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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Pingjun Jiang

In this paper, it is argued that the concept of mass customization should not be treated as an alternative strategy to market segmentation. It should be seen as an…

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Abstract

In this paper, it is argued that the concept of mass customization should not be treated as an alternative strategy to market segmentation. It should be seen as an integral part of market segmentation theory which offers the best way to satisfy individual consumer’s unique needs and wants while yielding profits to companies. Though the overall objective of the concept of mass customization is to recognize individual differences among customers and modify the offerings accordingly, by using the logic of the segmentation theory, this paper argues that mass customization is also not simply equal to segmenting‐to‐one. If all the relevant variables that affect buyer behavior are taken into account, the result is an untenably large number of market segments (finally segment of one). However, practically, creating separate marketing programs for each individual in most circumstances will become extremely difficult, even not feasible, and less profitable. In response to this dilemma, this paper proposes a new concept of “Segment‐based mass customization”. The basic idea behind this concept is that, mass customization is the efforts of reaching a segment unit efficiently and profitably. The efficiency and profitability will be determined by whether the mass customization is based on an optimal segment size, which is subject to the market situation and company resources. Finally, this paper comes up with a series of propositions which are relevant to developing a good customization strategy.

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Internet Research, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Pingjun Jiang

An increasing interest in consumer behavior online is the investigation of their price search activities. Most empirical evidence from Internet shopping literature…

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3446

Abstract

An increasing interest in consumer behavior online is the investigation of their price search activities. Most empirical evidence from Internet shopping literature suggests through reducing search cost, that the Internet will increase consumer price search and intensify price competition. This paper develops a conceptual model and a set of propositions to explain the main factors influencing online price search. Specifically, this model integrates the psychological search literature under the context of online environment by incorporating ability and cost to search for information into “perceived search efficiency”, and the factors that center on the perceived benefits and motivation of price search are investigated as well.

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Internet Research, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Pingjun Jiang, Siva K Balasubramanian and Zarrel V. Lambert

The purpose of this paper is to make contributions toward new knowledge and understanding of how marketers can provide effective online customization experiences for…

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2280

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make contributions toward new knowledge and understanding of how marketers can provide effective online customization experiences for customers. The practicality of online mass customization has received much attention as consumers perceive more value from customized products than from their standardized counterparts. Little research has been done to understand consumers’ behavioral intentions in response to these value additions. This study incorporates product information framing in developing and empirically testing a model of the relationship between online customization and price sensitivity, endowment addition and expected likelihood of product return.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship among the constructs specified in the model was tested using multiple group structural equation modeling analysis.

Findings

The findings indicate that consumers perceived knowledge gain via customization process influences the utilitarian value, which directly impacts levels of likelihood of product return and price sensitivity. The process value, on the hedonic side, influences more on the endowment addition. Endowment addition is found to mediate the relationship between the hedonic benefits and the two utilitarian outcome variables: price sensitivity and likelihood of product return.

Originality/value

Understanding the consequences of customization is particularly crucial for marketers. This research is the first to expand and further our knowledge of customization, particularly in relation to its outcomes of customers’ behavioral intentions.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Pingjun Jiang and James Talaga

Building a customer base as an outcome of customer satisfaction has not been investigated empirically in e‐tailing industry. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature.

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3151

Abstract

Purpose

Building a customer base as an outcome of customer satisfaction has not been investigated empirically in e‐tailing industry. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

Explores the relationship between satisfying customers and building a customer base using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Data from the e‐retailing industry related to the input variables (e.g. customers' ratings on a set of e‐store attributes) and output variables (e.g. a proxy measure of “customer base”) are analyzed.

Findings

Performance scores for developing a customer base vary across product categories. Performance score is a good parameter for predicting future change on a unique number of visitors and on the competition pattern for a particular e‐tailer.

Research limitations/implications

Further study can examine other drivers of a developing customer base (e.g. advertising, trust building, and strategic alliance) – thereby producing more robust evidence for customer base development in e‐tailing industry.

Practical implications

Good practices in the generation of customers and page view have been identified. Knowing the efficiency patterns of an e‐tailer makes it possible to guide managerial action by providing a measure of the extent to which different management actions at the e‐tailer can lead to higher future customer growth. Managers should realize that customers match realizations and expectations of product/service performance.

Originality/value

This study has identified satisfaction as the important driver of developing a customer base. It focuses on improving diagnosis of the performance of e‐tailers by assessing reach efficiency and page view efficiency separately.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Pingjun Jiang

Investigates the role of brand name in consumers' decision making during a customization process, and develops a conceptual understanding of the factors influencing the…

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7866

Abstract

Investigates the role of brand name in consumers' decision making during a customization process, and develops a conceptual understanding of the factors influencing the role of brand name from a “search vs experience” perspective. Addresses the strategic relationship of brand with perceived product/service/information preference match and the impact of preference match on consumer “willingness to pay for customization”. Brand name was found to be an important decision variable for customization in terms of getting a better preference match. Brand name still holds an important role on consumer communications, as was expected. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that customization would not “commoditize” brands, but rather increase the effect of brand names in purchase decision making. High‐knowledge consumers reported stronger brand name effect in terms of its importance and usefulness in their decision making. The brand name effect varies across product categories, and the effect is stronger in the customization of search products than that in experience products. Thus, brand names have greater impact on choices in a search product where less total quality information on components is available for facilitating consumer choices. Discusses managerial implications of the study's findings.

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Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Pingjun Jiang

Purpose – The marketing literature does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the role of consumer's attention in the process of how Country-of-Manufacture (COM…

Abstract

Purpose – The marketing literature does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the role of consumer's attention in the process of how Country-of-Manufacture (COM) information influences consumer product evaluations. The research contributes to an improved understanding of this process by integrating the construct of “attention to Country-of-Manufacture” into the model and examining its relationship with the influence of COM.

Design/methodology/approach – Survey data are collected from American consumers aged 18 years and above. To test the research hypotheses, MANOVA and canonical correlation analysis are performed in analyzing the data.

Findings – COM has more influence on the attentive group (consumers consciously paying attention to the COM information on a product label), on their evaluations of abstract product attributes such as durability and reliability than it does on the inattentive group (consumers not paying conscious attention to such information). In contrast, COM's influences on evaluating concrete product attributes such as style, model, availability, and quality are all significantly related to involvement with COM, but not to attention.

Research limitations/implications – The product assessments sought from respondents are generally on “foreign” products. Future research needs to obtain product-specific evaluations within each product category in testing the model and see how the results may differ or not differ across product categories.

Practical implications – Marketers selling products with high performance in abstract attributes such as durability and reliability should increase consumers’ attention to the COM through effective product labeling.

Originality/value – This research identifies and empirically investigates the difference of COM effects on consumers’ product judgment between consumers who are attentive and the ones who are inattentive to COM information.

Details

Research in Consumer Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-444-4

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Pingjun Jiang and Bert Rosenbloom

This research reviews numerous studies of the relationship between consumer knowledge and external search in conventional marketing channels to investigate differences…

Abstract

Purpose

This research reviews numerous studies of the relationship between consumer knowledge and external search in conventional marketing channels to investigate differences among these studies that have produced conflicting results. The findings provide a benchmark for future researchers and practitioners seeking to gain insight into consumer information search processes unfolding in the new environment of online, mobile, and social networking channels.

Methodology

A meta-analysis of an extensive array of empirical studies of the relationship between consumer knowledge and external information search was conducted. Regression analysis was used to test whether certain characteristics in the studies can explain variability in the effect sizes in which effect sizes are entered as dependent variables and moderators as independent variables.

Findings

Objective and subjective knowledge tend to increase search, while direct experience tends to reduce search. Consumers with higher objective knowledge search more when pursuing credence products. However, they search relatively less when pursuing search products. Consumers with higher subjective knowledge are much more likely to search in the context of experience products, but as is the case for objective knowledge having little effect on search for experience products, subjective knowledge has no significant effect on information seeking for search products. In addition, objective knowledge facilitates more information search in a complex decision-making context while higher subjective knowledge fosters more external information search in a simple decision-marketing context. Finally, the findings indicate that the knowledge search relationship reflects strong linkage in the pre-Internet era.

Originality

Relatively little is known about how the relationship between knowledge and information search varies across different types of products in simple or complex decision-making contexts. This study begins to fill this gap by providing insight into the relative importance of objective knowledge, subjective knowledge, and direct experience in influencing consumer information search activities for search, experience, and credence products in simple or complex decision-making contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Pingjun Jiang, Siva K. Balasubramanian and Zarrel V. Lambert

Despite significant business spending in areas such as personalization tools and add-on options representing levels of product attributes, most marketers do not know the…

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2195

Abstract

Purpose

Despite significant business spending in areas such as personalization tools and add-on options representing levels of product attributes, most marketers do not know the amount of value that is directly attributable to their e-customization strategies. This study aims to offer an in-depth investigation of consumers' value perceptions of e-customization and their relationship with perceived sufficiency of information and cognitive cost. The context effects on value perception in e-customization are studied together with antecedent constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

The research consists of a 2×2 between-subjects factorial design. The full model is tested using multiple-group structural equation modeling analysis to verify the significance of the inter-relationships between constructs, as well as the main and the interaction effects of two experimental factors (product information framing and product type).

Findings

The experimental results showed that perceived e-customization value does not simply stem from the ability to “narrow-cast” content more specifically related to a shopper's interests (i.e. anticipated fulfillment value). Rather, this value also stems from the dynamic flexibility of the information system and its ability to entertain and educate during the information dissemination process (i.e. process value and knowledge value). Furthermore, when the customization framing features are better matched with product type characteristics, e-customization seemed to increase value in ways that are difficult to achieve in conventional shopping environments.

Originality/value

By testing the proposed structural model simultaneously with two experimental factors of product type and information framing, this work is the first to address the question of context effects on value creation in an area of increasing substantive importance.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Pingjun Jiang and Bert Rosenbloom

Compared with the emphasis that service quality research has received in online marketing, much less work has been done on the role of price perception, service…

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20927

Abstract

Purpose

Compared with the emphasis that service quality research has received in online marketing, much less work has been done on the role of price perception, service attribute‐level performance and satisfaction that unfolds over time, and their effects on customer retention. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds propositions about the role of price and customer satisfaction at different stages on customers' intention to return. Research hypotheses are developed based on theory from the combined literatures of services, product pricing, and behavioral decision theory. Data from the e‐retailing industry related to two specific periods of shopping experience (at checkout and after delivery) are used in the empirical tests. Structural equation modeling is employed to test the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that after‐delivery satisfaction has a much stronger influence on both overall customer satisfaction and intention to return than at‐checkout satisfaction, and that price perception, when measured on a comparative basis, has a direct and positive effect on customer overall satisfaction and intention to return.

Research limitations/implications

The data are only available from surveying customers who have made purchases. Future study can investigate how satisfaction with shopping convenience has impacted customer acquisition. Measures of actual return behavior, as opposed to behavioral intentions, will also enhance the validity of the study.

Practical implications

This paper concludes that excellence pre‐sales service is not necessarily an advantage that allows e‐tailers to develop customer retention. In fact, e‐tailers might command higher customer retention through providing good performance in after‐delivery service and continuously generating favorable price perceptions among customers because both have a strong and positive influence on return intention.

Originality/value

This research conceptualizes and explores different aspects of satisfaction that unfold over time, regarding customers' whole shopping experience with a particular e‐retailer. It is a pioneer work that empirically investigates the relative contribution of at‐checkout and after‐delivery satisfaction in generating intention to return to an e‐tailer.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2013

Abstract

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-811-2

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