Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Analyzing Behaviors Influencing Use of Mobile Coupons from the Perspective of Transaction Utility

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Analyzing Behaviors Influencing Use of Mobile Coupons from the Perspective of Transaction Utility

Article excerpt

Recently, rapid developments in both information technology (IT) and telecommunication have generated significant interest and development in mobile marketing, especially mobile coupons (Jayasingh & Eze, 2010). Mobile coupons are electronic tickets transmitted to mobile phones. They can include text, pictures, audio, and even video. Consumers receive and store mobile coupons on their mobile phones until they decide to redeem the coupons for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product or service (Dickinger & Kleijnen, 2008).

Around three-quarters of the world's inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone and the number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has increased to 6 billion (The World Bank, 2012). With the rapid growth in the prevalence of mobile phones, the delivery of coupons has expanded beyond traditional newspaper flyers and street distribution to mobile coupons. This change has led to consumers not having to passively acquire coupons from newspapers, magazines, or products, because they can download the coupons offered by stores according to their needs.

Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burton (1990) concluded that the motivation for consumers' coupon redemption can be divided into coupon proneness and value consciousness. Value consciousness refers to consumers' willingness to purchase a product of a lower price on the condition that the product has sufficient quality. Consumers with coupon proneness tend to regard coupons as good transaction indicators and do not bother to compare prices across brands.

The technology acceptance model (TAM; Davis, 1989) has been commonly adopted in previous studies of mobile coupon redemption (e.g., Dickinger & Kleijnen, 2008; Jayasingh & Eze, 2009, 2010). Lichtenstein et al. (1990) found that psychological factors, such as coupon proneness and value consciousness, have a positive impact on coupon redemption. However, to date, minimal research has been conducted in which consumers' psychological factors influencing mobile coupon redemption (coupon proneness and value consciousness) in the framework of TAM have been investigated.

Therefore, in this study we aimed to expand the scope of previous studies by using TAM as a foundation. We also included acquisition-transaction utility theory, proposed by Lichtenstein et al. (1990), as a supplement to TAM to investigate the factors affecting consumers' willingness to redeem mobile coupons.

Literature Review

Acquisition-Transaction Utility Theory

Thaler (1983) proposed two types of utilities associated with consumer purchases. The first is acquisition utility, which represents the economic gain from a purchase transaction. Acquisition utility is equal to the utility of purchased goods minus the purchase price. The second type, transaction utility, represents the pleasure associated with the transaction and equals the internal reference price minus the purchase price (Lichtenstein et al., 1990).

Total utility = Acquisition utility + Transaction utility = (Utility of purchased goods - Purchase price) + (Internal reference price - Purchase price)

Lichtenstein et al. (1990) argued that consumers whose value perceptions are substantially affected by the inherent need-satisfying ability of the product (acquisition utility) are more likely to be value conscious than coupon prone. Conversely, consumers whose value perceptions are more dependent on transaction utility are more likely to be coupon prone than value conscious. In other words:

Value Consciousness (VC): Consumers tend to decide on the product quality first, and then search for lower prices.

Coupon Proneness (CP): Consumers tend to regard coupons as indicating a good bargain, and do not pay attention to the price differences between the coupon product and other products.

Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)

The factors included in the TAM are perceived ease of use (PEU), perceived usefulness (PU), attitudes toward use (AU), and behavioral intention to use (BIU). …

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