Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two types of shopping aids, that is, research‐supporting and solution‐oriented shopping aids, and examine their effectiveness, considering both consumer and situational factors. Design/methodology/approach – Expanded selection and additional detailed information are chosen to illustrate research‐supporting shopping aids, and personalized product recommendations and product ratings are used as examples of solution‐oriented shopping aids. This conceptual paper proposes that usage of shopping aids has an effect on the purchase likelihood and decision satisfaction and focuses on studying the moderating role of consumer product knowledge and time pressure. The thesis is that congruence between the type of a shopping aid and consumer characteristics, such as product knowledge, or situational characteristics, such as time pressure, should enhance the effectiveness of shopping aids. Findings – The research propositions in this paper delineate how the use of retail shopping aids should affect the consumer's purchase likelihood, decision satisfaction, decision confidence, and evaluation costs, under the moderating influence of product knowledge and time pressure. Overall, knowledgeable consumers and less time‐pressed consumers should benefit from research‐supporting shopping aids (i.e. expanded selection and additional product information), whereas novice consumers and time‐pressed consumers should benefit from solution‐oriented shopping aids (i.e. personalized product recommendation and product ratings). Originality/value – Retail shopping aids are designed to offer sales assistance for consumers to handle the obstacles to purchase completion. However, past efforts to install retail shopping aids have seen mixed results. This conceptual paper advocates that consideration of consumer characteristics and situational factors is necessary to understand the effects of shopping aid usage. This paper thus contributes to the understanding of solutions to purchase decision deferral and the determinants of decision satisfaction, and has practical implications for retailers regarding providing retail shopping aids to facilitate purchase completion and shopping experiences.
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 15, 2011
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Shopping; Decision making; Product information; Shopping aids; Retail technology; Purchase deferral; Decision satisfaction
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