Investigating online decision-making styles
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As one of the factors influencing consumers purchase behavior, decision-making styles are crucial for understanding consumer shopping behavior and for developing successful marketing strategies. Decision-making styles have been mainly viewed as a relatively enduring consumer personality that seldom changes even when applied to different goods and situations. Recently, a study showed that consumer decision-making styles are influenced by product type, suggesting that decision-making styles are individual response patterns in a specific decision context rather than personality trait based. Despite extensive research regarding consumer decision making styles, relatively little attention has been paid to identify whether consumer decision-making styles are truly personality trait based or context-dependent. Thus, this work challenged the theory that decision-making styles are personality trait based and investigated whether decisionmaking styles are context dependent. Three independent studies, focusing on extending our knowledge regarding consumer decision-making styles, were conducted. The first study examined whether consumer decision-making styles depend on channel type (online versus offline channels). In addition, it explored new types of decision-making styles which better represent current consumer needs and preferences. Study results supported previous arguments suggesting that decision-making styles are not personality trait based but vary across contexts. Results also demonstrated the need to continuously observe consumers’ decision-making styles and capture emerging new styles. The second study explored whether product characteristics, specifically intangibility and non-standardization, influence consumer decision-making styles in an online context. At the same time, this study examined whether there is any interaction effect between product type and product involvement. The results showed that certain types of online decision-making styles are influenced by product type. The results also showed that product involvement has an important role in influencing online decision-making styles. The third study investigated whether consumer online decision-making styles influence loyalty toward online travel agencies. The results of the study provide support for five out of eleven hypotheses, indicating that consumers’ online decision-making styles significantly influence loyalty toward online travel agencies. Finally, the overall findings, limitations of the studies, agenda for future research, and practical and theoretical implications were discussed.
Park, Young A (2007). Investigating online decision-making styles. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from