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Involvement and use of multiple search channels in the automobile purchase process

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  • Frank J. van Rijnsoever

    ()

  • Martin J. Dijst
  • Carolina Castaldi

    ()

Abstract

In this study we investigate the relationship between involvement and use of multiple search channels in the case of pre-purchase information search for automobiles. We derive theoretical hypotheses by combining arguments from both an economic or cost/benefit approach and a motivational perspective. Our theoretical framework is tested on a sample of 1392 Dutch consumers using a structural equation model approach. We find that interpersonal sources and retailers are relatively often consulted and their use is not strongly related to involvement. The use of channels such as the World Wide Web and mass media is instead strongly related to involvement, because their specialized content is best appreciated by highly involved consumers. Finally, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Martin J. Dijst & Carolina Castaldi, 2009. "Involvement and use of multiple search channels in the automobile purchase process," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-06, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:uis:wpaper:0906
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    File URL: http://www.geo.uu.nl/isu/pdf/isu0906.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric J. Johnson & Wendy W. Moe & Peter S. Fader & Steven Bellman & Gerald L. Lohse, 2004. "On the Depth and Dynamics of Online Search Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 299-308, March.
    2. Punj, Girish N & Staelin, Richard, 1983. " A Model of Consumer Information Search Behavior for New Automobiles," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 366-380, March.
    3. Stephen P. Borgatti & Rob Cross, 2003. "A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 432-445, April.
    4. Moorthy, Sridhar & Ratchford, Brian T & Talukdar, Debabrata, 1997. " Consumer Information Search Revisited: Theory and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 263-277, March.
    5. Sujan, Mita, 1985. " Consumer Knowledge: Effects on Evaluation Strategies Mediating Consumer Judgments," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 31-46, June.
    6. Mittal, Banwari & Lee, Myung-Soo, 1989. "A causal model of consumer involvement," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 363-389, November.
    7. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
    8. Johnson, Eric J & Russo, J Edward, 1984. " Product Familiarity and Learning New Information," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 542-550, June.
    9. Alba, Joseph W & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 1987. " Dimensions of Consumer Expertise," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 411-454, March.
    10. Richins, Marsha L & Bloch, Peter H, 1986. " After the New Wears Off: The Temporal Context of Product Involvement," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 280-285, September.
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    12. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Jacco Farla & Martin J. Dijst, 2009. "Consumer Car Preferences and Information Search Channels," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-07, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2009.

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    Keywords

    car purchase; involvement; pre-purchase information search;

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