Negative Effects of Explicit Customization on Perceptions of Opportunity

Aner Sela, Stanford University, USA
Itamar Simonson, Stanford University, USA
Ran Kivetz, Columbia University, USA
Researchers and practitioners alike have long emphasized the benefits of customizing offers to match consumers’ individual preferences. However, are there conditions under which customization can actually undermine, rather than enhance, the attractiveness of offers? The current research proposes that consumers are attracted to offers that seem particularly valuable due to a coincidental combination of personal circumstances “unforeseen” by the marketer. Four studies, using both real and hypothetical choices, suggest that explicitly tailoring the offer to consumers’ circumstances or preferences can undermine the extent to which such offers are associated with “above normal” value, because consumers assume that customization allows the marketer to extract the full value of the transaction.
[ to cite ]:
Aner Sela, Itamar Simonson, and Ran Kivetz (2010) ,"Negative Effects of Explicit Customization on Perceptions of Opportunity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 69-72 .