings suggest a five-dimensional formative PCV construct with the dimensions being Physical, Financial, Social, Technological and Service Vulnerability contributing to PCV. The findings also suggest a relationship between PCV and consumption variables such as search cost, choice evaluation, consumption and overall satisfaction.
The major contribution of the present study is the exploration of the PCV construct for the EC and its dimensions. The propositions developed in the study could be tested in future studies using a quantitative approach.
The findings call for compassion from the marketers while dealing with the ECs and a separate service strategy that addresses the specific needs of the ECs.
The findings call for public policy action to protect the consumption rights of the ECs to reduce their consumption vulnerability.
The present study is a novel attempt to explore the PCV construct and its role in defining consumer behavior of the ECs.
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