To Justify or Not to Justify: The Role of Anticipated Regret on Consumers' Decisions to Upgrade Technological Innovations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior research suggests that adoption decisions are primarily based on product features and experiential opportunities, like trial and observation. Our research follows inquiries that identify anticipated regret (AR) as an emotion integral to consumer decision making. Prior research and current retailing practice assume that AR can be alleviated by compelling product attribute-based rationales for immediate purchase. These rationales often take the form of direct attribute comparisons between the current best and the future technologies. Counter-intuitively, we find that giving consumers attribute-based justifications for immediate purchase produces a uniform level of AR and purchase delay regardless of the perceived rate of innovation (PRI). However, under conditions of low PRI and no justification, AR decreases significantly. A clear implication of our findings is that firms marketing current technology should not rush to provide consumers with justifications for immediate upgrade since such communications will remind consumers of what they might miss if they adopt now, resulting in increased AR and purchase delays. Instead, we suggest that retailers focus promotional efforts on highlighting the hedonic benefits consumers experience by adopting today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-251
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Retailing
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Keywords

  • Anticipated regret
  • Marketing communications
  • Product adoption
  • Retail consumer behavior
  • Sales promotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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