I want products my own way, but which way? The effects of different product categories and cues on customer responses to Web-based customizations

Chia-Chi Chang*, Hui Yun Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mass customization is a strategy that has been adopted by companies to tailor their products in order to match customer needs more precisely. Therefore, to fully capture the value of mass customization, it is crucial to explore how customers react to mass customization. In previous studies, an implied premise has been that consumers are keen to embrace customized products, and this assumption has also been treated by firms as a prerequisite for successful mass customization strategies. However, an undesirable complexity may result from difficult configuration processes that may intimidate and confuse some customers. Hence, this study explores strategies that marketers can employ to facilitate the customization process. Specifically, this study investigates how to enhance customer satisfaction and purchase decision toward customized products by providing cues compatible with the product category. It is hypothesized that for search products, customers rely more on intrinsic cues when making configuration decisions. On the other hand, for experience products, customers perceive extrinsic cues to be more valuable in assisting them to make configuration decisions. The results suggest that consumers tend to respond more favorably toward customized search products when intrinsic cues are provided than when extrinsic or irrelevant ones are provided. In contrast, when customizing experience products, customers tend to depend more on extrinsic cues than on intrinsic or irrelevant ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2009

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