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In-store consumer behavior: How mobile recommendation agents influence usage intentions, product purchases, and store preferences

Tobias Kowatsch; Wolfgang Maaß
In: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 26, No. 4, Pages 697-704, Elsevier, 2010.


Product information given in purchase situations influences purchase behavior. In online purchase situations, the use of recommendation agents increases the value of product information as information becomes adaptive and thus more relevant to consumers’ information needs. Correspondingly, mobile recommendation agents (MRAs) may also increase the value of product information in bricks-and-mortar stores. In this sense, product information is not only adaptive but can also be requested at any place such as in front of products consumers are interested in. Because unprecedented, we investigate the use of a MRA that is virtually bound to a physical product via an RFID-enabled mobile device and provides product information. Based on Theory of Planned Behavior, Innovation Diffusion Theory, and Technology Acceptance Model, we develop a model to better understand the impact of MRAs on usage intentions, product purchases and store preferences of consumers. This model is then tested in a lab experiment (n = 47). Among high usability scores, results indicate that perceived usefulness of a MRA influences product purchases, predicts usage intentions and store preferences of consumers. Thus, new business models for retail stores can be considered in which MRAs satisfy both the information needs of consumers and the communication needs of retailers.

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