Purpose – This paper aims to examine how two non-price cues – consumer rating and number of purchased social coupons (SCs) – serve as risk-relievers for high and low variety-seekers and subsequently impact their purchase decision for SCs offered by unfamiliar brands. Design/methodology/approach – Participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk online panels participated in three scenario-based experiments. Findings – Low (vs high) variety-seekers perceive greater risk and indicate lower likelihood of purchasing SCs offered by unfamiliar brands. Both high and low variety-seekers utilize the two non-priced cues – consumer rating and number of purchased SCs – as risk-relievers sequentially. That is, consumer rating constantly has a substantial impact on purchase likelihood for such SCs, whereas number of purchased SCs is influential only when consumer rating becomes ambiguous. Specifically, low (vs high) variety-seekers have a greater tendency to rely on number of purchased SCs in addition to consumer rating as a risk-reliever. Originality/value – This paper examines cue utilization process in the SC context and suggests that high and low variety-seekers respond to the two non-price cues differently and sequentially. This provides theoretical insights on consumers’ cue utilization process and managerial insights regarding how managers could strategically handle the cues on SC provider websites. Further, this paper identifies situations where high variety-seekers may not prefer unfamiliar experiences and low variety-seekers may become more likely to embrace unfamiliar experiences.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 9, 2014
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