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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2022

Xiaolun Wang, Xiaofeng Yu, Fan Feng and Peijian Song

Customization, a marketing strategy through providing personalized products, might be a new solution to motivate consumer feedbacks in electronic commerce (e-commerce…

Abstract

Purpose

Customization, a marketing strategy through providing personalized products, might be a new solution to motivate consumer feedbacks in electronic commerce (e-commerce) websites. Taking the dual-value of customization (emotional involvement and uniqueness expression) as the theoretical basis, this study aims to investigate the impact of customization on consumer's word-of-mouth (WOM) behaviors and contents by motivating: (1) more, (2) faster, (3) positive at first and then negative, (4) longer and (5) more helpful WOMs.

Design/methodology/approach

A field study was conducted with multi-sourced data: customer order data from a Chinese retailer and WOM data from Amazon.com. The two datasets were matched to filter out 463 online reviews among 6,892 customers who placed customized orders. Heckman's two-stage model, logistic regression, Ordinary least squares regression, Tobit regression, analysis of covariance and Lind–Mehlum U Test were used in the data analysis.

Findings

This study has found that (1) customization level motivates WOM behaviors including WOM posting and WOM speed, (2) an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between customization level and consumer rating and (3) customization level has a significantly positive impact on WOM helpfulness but not on WOM length.

Originality/value

This study advances theoretical development in the area of WOM motivators by proposing a new product-centric approach, customization, to stimulate voluntary WOMs. Empirical field research that analyzes consumer's real responses to customization is in scarcity. The dual-value of customized products is proposed as the underlying mechanism to explain the impact of customization level on consumer's WOM behaviors/contents. An interesting inverted U-shaped relationship is found between customization level and customer rating. This research provides nuanced practical guidance for websites, companies and consumers.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 June 2010

Zhongjun Tang, Xiaohong Chen and Juan Xiao

This paper seeks to develop a conceptual model that enables understanding of consumer purchase decisions in relation to the first customized products, including steps of…

4346

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to develop a conceptual model that enables understanding of consumer purchase decisions in relation to the first customized products, including steps of the decision process, determinants, and consequences of each step.

Design/methodology/approach

The classic grounded theory approach was used.

Findings

The study found that the process consists of six steps called knowledge learning and preliminary information searching, problem recognition, budget setting, detailed information searching and solution creating, purchase involvement, and use and post‐purchase. The process is distinct from the process of traditional models of consumer decision mainly from three aspects: the process starting from “knowledge learning and information searching”, not from “problem recognition”, while “problem recognition” is the second step; information searched in the process mainly on components of products, with little on products; and the process includes a step “solution creating”, but without steps “alternative evaluation” and “choice”. The consequences of the first step consist of knowledge mastered, market information acquired, pre‐decisions, perceived value of customized PC, positive attitude towards customized PC, and self‐confidence, which are the main determinants of the following steps. Besides these determinants, others included are interest, curiosity, work with computers as tools, sources of knowledge and information on PC, and income.

Practical implications

The study provides a foundation for future quantitative research on determinants of consumers' purchasing the first customized products and provides insights into marketing: for example, target consumers of customized PC are characterized at least by having great self‐confidence in their capability to make an effective decision in purchasing customized PC, and having mastered enough PC knowledge.

Originality/value

Across a variety of domains, consumers are demanding increased customized products. While consumer decision making has become a prominent research topic in various fields of marketing and consumer science over the past decades, surprisingly little research has examined consumer purchase decisions in relation to the first customized personal computer (PC) and factors influencing such a process. The study may fill this gap.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Hassan Daronkola Kalantari and Lester Johnson

The purpose of this paper is to find out how consumers constantly trade off the potential extra cost of mass customisation with the additional time they have to wait to…

1120

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find out how consumers constantly trade off the potential extra cost of mass customisation with the additional time they have to wait to receive their customised products.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine this issue by using conjoint analysis to estimate the trade-offs using a sample of Australian consumers. The authors use cluster analysis to form market segments in the three product categories examined.

Findings

The segments demonstrate that there are groups of customers who are quite willing to trade-off price with waiting time. The results have significant implications for Australian manufacturers who are contemplating moving into mass customisation.

Originality/value

Many researchers have investigated the issue of a customer’s readiness to buy a customised product. In particular, they have examined whether customers are willing to pay extra for a mass-customised product, whether they would spend some time to design it, as well as wait to receive it. There has been no study that has examined all three factors simultaneously. The results of this study can help manufacturers form a better understanding of customer willingness for purchasing mass-customised products.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Parisa Bagheri Tookanlou and Hartanto Wijaya Wong

The purpose of this study is to analyze the problem of optimal product line design in marketing channels where consumers are heterogeneous in both horizontal and vertical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the problem of optimal product line design in marketing channels where consumers are heterogeneous in both horizontal and vertical dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a model to evaluate when it is preferable for a firm to extend the product line in a vertical or horizontal direction. Consumers are modeled as being vertically heterogeneous with respect to their valuation of quality and horizontally heterogeneous with respect to their preference on the esthetic component of the product. These model characteristics allow us to consider a broader set of product line extension strategies. By considering both a vertically integrated channel and a decentralized channel, this study investigates how channel structure influences optimal product line design. The problem with supplemental numerical analyses is mathematically analyzed.

Findings

The analysis shows that a horizontal product line extension strategy that offers the customized product can be used as an alternative to a vertical product line extension strategy. If the fixed cost is not too high, offering the customized product with low quality may be preferred to the quality-based segmentation strategy. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the channel structure is influential as the preference for the horizontal product line extension strategy is more pronounced in the decentralized channel than in the centralized channel.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis presented in this paper is limited by the consideration of full market coverage. Further research is needed to see how the results can be generalized to the case with partial market coverage.

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that a firm may consider product customization as part of its product line strategy. Information regarding market characteristics and channel structure is important when deciding on the optimal product line design.

Originality/value

The model reflects a more realistic marketing strategy and channel structure than previous studies that typically consider product line extension in only one direction and focus on the centralized distribution channel. Combining the standard product line extension and customization strategies also represents an important contribution to the literature. These extensions produce interesting new results and insights into a firm’s optimal product line design strategy.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2007

Mario J. Miranda and László Kónya

The purpose of this research is to examine consumers' perception of the difference between customised/modified products and brand stereotypes, and the extent of brand's…

3505

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine consumers' perception of the difference between customised/modified products and brand stereotypes, and the extent of brand's impact on consumers' decisions to customise their purchases. Current literature is rife about the shift from the dominance of brands in directing consumer choice to the contemporary ascendancy of individualism reflected in customising products.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire containing 23 variables relating to brand perception and customisation was administered to more than 500 random shoppers leaving two shopping centres in an Australian city during a two‐week period. Results were used to construct two econometric models aimed at predicting consumers' perception of the difference between customised/modified and brand stereotypes and the extent that consumers' decisions to customise their purchases were affected by brand names.

Findings

The results show that factors, other than the motive of and the satisfaction from customising the product, with a significant influence on the perceived difference between customised items and brand stereotypes, have little in common with factors that impel consumers to customise/modify their purchases based on the imagery of brands. A significant reason why consumers self‐engage with composing their product purchases is to satisfy their desire for quality and genuinely believe that their compositions are appreciably different from brand stereotypes thus vindicating the theory of self‐congruency. Indeed, there is evidence that the extent brands influence customers to tailor their purchases, depend on the stores from which consumers make their purchases.

Research limitations/implications

The research did not ask questions on the extent of influence of brands on purchase behaviour of made‐to‐order products in relation to every specific durable product tested. These items conceivably have different buying protocols and therefore future research may want to consider a larger sample size with dedicated respondents for each type of item that was modified or customised. Meaningful comparisons can then be made across each of these items to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic product appeals of customised items that consumers may find more compelling than the pull of established stereotypes of brands.

Practical implications

Brand owners might consider setting up “virtual” stores that offer templates to adjust their stereotypes in order to accommodate specific styles and perspectives of customers.

Originality/value

In an era when individualism is getting increasing currency, this study aims to introduce service providers in the retail industry to how much of a role brands play in influencing the specifications of adjusted and customised products.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Zhongjun Tang, Jianghong Luo and Juan Xiao

This paper seeks to empirically identify factors influencing Chinese consumers' intention to purchase customized desk top (PC for short) and their effect levels.

4883

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to empirically identify factors influencing Chinese consumers' intention to purchase customized desk top (PC for short) and their effect levels.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey and structural equation modeling techniques were used.

Findings

This research finds that: attitude toward purchasing customized PC, followed by self‐confidence, and subjective norm influence behavioral intention most significantly; perceived knowledge has a very strong and positive effect on self‐confidence and attitude; and subjective norm and perceived usefulness influence attitude positively. In contrast, a direct effect of perceived knowledge on behavioral intention is rejected. Experience for males and females moderates the confirmed relationships except the relationship between perceived knowledge and attitude for females. Gender for respondents with and without experience moderates the confirmed relationships except the effects of attitude and subjective norm on behavioral intention for respondents without experience and the effect of self‐confidence on behavioral intention for respondents with experience.

Practical implications

It appears that customized PC providers should be aware that mass customization is applicable to markets where consumers are familiar with PC, hold a positive attitude toward purchasing a customized PC, and have confidence in their capability to make an effective decision in purchasing a customized PC.

Originality/value

Little attention has been paid to empirical testing factors and their effect levels on consumers' intention to purchase customized products. No research has been conducted to empirically identify factors influencing Chinese consumers' intention to purchase customized PC and their effect levels, while this research fills this gap.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Rebecca Duray

Mass customization presents a paradox to traditional manufacturing practices. Historically, companies chose to produce either customized, crafted products or…

8990

Abstract

Mass customization presents a paradox to traditional manufacturing practices. Historically, companies chose to produce either customized, crafted products or mass‐produced, standardized products. Thus, mass customization presents a paradox by combining customization and mass production, offering unique products in a mass‐produced, low cost, high volume production environment. If mass customization is truly a combination of mass production and craft manufacturer, how does a manufacturer become a mass customizer? Are the key principles of mass customization rooted in customized product knowledge or mass production techniques? Does the path to mass customization impact financial performances? This paper begins to answer these questions by exploring the total product mix of mass customizing plants using data gathered from 126 mass customizers. This study shows plants that choose mass customization approaches that match the non‐mass customized product line characteristics have higher financial performance than those firms without a matched product line.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Laura Macchion and Rosanna Fornasiero

Supply chain (SC) configuration has gained increased acceptance as an important issue when evaluating new customization possibilities and this evidence has contributed to…

2081

Abstract

Purpose

Supply chain (SC) configuration has gained increased acceptance as an important issue when evaluating new customization possibilities and this evidence has contributed to the strengthening of the debate between global vs local production locations. This work contributes in enrichment of this topic by studying how local or global SC location decisions influence performances by considering a SC point of view, in terms of cost and time, in traditional and customized productions.

Design/methodology/approach

A discrete event simulation approach, based on experimentation through executable configurations, was used to evaluate different SC scenarios for customized as well as traditional products within the footwear industry.

Findings

The results indicated that to identify proper SC locations, existing trade-offs between the time and cost performances should be studied, avoiding the evaluation of a single performance independently and, instead, adopting a complete SC point of view while considering these performances.

Research limitations/implications

This evidence has contributed to the reinforcement of the discussion between far-shore destinations vs near-shore production locations. Further studies are encouraged to adopt the present model, in which addition of other variables such as specific manufacturing competences to differentiate suppliers, both local and global suppliers, or the possibility of realizing special types of product customization required by final consumers can be done.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the academic and practitioners' debate by proposing a systemic approach to assess SCs’ performances in customized contexts and to compare them to traditional collections. Results indicate that cost and time performance must find a balance that does not necessarily correspond to an exclusively local or global production.

Originality/value

This work contributes to the SC configuration issue by considering the trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness (i.e. SC costs and SC times) for customized productions by reviving and enriching it with an SC perspective in customization contexts.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Can-you Wang, Cheng-long Li and Qin Su

The purpose of this paper is to study the price decisions and profits of two firms in a competitive market in which one platform firm considers whether to adopt a consumer…

1033

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the price decisions and profits of two firms in a competitive market in which one platform firm considers whether to adopt a consumer customization strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study develops the consumer’s utility function, which captures consumers’ behavioural and emotional factors in the self-customizing process, and it adopts a game theory approach to analyze the equilibrium price and equilibrium profit for each firm.

Findings

The results show that increased sensitivity in consumer customization might not benefit the platform, especially when the size of the consumer group deriving positive additional utility from the self-customizing process is small. Interestingly, if the consumer customization sensitivity is high, increasing sensitivity can benefit both firms by relaxing competition between them, while it can hurt consumer surplus. The study also further identifies the conditions under which platforms can adopt a consumer customization strategy.

Research limitations/implications

Two major limitations of the study are that the model does not involve price discrimination or explore the value of adopting a consumer customization strategy in a vertically differentiated market.

Practical implications

This study offers managerial insights for the platforms that intend to invest in a consumer customization strategy, including providing a more simple, more efficient self-customizing process for consumers; empowering consumers to broadcast their creations to a large network by social media technologies; addressing how to determine what consumers really need and want; and so on.

Originality/value

Little research has been performed to analyze the impacts of adopting a consumer customization strategy on pricing decisions in a duopoly market by capturing consumers’ behavioural and emotional factors. While this study explores the above research issue, it also illustrates the effect of the adoption of a consumer customization strategy from a consumer surplus perspective.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Enrico Sandrin, Alessio Trentin, Chiara Grosso and Cipriano Forza

The purpose of this paper is to focus on online sales configurators (SCs), also known as mass-customization toolkits, which enable consumers to self-customize their product

1530

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on online sales configurators (SCs), also known as mass-customization toolkits, which enable consumers to self-customize their product solutions online. The paper aims to provide new insights into which characteristics of an online SC increase the consumer-perceived benefits of possessing a mass-customized product.

Design/methodology/approach

Previous studies on mass customization (MC), sales configuration, and learning psychology are used to develop the research hypotheses, which are tested by analyzing data from 675 configuration experiences from a convenience sample of potential consumers using 31 real online SCs for laptops/notebooks, economy cars, and sport shoes/sneakers.

Findings

The paper finds support for the hypotheses that SCs with higher flexible-navigation, focused-navigation, and easy-comparison capabilities enhance not only the traditionally considered utilitarian benefit (UT), but also the consumer-perceived uniqueness benefit (UN) and self-expressiveness (SE) benefit (SE). Furthermore, consistent with the study’s hypotheses, SCs with higher benefit-cost communication and user-friendly product-space description capabilities are found to improve UT. The hypotheses that these two capabilities enhance UN and SE, however, are not supported. Post-hoc analyses suggest that the examined SCs are generally UT-centered and need improvement of their ability to communicate the UN and the SE a consumer could derive from the purchase of his/her configured product.

Originality/value

While prior research has primarily been concerned with conceptually arguing and empirically showing that uniqueness and self-expressiveness are two additional sources of consumer value in business-to-consumer MC, this is the first empirical study that offers insights into which characteristics online SCs should have in order to draw from these two value sources.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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