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Consumers’ psychological outcomes linked to the use of an online store’s recommendation system

Journal paper
Francisco J. Martínez-López, Irene Esteban-Millat, Ana Argila, & Francisco Rejón-Guardia.
Internet Research, 25 (4), 562-588
Publication year: 2015

Purpose – Psychological perspective has been omitted or considered a secondary issue by past studies focused on e-commerce recommendation systems (RS). However, this perspective is key to gaining a better understanding of consumer behaviours when these systems are used to support purchasing processes at online stores. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – The field study consisted of a simulated online shopping process undertaken by a sample of internet users with a recommender system at a real online store (Pixmania). The authors applied rigorous and detailed exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to assess the empirical validity of the model.

Findings – The proposed sequence of psychological outcomes is valid, with the exception of one hypothesized relationship. In particular, satisfaction with an online store’s recommender has a strong influence on a consumer’s willingness to purchase one of the items related to his/her shopping goal. However, this satisfaction has no direct effect on a consumer’s intention to make add-on purchases based on the recommender’s suggestions. On the contrary, the results support the idea that add-on purchases are conditioned by a previous purchase related to the consumer’s initial shopping goal. On the other hand, a consumer’s flow state while shopping improves all his/her psychological outcomes linked to an online store’s recommender. The influence of flow state is particularly interesting when seeking to gain a better understanding of consumers’ unplanned purchases based on the recommender’s suggestions. These findings have important implications for practitioners.

Originality/value – This paper discusses in detail and empirically test a set of psychological outcomes that emerge when an e-vendor’s recommender is used to assist a consumer’s shopping process. To the best of the knowledge, this is the first attempt that empirically tests most of the hypothesized relationships within an online store’s RS context.

wicm20.v028.i04.cover

Understanding the Green Buying Behavior of Younger Millennials from India and the United States: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Journal paper
Muralidharan, S., Rejón-Guardia, F., & Xue, F.
Journal of International Consumer Marketing Volume 28, 2016 - Issue 1
Publication year: 2015

The consumer socialization framework cites the importance of family, peers, and mass media in the consumption learning process, but their impact on Millennials in the realm of green consumerism has yet to be explored. The purpose of this study was (a) to propose an integrative theoretical model for determining the relative importance of socialization factors on Millennials’ green buying behavior and (b) to study the impact of culture in selecting socialization agents as sources of green product information.

Using Amazon M-Turk, an online survey was administered to a sample of younger Millennials from India (n = 253) and the United States (n = 253) aged 18 – 24 years. Structural equation modeling provided general support for the model. The results showed that interpersonal sources were more important in elevating environmental concerns and promoting green buying behavior than mass media. In India, family impacted environmental concern while peers influenced green buying behavior. For the US, both interpersonal sources impacted green attitudes and behavior. Environmental concern was found to play a mediating role in the socialization process and differences between and within genders in each country were found. Theoretical and marketing implications are discussed.

KEYWORDS: Consumer socializationcultureenvironmental concerngreen buying behaviorIndiaUnited Statesyounger Millennials

Digital advertising

A review of Classics and new Internet and Social networks advertising formats

Book Chapter
Rejón-Guardia, F. & Martínez-López, F.J.
In Digital Advertising co-edited by Drs. Shelly Rodgers and Esther Thorson. Editorial Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Publication year: 2016

The upward trend in investing in Internet advertising highlights the increasing use of the Net as a space for performing promotional activities. Specifically, companies’ integrated marketing communications (IMC) are using the Internet as a main means of advertising and, increasingly social networks, as part of their communication strategies. This chapter provides an exhaustive theoretical analysis of the efficacy of on-line advertising. The analysis focuses specifically on on-line communication research, with an in-depth study of the most widely used advertising formats. The chapter concludes with some recommendations for managers and academics for improving the efficacy of on-line communication particularly within the social network context.

Keywords. Advertising effectiveness, Internet advertising, online advertising formats, social network sites.

978-3-319-11815-4

Evaluation of the Cognitive Effectiveness on Social Media Advertising Formats.

Book Chapter
Rejón-Guardia, F., Martínez-López, F. J., Esteban-Millat, I., & Gázquez-Abad, J. C.
In Let’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era (pp. 133-134). Springer International Publishing
Publication year: 2016

Social networking sites (SNS) are used to promote brands, products or services through targeted marketing campaigns, but the precise effectiveness of these campaigns has yet to be established (Van Noort et al. 2012). The research question we address in this study is whether commercial communication via SNS is cognitively effective. A review of the literature clearly shows that if a commercial message receives no prior attention, the likelihood that it will be processed by and influence the consumer is negligible (Chan et al. 2004).

For the purposes of this study we consider that an individual has given attention to a message when the advertising information transmitted has an impact on his or her memory, in the form of brand recall and recognition. A classical post-test survey design was used to examine the responses of a panel of Facebook users to advertising formats displayed within the site. The type of advertising format was used as a control factor to determine the impact on the cognitive effectiveness of the message transmitted. The study has a twofold objective: (1) to examine which of the formats most commonly used in social media advertising condition attention types; and (2) to analyse the effect of advertising pressure on consumer attention and brand recall.

Social media advertising is an effective communication tool for attracting user attention, leading to higher attention levels than those recorded for advertising in other online contexts. Differences are observed in user attention to distinct advertising stimuli, with video found to be the most effective format for attracting user attention in SNS. However, higher advertising pressure leads to lower attention levels and poorer recall rates. Active exposure to social media advertising leads to higher recall rates of the messages transmitted. The constraints of this study include the use of single product/brand, and the experimental conditions of the data collection stage. Among our future areas of research we propose to evaluate attention in behavioural terms, using a range of tools including eye-tracking to provide empirical evidence of attention rates for social media advertising.

Keywords: Cognitive Effectiveness Social Media Advertising Brand Recall Consumer Attention
978-3-319-11815-4

How Delisting All National Brands in a Given Assortment Impacts on Consumers’ Store Switching Intentions

Book Chapter
Gázquez-Abad, J. C., Martínez-López, F. J., Esteban-Millat, I., Mondéjar-Jiménez, J. A., & Rejón-Guardia, F.
In Let’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era (pp. 115-116). Springer International Publishing.
Publication year: 2016

Brand delisting is a specific type of assortment reduction. It refers to the removal of all items of a single brand, leading to the unavailability of the brand within the store (Sloot and Verhoef 2008, p. 281). Recent retailing-related professional publications indicate that national brand (NB) delistings are not uncommon in food retailing (e.g., the American retailer Wal-Mart, the Dutch food retail chain Edah, the UK retailer ASDA, the German retailers Edeka and Metro, and the Spanish retailer Mercadona). Conflicts of retailers with manufacturers seemed to be behind such delisting decisions. Indeed, delisting – or threatening to delist – a manufacturer’s brand is a tool that retailers often use to improve their negotiation position with brand manufacturers. Notwithstanding, despite the great managerial relevance of this topic, researchers have paid almost no attention to brand delisting so far. There is only limited research (papers by Boatwright and Nunes 2001; Sloot and Verhoef 2008; Wiebach and Hildebrandt 2012) on the effects of an entire brand delisting. However, none of these papers analyzes the consequences of delisting all national brands in a given assortment, so that a retailer offers an assortment based only on private labels (PL). Can a retailer ‘push out’ all manufacturer brands from its shelves, offering only its own brand, with no consequences? This is the main research question of our paper.

In summary, our results reveal that retailers should be particularly careful about delisting NBs (specially high-equity NBs), given that there is an inverse relationship between assortment size and the intentions to switch to another store to purchase the category as well as the whole shopping-basket. Therefore, we recommend retailers to offer assortments containing both their own brand and a higher number of NBs (nine vs. three). Offering ‘only-PL’ assortments has negative consequences in terms of consumers having a greater probability to switch to another store to purchase. Nevertheless, for retailers offering ‘mixed’ assortments, a higher proportion of high-equity NBs may help to reduce the intentions to switch to another store.

This research has been funded by Foundation Ramón Areces (Spain).

Keywords

Brands Brand Delisting National Brand Private Label

Cover-PyschoMarket-150

Influence of the virtual brand community in sports sponsorship.

Journal paper
Alonso Dos Santos, M., Calabuig Moreno, F., Rejón-Guardia, F. & Pérez Campos, Carlos
Psychology & Marketing (in press 2016)
Publication year: 2016

This study explores how the virtual brand community (VBC) of soccer-team supporters influence the brand’s attitude toward sponsorship according to the theory of image transfer. The study provides a comparative analysis using both structural equation modeling (SEM) and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). 609 supporters of a professional, 1st division Spanish soccer team provide the data. The results from SEM support the importance of control, attitude toward the team, and identification variables. However, SEM cannot assure the usefulness of variables such as trust and opportunism when evaluating the resulting attitude toward the sponsor.

The results from the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) on the same data set show that not all variables are necessary conditions in order to influence sponsorship. The most relevant variables to obtain valid and useful results are control, attitude toward the team, and trust. The combination of attitude toward the team, identification, and trust is also valid. Attitude toward the team and trust variables are present in the two combinations of variables leading to a positive, favorable attitude toward the sponsor, thus reflecting their importance in marketing experts’ assessment of image transmission in professional teams.

978-3-319-11815-4

Main Psychological Sequence of Responses Linked to the Consumer’s Use of an e-Vendor’s Recommender

Book Chapter
Martínez-López, F. J., Esteban-Millat, I., Argila, A. M., & Rejón-Guardia, F.
In Let’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era (pp. 69-70). Springer International Publishing.
Publication year: 2016

Studies on e-commerce recommendation systems with a focus on marketing and, specifically, on consumers and their decision-making, are harder to find. Nevertheless, this approach is important to gaining an understanding of the adoption and use of e-commerce. We focus on the chain of psychological outcomes linked to an e-vendor’s RS that emerge once such a system is adopted and used to support an online shopping process and possible purchase. As a basis for our approach, we use the theoretical proposal by Martínez-López et al. (2010) for this purpose. In particular, we consider a sequence of four psychological variables with reference to which it is posited that consumers’ perceived performance of an online store’s recommendation system (RS) and their satisfaction with it have an influence on their willingness to purchase with the support of such a system’s suggestions. Other direct antecedent variables are considered too, taken from classic and novel consumer behaviour theories applied to online shopping environments. However, this interesting sequence of psychological responses has yet to be empirically tested.

Our model is based on the integrative, theoretical model proposed by Martínez-López et al. (2010). It works with a set of four constructs as psychological responses related to the use of an e-vendor’s RS: the consumer’s perception of the RS’s performance; satisfaction with the RS; willingness to buy a searched item based on the RS’s recommendation; and finally, willingness to make a cross/add-on purchase based on the system’s suggestions. Furthermore, three antecedents are included for such responses.

In order to test the structural model, based on the same reasons presented above, we applied a RWLS method. Model fit indices were generally quite satisfactory. The estimation of the model’s structural coefficients showed all our hypotheses to be significant, with the exception of H10. The results showed that there is no direct relationship (although there is an indirect relationship through the predisposition of the consumer to purchase) between the user’s satisfaction with the RS-WS and his/her predisposition to make a crossed purchase or a more expensive purchase. In other words, individuals who are satisfied with the RS are generally more inclined to purchase what the system recommends in relation to their primary search object, but they will not be more inclined to purchase products/services outside their primary shopping goal, related to add-on selling suggestions. To be specific, consumers will only be more inclined to purchase add-on products to their primary shopping goal (i.e. cross/up selling) when they intend to follow the recommendations of the RS in relation to their initial search. This is when they are willing to accept and follow other suggestions made by the recommender about other products that complement their initial shopping goal or are more expensive.

Keywords: Online store Consumer Responses to recommendation system Psychological perspective

978-3-319-11815-4

Students’ Flow Experiences in Virtual Learning Environments: A Consumer Behaviour Perspective

Book Chapter
Esteban-Millat, I., Martínez-López, F. J., Gázquez-Abad, J. C., Rejón-Guardia, F., Messeger-Artola, A., & Rodríguez-Ardura, I.
In Let’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era (pp. 81-82). Springer International Publishing.
Publication year: 2016

Social networking sites (SNS) are used to promote brands, products or services through targeted marketing campaigns, but the precise effectiveness of these campaigns has yet to be established (Van Noort et al. 2012). The research question we address in this study is whether commercial communication via SNS is cognitively effective. A review of the literature clearly shows that if a commercial message receives no prior attention, the likelihood that it will be processed by and influence the consumer is negligible (Chan et al. 2004).

For the purposes of this study we consider that an individual has given attention to a message when the advertising information transmitted has an impact on his or her memory, in the form of brand recall and recognition. A classical post-test survey design was used to examine the responses of a panel of Facebook users to advertising formats displayed within the site. The type of advertising format was used as a control factor to determine the impact on the cognitive effectiveness of the message transmitted. The study has a twofold objective: (1) to examine which of the formats most commonly used in social media advertising condition attention types; and (2) to analyse the effect of advertising pressure on consumer attention and brand recall.

Social media advertising is an effective communication tool for attracting user attention, leading to higher attention levels than those recorded for advertising in other online contexts. Differences are observed in user attention to distinct advertising stimuli, with video found to be the most effective format for attracting user attention in SNS. However, higher advertising pressure leads to lower attention levels and poorer recall rates. Active exposure to social media advertising leads to higher recall rates of the messages transmitted. The constraints of this study include the use of single product/brand, and the experimental conditions of the data collection stage. Among our future areas of research we propose to evaluate attention in behavioural terms, using a range of tools including eye-tracking to provide empirical evidence of attention rates for social media advertising.

Keywords

Cognitive Effectiveness Social Media Advertising Brand Recall Consumer Attention

wico20.v016.i01.cover

Journal fo Internet commerce

Journal paper
Rejón-Guardia, F., & Luna-Nevares C.
In press 2017
Publication year: 2017

The present study focuses on multichannel retailing strategies and describes the state of consumer behavior regarding “showrooming” (the practice of examining merchandise or products in a retail store and then buying it online). Founded on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), we examine the antecedents of competitive showrooming using data collected from a sample of 176 retail consumers. Based on our results, we define perceived control, website compatibility, and subjective norms as the main antecedents of consumer attitudes toward online purchases. Additionally, we state that previous experience and reasons against purchasing online are directly associated with consumers’ intention to purchase on the retailer’s website. Finally, some theoretical conclusions and practical implications for retailers are discussed.

THE ACTIVE SENIOR TOURIST: THE CASE OF THE BALEARIC ISLANDS

Book Chapter
Rejón-Guardia, F., García-Sastre, M.A., & Alemany-Hormaeche, M.
Springer - Bodrum conference
Publication year: 2017

Tourism in mature, seasonal destinations such as The Balearic Islands should be redirected towards more sustainable products and policies. The present study examines hiking tourists, underlining the role and great potential they have for the destination. A sample of hikers approached in the Tramuntana mountain range was segmented by age, differentiating between senior hikers of 60 years and above, and the rest of respondents. The analysis of results showed distinct socio-demographic characteristics and motivations for choosing the tourist destination, as well as different patterns of tourist behaviour, spending and levels of satisfaction. The findings have important practical applications for the promotion of hiking destinations as tourism products.