Consumer Choice Behaviors in Sequential Purchases for Experiential Products
This dissertation consists of four essays about consumer choice behaviors in sequential purchases, with a focus on experiential products such as leisure cruising. The first essay provides a thorough review of the variety seeking literature. It answers what variety seeking is and how it is measured, why consumers seek variety, and how consumers seek variety. A new, more comprehensive taxonomy of variety seek motives is proposed. Six research gaps in the variety seeking literature are identified, suggesting several potential directions for future research. Based on data of 15,166 purchases made by 978 cruise passengers, the following essays explore consumer choice behaviors in a sequence of purchases for experiential products. More specifically, the second essay examines how cruise passengers seek variety by switching brands. Based on their variety seeking tendency, this research segments cruise passengers into four groups: enthusiasts, loyalists, two-branders, and explorers. Among them, enthusiasts never switch brands, while loyalists, two-branders, and explorers show different patterns in the particular ways in which they switch brands. The brand-switching probability of loyalists significantly declines during their first ten purchases; two-branders are the least likely to intensively switch brands in a relatively short period; explorers are the most likely to switch to dissimilar brands when seeking variety. The third essay examines the association between the price tier of the brand that consumers chose in the previous purchase and their brand switching decision in the current purchase. Using multilevel logistic regression, this research found that when the interpurchase time is relatively long, the higher the price tier of the previous brand, the less likely consumers would switch brands; but when the interpurchase time is relatively short, the higher the price tier of the previous brand, the more likely consumers would switch brands. Using both individual-level and group-level indicators, the fourth essay verifies the existence of a first-experienced advantage, i.e. consumers, in general, prefer their first-experienced brand over other brands. But the size of this first-experienced advantage and how it changes over time are dependent on the brand that consumers chose in the first purchase.
choice behaviors; cruise; experiential product; first-experienced advantage; variety seeking
Kwortnik, Robert J.
Booth, James; Chun, Helen
Ph. D., Hotel Administration
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis