Spoiled for choice: Consumer confusion in internet-based mass customization

K. Matzler, M. Waiguny, J. Füller

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Companies are challenged to shift production and marketing strategies from focusing on market segments to making individually customized offers. Mass customization, however, leads to a tremendous extension of the configuration possibilities and in turn choice. As a consequence, customers can easily be overwhelmed with choice and information which can negatively affect decision behavior. In marketing literature, this phenomenon has been described as consumer confusion. It leads to coping strategies such as to abandon the purchase decision, postpone the purchase, seek additional information, delegate the decision, etc. In this paper, we investigate the impact of the consumer’s product knowledge and of the vendor’s usability of the website on consumer confusion in the context of internet-based mass customisation. Then, the impact of consumer confusion on five coping strategies (share/delegate the decision, seek additional information, narrow down the choice set/choose the standard model, abandon the purchase, and choose low-price offers) is tested using structural equation modelling (SEM) with Partial Least Squares (PLS). We report the results of an experiment (N=180), where subjects were confronted with an online-buying situation of a mass-customized product (laptop) using a configuration tool of the vendor. © Kurt Matzler, Martin Waiguny, Johann Füller, 2007.
Seiten (von - bis)7-18
FachzeitschriftInnovative Marketing
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2007
Extern publiziertJa

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