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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2020

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku

A common tactic employed by retailers to enhance shoppers' purchase intentions is to promote a special offer product for purchase only at certain selected stores. This…

Abstract

Purpose

A common tactic employed by retailers to enhance shoppers' purchase intentions is to promote a special offer product for purchase only at certain selected stores. This research aimed to identify the specific processes by which restricting the outlets drives intention to buy.

Design/methodology/approach

Three between-subjects experiments examined the effect on purchasing intention of outlet selectivity, as mediated by participants' perceptions of temporal accessibility and geographic accessibility (study 1), and investigated the extent to which decisions to buy might be moderated by the limited number of stores where the item would be available (study 2) and by “limited market,” in which the right to buy a product is restricted to a limited set of consumers (study 3).

Findings

The study findings are that joint consideration of the perceived temporal and geographic accessibility of a product generates two possible ways in which availability limited to certain stores makes the product seem hard to get and motivates consumer purchase decisions. However, such effect is confined to conditions in which the distribution of those outlets is low-density. When there was no change in those scores if restrictions were lower, participants' responsiveness to decreased availability was significantly raised by announcing that the chance to buy the product is further limited to “eligible” customers.

Originality/value

This research focused on consumer responses to outlet selectivity, a branch of inquiry that treats an overlooked facet of limited availability and provides useful assistance for developing methods to stimulate consumers' desire to purchase.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku and Yi-Ting Chang

Individuals concerned about safety comprise a significant share of the consumer market today. This paper aims to provide the results of a study on when a front-of-package…

Abstract

Purpose

Individuals concerned about safety comprise a significant share of the consumer market today. This paper aims to provide the results of a study on when a front-of-package (FOP) claim about “no added negatives” can serve as a quality cue.

Design/methodology/approach

Four between-subjects experiments examine consumers’ quality perceptions in responses to the absence-focused claims and also identifies brand parity (Studies 1a and 1b) and the associated launch of inconsistent alternatives as moderators (Study 2) and investigate the extent to which the quality signaling value of absence-focused claims varies as a function of message regulatory focus (Study 3).

Findings

Research shows that a unique absence-focused claim indicates product quality (Studies 1a and 1b). However, there could be a cost in terms of reduced perceived quality when adding an inconsistent alternative to a brand (Study 2). Furthermore, consumers associate greater product quality with absence-focused FOP claims if an appeal is framed as prevention-focused rather than promotion-focused benefits (Study 3).

Originality/value

This study advances knowledge on the effects of front-of-package claims on consumer behavior and benefits marketers in determining effective front-of-package messages for product promotion.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku, Chien-Chih Kuo and Wan-Ting Huang

This paper aims to investigate the effect of retailers’ consumer communications in prompting the choice of an in-stock alternative to an out-of-stock first-choice product.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effect of retailers’ consumer communications in prompting the choice of an in-stock alternative to an out-of-stock first-choice product.

Design/methodology/approach

Four between-subjects experiments assessed the extent to which the likelihood of a retail customer switching to a similarly-priced alternative when a first choice was out-of-stock was affected by messages concerning stockout status (Studies 1a and 1b). They further examined the interaction effects on participants’ preference of messages comparing the available versus unavailable options and stating stockout status (Study 2) and those giving information on the reasons for the stockout and on its status (Study 3).

Findings

Participants maintained their original preference for an out-of-stock product unless an external restriction on choice prompted them to forsake it or they perceived a strong reason to opt for an in-stock alternative. There was a greater tendency to switch if the alternative offered a potential “gain” or the reasons given for a stockout were irrelevant to product performance, whether the participant was expecting imminent re-stocking. Switching was triggered when the available alternative was directly comparable to the original or the retailer’s explanation related to an attribute judged trivial, but only if short supply was expected to continue.

Originality/value

The studies add to current understanding of how shoppers respond to unavailability of a first-choice product by examining the effect on switching behavior of messages about the stockout situation that are communicated deliberately or inadvertently by retailers.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2020

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku and Mei-Ju Chen

As an alternative to straight rhetorical questions, questions using analogies that invite the reader to think about the frame of reference to answer the target have been…

Abstract

Purpose

As an alternative to straight rhetorical questions, questions using analogies that invite the reader to think about the frame of reference to answer the target have been used in advertising to persuade. This paper aims to investigate consumer responses to the use of analogical questions in ads for incrementally new products and the important variables moderating those responses.

Design/methodology/approach

Four between-subjects experiments examined how product evaluations in response to analogical questions differ from non-analogical variants as a function of consumers’ persuasion awareness (Studies 1 and 2) and also tested if the effectiveness of an analogical question among potential consumers who are more aware of persuasion attempts might be enhanced only when it is proposed with a strong rather than a weak frame of reference (Study 3), and when the frame of reference and the target share underlying similarities (Study 4).

Findings

Analogical questions are more persuasive than non-analogical variants for participants who are more aware of persuasion attempts. Inferential fluency mediates the results. Furthermore, the positive impact of analogical questions for participants high in persuasion awareness is diminished when the frame of reference is weak or from a dissimilar domain. The same patterns are not evident for participants who are less aware of persuasion attempts.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on the concepts of inferential fluency, this study offers an empirically-based view of how the analogical questions in advertising may bias the responses exhibited by individuals who demonstrate either a high or low level of persuasion awareness.

Practical implications

The inclusion of an analogy can lower consumers’ tendency to behave in a defensive manner by facilitating inferences about intended claims that are implicitly stated in a rhetorical question and achieve higher levels of persuasion.

Originality/value

This study contributes to prior study on rhetorical questions within a persuasion communication by adopting inferential fluency as an underlying mechanism for analyzing the impact of analogical questions and individual’s awareness of persuasion.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku and Chih-Yun Huang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers’ responses to unsolicited cross-selling of supplementary paid-for services made during delivery of a core service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers’ responses to unsolicited cross-selling of supplementary paid-for services made during delivery of a core service, and the contextual and personal variables moderating those responses.

Design/methodology/approach

Three formal experiments test the effect on participants’ responses of the perceived relevance of the supplementary service to the core service, personal psychological reactance, in the case of a high-relevance supplementary service, and self-monitoring, in scenarios in which a low-relevance supplementary service is proposed either in public or privately.

Findings

The experiments found that participants’ satisfaction ratings were reduced in response to cross-selling of a supplementary service that was of low relevance to the core service, and that satisfaction ratings if it was perceived to be of high relevance compared were not reduced despite the unsolicited attempt at cross-selling. However, the non-negative response to a high-relevance offer was limited to participants with a lower tendency to reactance. Furthermore, a high predisposition to self-monitoring evoked more positive judgments if a low-relevance supplementary service was proposed in public rather than privately. That of low self-monitors was no different in either case.

Originality/value

This paper examines the trade-off faced by a service provider between customer satisfaction and extra revenue from supplementary services, and explores conditions under which a provider can propose unsolicited supplementary services without offending customers.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2018

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku, Po-Hsiang Yang and Chia-Lun Chang

Marketers may proactively give customers personalized notices regarding their progress toward certain rewards as a means to stimulate ongoing behaviors. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Marketers may proactively give customers personalized notices regarding their progress toward certain rewards as a means to stimulate ongoing behaviors. This paper aims to investigate the effect on customer repatronage intention by framed messages concerning either goal-distance or consequences of an action and it also seeks to identify important variables moderating those responses.

Design/methodology/approach

Five between-subjects experiments examined how participants’ repatronage intentions, in response to the framing of goal-distance (Study 1a) and consequences of an action (Study 2a), varied as a function of their level of progress toward goal completion and also tested if the framing effects might be attenuated when relationship benefit was high rather than low (Studies 1b and 2b). They further adopted perceived reciprocity as an underlying mechanism for examining the interplay between these two kinds of framing in stimulating ongoing behavior (Study 3).

Findings

Although messages which emphasized what individuals need to spend more to attain a reward (versus how short they are from earning a reward) or loss following inaction (versus gain following action) were likely to erode intention, such effects were confined to individuals with a moderate level of progress. This intention-eroding effect was further attenuated by attractive reward. The persuasive advantages of short-from-the-end framing of goal-distance over more-to-the-end counterparts were found to be diminished when paired with a loss-framed message concerning consequences of an action. Furthermore, the observed effects on intention were mediated by perceived reciprocity.

Originality/value

The studies add to the current understanding of how the way in which information is presented might enhance loyalty or fail to do so.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2020

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku, Szu-Han Wang and Hao-Wei Chiang

Based on the concept of information salience, the research investigates the factors that might drive potential differences in consumers' preferences between offers framed…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the concept of information salience, the research investigates the factors that might drive potential differences in consumers' preferences between offers framed as free with purchase or as a bundle.

Design/methodology/approach

Four experiments examined how participants' preferences for bundled offers or free-with-purchase offers varied as a function of the perceived benefits to be obtained from the supplementary products (studies 1a and 1b) and identified participants' sensitivity to the price of the supplementary component as a mediator of the framing effect of a promotional offer (study 2) and the provision of information facilitating the drawing of comparisons as the boundary condition constraining the effectiveness of a free-with-purchase offer (study 3).

Findings

Results show that a bundled offer is preferable to a free-with-purchase offer when the supplementary product provides a high-level rather than a low-level benefit and identify price sensitivity as an underlying mechanism behind the observed effect. Furthermore, consumers' sensitivity to the value of the focal product in the deal brought to their attention by comparative information makes a fair charge for a relatively unattractive component the preferable offer.

Originality/value

While much of the existing published research on bundled offers focuses on the assigning of discounts to individual products in the bundle, this study adds to the body of knowledge by showing that variation in perceived benefits is the key driver of different responses to a free-with-purchase offer versus a bundled offer.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2013

Hsuan‐Hsuan Ku, Chien‐Chih Kuo and Martin Chen

To investigate customer satisfaction with service encounters characterized by an over‐attentive level of service, and the contextual and individual factors moderating the…

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate customer satisfaction with service encounters characterized by an over‐attentive level of service, and the contextual and individual factors moderating the resulting satisfaction scores.

Design/methodology/approach

The first of three formal experiments tests the prediction that consumer reactions vary with the margin between actual and expected levels of service. The second examines the influence of the tendency to psychological reactance on participants’ responses to excessive service. The third assesses the effect of a predisposition to suspiciousness on satisfaction scores, in scenarios which, respectively, specify that extremely over‐attentive service or “normal” service are directed at participants personally or is offered to all customers unselectively.

Findings

The first experiment found moderately excessive service to be acceptable to most participants but unexpectedly over‐attentive service to affect satisfaction negatively. The second found the negative impact of extremely over‐attentive service to be limited to participants with a greater tendency to psychological reactance. The third found that a high predisposition to suspicion resulted in lower satisfaction levels whether the scenario specified extremely over‐attentive service that was personal or on offer to all, whereas the satisfaction scores of participants with a lower predisposition to suspicion were not affected in those scenarios.

Originality/value

Whereas the relevant literature has focussed on customer reactions to service that falls below expectations, this paper studies service encounters in which it surpasses them. It hypothesizes a counterproductive effect on customer satisfaction and identifies contextual and individual factors that explain and predict that outcome.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2013

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku, Chien-Chih Kuo, Yi-Ting Yang and Tzu-Shao Chung

This study aims to examine the relative effectiveness of demand-related and supply-related explanations of the scarcity of a product, and specifically the extent to which…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relative effectiveness of demand-related and supply-related explanations of the scarcity of a product, and specifically the extent to which decision context and individual factors moderate purchase intention in response to those explanations.

Design/methodology/approach

The first of two formal experiments examines the effects of the two kinds of scarcity on participants ' purchase intentions with respect to utilitarian and hedonic product types. The second tests for self-monitoring differences in participants ' relative susceptibility to scenarios characterizing scarcity as either demand-generated or supply-generated, when their decisions are either private or subject to third-party scrutiny.

Findings

Experiment 1 shows that participants shopping for a utilitarian product are more inclined to respond positively to what they understand to be demand-generated scarcity, and less inclined to do so if the scarcity was attributed to limited supply; whereas the converse holds true for a hedonic product. Experiment 2 shows that for high self-monitors, increased purchase intention was the outcome of matching the alleged reason for scarcity to the demands of the decision context; low self-monitors were ready to consider demand-scarce products regardless of whether they knew that their consumption decisions would be subject to third-party scrutiny or private.

Originality/value

The paper identifies contextual and individual factors that explain and predict the extent to which one type of scarcity appeal may be more effective than another in influencing consumers ' purchasing decisions.

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku and Ko-Hsin Hsu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how customers respond to a service provider’s invitation to share responsibility for the experience of an “impersonal” service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how customers respond to a service provider’s invitation to share responsibility for the experience of an “impersonal” service that is not customized but available to all customers on an equal footing; specifically to assess the extent to which the tendency to psychological reactance moderates their responses.

Design/methodology/approach

Four studies investigate the effects of such invitations on perceptions of shared responsibility, the mechanism underlying that process, the effect of trait reactance on susceptibility to an invitation, and the extent to which a predisposition to reactance moderates the effect of an invitation on willingness to share blame for service failure.

Findings

Service customers are more likely to feel a sense of shared responsibility and less likely to experience reactance in response to a “reciprocal” invitation to participate in “co-creation” of the experience than to a more “unilateral” invitation. That heightened perception of shared responsibility was restricted to low-reactance individuals, who were also more willing to share the blame for service failure in response to a unilateral invitation and even more so when it was reciprocal. The willingness of high-reactance individuals was unaffected by the type of invitation.

Originality/value

Whereas the relevant literature has focussed mainly on person-to-person service transactions, the studies reported here show how customers may be converted into active partners in an “impersonal” service encounter.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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