Increasing the Attractiveness of Mass Customization: The Role of Complementary Online Services and Range of Options

Abstract: This study investigates the antecedents of consumer intentions to use mass customization on the Internet and the joint role of complementary online services (visualization, salesperson interaction, and post-purchase product adaptation) and range of mass customization options in online mass customization. We extend past research by demonstrating that perceptions of control and enjoyment, in addition to perceptions of product outcome and complexity, have a strong impact on consumer intentions to use an online mass customization process. We find that both increasing the range of mass customization options and providing complementary online services enhance perceptions of product outcome, control, and enjoyment in using an online mass customization process. However, in contrast to increases in the range of mass customization options, complementary online services do so without increasing the perceived complexity of the process. Finally, our study finds that perceived control mediates the negative effect of perceived complexity on consumer intentions to use online mass customization. Thus, two major implications of our study are first that online retailers may be able to overcome the adverse effects of complexity in mass customization by offering attractive complementary online services, and second that they should aim to increase not just product outcome, but also control, and enjoyment in mass customization.

Co-Author:  Pratibha A. Dabholkar  



Source: International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 2009, 13 (3) 43-70. 

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