Consumer Research Implications of Marketing and Ict Developments

ABSTRACT - This paper addresses the question to what extent consumer behavior research may change as a result of market and marketing developments related to the 'new economy’. First, three developments are discussed that may be assumed to affect the nature of consumer behavior. The first concerns the development from single transaction units (products or services) to integrated combinations of multiple products and services. This development implies that marketing may change its focus from the optimization of isolated products and services to the optimization of the fit between a product or service and the already available set of products and services. The second development concerns the growing emphasis on a longer time span of customer relationships. In some markets, even lifetime relationships become the focus of interest, which implies that particular suppliers and particular consumers may become (economic) partners for life. These two developments are facilitated and accelerated by a third development: the growth of the Internet, which eventually may result in the possibility, for supplier and consumer alike, of being on-line anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. A related development is the increasing sophistication of consumer search and decision support systems 'intelligent agents’). Combined, these developments may have important consequences for consumer behavior and, hence, for the consumer behavior research agenda. This paper presents a provisional inventory of such possible implications in the form of research questions. [Regarding the three developments we take a rather positive perspective in this paper. The reader should note that space limitations did not allow us to take a more balanced approach.]



Citation:

Theo Poiesz, Johan de Heer, and W. Fred van Raaij (2001) ,"Consumer Research Implications of Marketing and Ict Developments", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Andrea Groeppel-Klien and Frank-Rudolf Esch, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 66-72.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2001      Pages 66-72

CONSUMER RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS OF MARKETING AND ICT DEVELOPMENTS

Theo Poiesz, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Johan de Heer, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

W. Fred van Raaij, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT -

This paper addresses the question to what extent consumer behavior research may change as a result of market and marketing developments related to the 'new economy’. First, three developments are discussed that may be assumed to affect the nature of consumer behavior. The first concerns the development from single transaction units (products or services) to integrated combinations of multiple products and services. This development implies that marketing may change its focus from the optimization of isolated products and services to the optimization of the fit between a product or service and the already available set of products and services. The second development concerns the growing emphasis on a longer time span of customer relationships. In some markets, even lifetime relationships become the focus of interest, which implies that particular suppliers and particular consumers may become (economic) partners for life. These two developments are facilitated and accelerated by a third development: the growth of the Internet, which eventually may result in the possibility, for supplier and consumer alike, of being on-line anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. A related development is the increasing sophistication of consumer search and decision support systems 'intelligent agents’). Combined, these developments may have important consequences for consumer behavior and, hence, for the consumer behavior research agenda. This paper presents a provisional inventory of such possible implications in the form of research questions. [Regarding the three developments we take a rather positive perspective in this paper. The reader should note that space limitations did not allow us to take a more balanced approach.]

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

The emergence of the 'new economy’ raises the question whether there may be a fundamental change in the nature of near-future consumer behavior. To what extent will market, marketing and ICT developments affect consumer need identification, information search, decision making, consumption and product/service evaluation? This question seems relevant from the perspective of both theory development and practical application. Because of the strong emphasis on empirical work in consumer behavior research, researchers’ attention is unlikely to be drawn to future issues, of which, by definition, no data are available. Yet, we want to argue that the consideration of possible future implications of market and marketing changes for consumer behavior (research) may be important. There seem to be three risks associated with an overemphasis on the present and recent past. These risks are particularly critical in a period characterized by an unprecedented high speed of change. The first risk of not considering possible future consumer behavior issues is that, at present, research questions may be formulated that, given the market developments, may become less relevant or obsolete. The second risk is that new and promising research questions may be overlooked. And the third risk is that consumer behavior research may lag behind actual developments in markets and marketing, thus limiting its external validity and practical value. While, on the one hand, it may be argued that the old economy and traditional markets are here to stay for at least a while, there are, on the other hand, strong indications for an explosively growing impact of the new economy. It is estimated by practitioners that 15 per cent of the market transactions will be e-commerce by the year 2010. The implications of the new economy concerns consumer research. For example, Alba et al. (1997) examined the implications of interactive home shopping in electronic market places and raised some important research questions pertaining to consumer behavior. One question concerns how interactive home shopping interacts with developments in markets and marketing. This paper elaborates this issue. One of these developments is that the role of information has become more important relative to the product or brand itself (Berthon, Holbrook and Hulbert, 1999). These authors examined possible future trajectories of the new information economy as well. They argue that consumer purchase decisions will become more and more be based on the basis of informational representations and without direct exposure to the product itself. We want to argue here that the potentially intriguing implications of the new economy for consumer behavior research should be explored systematically and should not be ignored. Therefore, the goal of the present paper is to make an inventory of the most critical market and marketing developments and to assess, in the form of a discussion, the consequences for consumer research questions.

INTRODUCTION

Present developed markets in Western Europe, USA, Japan and Australia/New Zealand are largely saturated markets with sophisticated consumers. In these markets, it is vitally important to acquire and retain consumer franchise, i.e., a group of loyal and satisfied consumers. Due to technological and social developments the interactions and relationships between suppliers and consumers will change.

One of the most prominent changes involves the introduction and explosive growth of marketing initiatives on the Internet. Although the number of consumer transactions through the Internet is still small relative to the number of conventional purchases through stores and mail-order catalogs (The Economist, 2000), the Internet as a medium for consumer (pre) purchase information seeking and actual purchases is growing.

Considering the impact of this development and the potential for future change, it is important to explicitly assess the possibility that, in several ways, consumer behavior on the Internet may differ from 'conventional’ consumer behavior, as shown in more traditional market settings (Alba et al., 1997; Haugtvedt, 2000). Therefore, we want to address the question to what extent consumer behavior on the Internet is different from conventional consumer behavior. We will take a dynamic perspective: an attempt is made to answer the question by explicitly considering possible future market and marketing developments. Before doing so it is interesting to observe that some other analyses of the implications of the Internet for consumer behavior and consumer behavior research are currently available (e.g., Sheth & Sisodia, 2001). However, the publications on Internet consumer behavior primarily viewed the Internet as a new medium, a new channel or a new research context for concepts that are already applied to conventional consumer behavior. Very little attention has been paid, so far, to the question to what extent consumer behavior itself may undergo substantial changes due to the Internet (Alba et al., 1997; Haugtvedt, 2000). We argue that, because the Internet is more than just a short-lived hype, consumer behavior research may risk lagging behind marketing developments and the marketing research in this area (see also Poiesz & Kuijlen, 1999).

Let us return to the question to what extent Internet consumer behavior differs from conventional consumer behavior and add the question what this means for future consumer behavior research. In our search for provisional answers we have to deal with three sub-questions first:

+ What are the major marketing implications of the Internet?

+ What are the major Information and Communication Technology (ICT) developments since the introduction of the Internet?

+ What are the implications of these developments for consumer behavior?

1. MAJOR MARKETING IMPLICATIONS OF THE INTERNET

It is difficult to identify marketing developments that are uniquely associated with the introduction and growth of the Internet. The Internet profits from autonomous marketing trends that were already there before its introduction, such as, for example, the increasing emphasis on individualization, loyalty, and seller-buyer relationships. The Internet stimulates and facilitates these trends. The Internet is not a 'delivery medium’ conveying messages from suppliers to target groups, but a retrieval medium (database) in which consumers can find products, services and answers to their queries (Van Raaij, 1998). With the Internet, consumers can more easily take initiatives for contacts and transactions with suppliers. Consumers get more power vis-a-vis suppliers (Berthon, Holbrook and Hubert, 2000). We suggest that a variety of major marketing changes may be subsumed under two major developments: (1) individualized products and services and (2) long-term relationships between suppliers and their clients, and between consumers and their suppliers.

From Products to Provision Services

A stronger focus on individual consumer needs results into progressively individualized products and services. This focus is supported by two seemingly different marketing strategies. On the one hand, there is a strong emphasis on cost efficiency, resulting in the commodification of standard products and in lower consumer prices. On the other hand, there is a strong emphasis on the creation of surplus consumer value for which consumers are willing to pay a higher price (Day & Wensley, 1983).

These two approaches together may form hybrid or multiple concepts of products and services that meet individual consumer demands. An example is provided by the so-called 'all-finance’ notion in the financial services industry. Financial products and services that were originally separate, are now combined into new individualized consumer packages. This seems to imply that the product definition is expanding. Originally, 'core products’ were to be taken as bundles of attributes that were functional to the majority of consumers. Subsequently, the 'augmented product’ appeared, interpreted as consisting of bundles of inherently, directly functional attributes and indirectly functional attributes, such as, for example, special design, branding and packaging, post-purchase services and warrantees. Functionality was related to particular consumer benefit segments.

More recently, products may be interpreted as bundles or packages of originally distinct goods and services that are synchronized to the needs individual consumers. Bundles may be formed in a domain or category, for example thefinancial domain, the recreational domain, or the educational domain. Products become part of a 'provision service’ to consumers. A provision service is a service to a consumer or household to deliver informational (see also, Berthon et al., 2000) or transformational benefits. Informational benefits pertain to problem solutions and guarantees of undisturbed functioning, e.g., telephone and transportation services and insurance coverage. Informational benefits transform a possibly negative situation (disturbance, dysfunctioning) into a neutral situation. Consumer emotions related to informational services are trust and relief. Transformational benefits pertain to a higher level of experience, e.g., British Airways making an airline flight into a memorable experience with meals, entertainment and other services (Pine & Gilmore, 1999). Transformational benefits transform a neutral or negative situation into a positive one. Consumer emotions related to transformational services are pleasure, excitement, enjoyment and wellbeing.

Packages may also be assembled across domains, e.g., a package in which the house, indoor and outdoor furnishing, cleaning, care and maintenance, and finance are all provided in one all-inclusive simultaneous deal. Another example may be provided by the package formed by health care, personal care, and leisure facilities. Cross-domain packages can also be informational (problem solution), transformational (experience) or, preferably, both. A future scenario is that service providers create attractive and memorable experiences for their clients. These clients become participants due to their loyalty and commitment to the service provider. These experiences are created by service provisions, consisting of an integrated and attractive combination of products and services, including surprise elements.

These cross-domain provision services may be provided by companies branding these packages with an attractive (meta) brand name, loaded with relevant and favorable connotations and values. These companies position themselves close to their clients, servicing and assisting them almost as a consumer organization. These companies take away consumer chores, inconsistencies (e.g., over or double insurance), information search, and product/service selection. Intermediaries may also compose these provision services from separate products and services, take the role of consumer (financial, lifestyle or otherwise) advisers, and sell or lease these packages to their clients.

Consumers may also compose these packages themselves with help of intelligent search agents. The search agent then selects and creates the provision service. See below for a discussion of this option.

Packaging and bundling are related to brand extension. At the level of core and augmented products, extensions are mainly technical line extensions in size, color, taste and format. Van Raaij & Schoonderbeek (1993) discuss line, benefit and value extensions of products and services. Benefit extensions pertain to similar and related functions in the same domain, whereas value extensions are often cross-domain extensions based on the same lifestyle, same target group and similar brand connotations. The motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson can be better (value) extended to beer and cigarettes, rather than (technically) extended to scooters and lawnmowers. The brand Harley-Davidson has the potential of becoming a cross-domain brand representing a certain lifestyle (Hell’s Angels).

The provision services dimension may be called the simultaneous dimension. The key idea of this development is that marketing will change its focus from optimizing separate products and services to optimizing provision services leading to problem solutions (trust and relef) and/or attractive experiences (enjoyment and wellbeing).

FIGURE 1

PRODUCT/SERVICE AND RELATIONSHIP DIMENSIONS

Relationship Dimension

The second dimension may be called the sequential or temporal dimension. In this development, there is a strong focus on long-term relationships between suppliers and consumers leading to improved customer retention. Over the past few years, many companies have shown a considerable interest in retaining existing clients/customers as compared to acquiring new customers (Peppers & Rogers, 1993; Wayland & Cole, 1997). Companies carefully consider the duration, quality and value of these relationships. We observe that the duration of the relationship will be extended. In financial markets the notion of 'life-time value’ (of a customer) (LTV) has been introduced, meaning that the value of a customer for the company is considered based on transactions and profits over a long period, ranging between youth and old age (Antonides & Van Raaij, 1998). The supplier-client relationship will be strengthened by successful transactions, product servicing, replacement and updating, cross-selling and additional services.

Also from a consumer perspective the relationship should remain attractive, due to privileges, loyalty bonuses, and, above all, trust, mutual commitment and positive experiences. Consumers may even become shareholders of the service-provision company. The traditional opposition and mistrust of suppliers and customers may thus be 'solved’ and changed into trust and partnership.

The relationship dimension may be called the sequential or time dimension. The key idea of the relationship development is that suppliers and consumers will become mutually dependent and thus economic partners for life.

Combination of the Simultaneous and Sequential Dimensions

Service provisions can easily be extended over time. The service provider makes an agreement or contract with the client for a long-term service provision. These developments are supported (and even made possible) by information and communication technology (ICT). For example, the management of longer-term relationships with consumers requires the use of customer relational databases. The individualization of goods and services, possibly in the form of innovative product combinations, requires considerable fine-tuning of the particular fit between product benefits, on the one hand, and the consumer desires and characteristics, on the other hand. It means that provision services will be extended over time in the form of a long-term informational or transformational experience.

We assume that these two developments are conceptually independent. In the reality of the market, companies may follow strategies that relate to one of the developments and not to the other. Yet, companies may also select a combination of both. The different strategies have different implications for consumer behavior. In order to analyze the singular or combined developments, we combine the simultaneous (product/service) and sequential (relationship) dimensions into a matrix. See Figure 1.

In Figure 1, different types of interactions between sellers and buyers are identified. Space limitations do not allow discussing all 16 cells of this matrix. Instead, we select a number of cells to give examples.

In cell 1, the focus is on ad-hoc transactions regarding the core product. The supplier is not interested in the individual consumer, and is merely focussing on the profitability of transactions. Product and delivery quality is monitored only to avoid the hassle of complaints. Product quality is an issue; customer satisfaction is not. There is strong price competition. Consumers use the Internet for product information, brand and price comparisons, and ordering.

In cell 2, the emphasis is on providing surplus value that warrants a higher consumer price. Customer satisfaction is considered relevant for word-of-mouth communication, but is not considered to be part of an integral customer loyalty policy. In both cells, the interest is in the short-term transaction, and not in the consumer behind it. The consumer is satisfied with the product or service provided, and may show repeat-purchase behavior. Repeat purchases are based on routine and comfort, however, not on a true commitment. The consumer may easily switch to another brand or supplier if a better alternative is available.

Cross-selling in one transaction may be placed in cell 3. Cross-selling often pertains to products and services in the same domain. Cross-selling in the context of a relationship may be placed in cells 5 or 6.

It may be hypothesized that cell 4 represents the most effective marketing approach from the supplier’s perspective, and the most effective need satisfaction approach from the consumer’s perspective. The remaining cells provide extrapolations of these examples.

In cell 9, a supplier attempts to attract consumers into long-term bonds, for example by presenting a stamp saving program, customer ('loyalty’) cards, or by offering a long-term contract. In this cell, the period of the interaction is not based on the particular surplus value of the product or service involved. In a sense, the supplier pays for the consumer’s apparent loyalty. If another supplier pays a higher price, consumer loyalty is very short-lived. The consumer perceives the 'relationship’ as a purely instrumental one.

In cell 11, a long-term orientation and an individual customer value orientation coincide. Marketing efforts are simultaneously aimed at the continuous addition of surplus product value and at the continuation of the relationship with individual customers. In this cell, the two types of orientations are mutually supporting. This is not the case in the other cells.

Obviously, cell 16 is the most intriguing one. It refers to a possible future scenario. We discuss some of the possible consumer behavior implications, if the combined market, marketing and ICT developments would indeed point into the direction of cell 16. First, the scenario of cell 16 is not unrealistic or unfeasible. Second, considering the speed of the current marketing and ICT developments, we may not be addressing a far away but possibly a rather near future. Third, the implications will have a strong impact on consumer behavior research. Fourth, the scenario of cell 16 cannot be imagined without the Internet as a communication and transaction medium between sellers and buyers.

Cell 16 is the 'ultimate’ combination of the simultaneous and sequential dimensions. Service providers provide 'provision services’, integrated combinations of products and services. Consumers become members or shareholders of such a service provider and receive privileges such as access (rent, lease, entrance fee) to products and services (Rifkin, 1999) and experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1999) over a long period, even a lifetime. Provision services pertain to:

- Informational services to solve problems and to provide uninterrupted transportation, telecommunication, insurance coverage, burglary protection, medical services and other functions.

- Transformational services to create a better-quality 'life', attractive leisure, and thus a higher level of wellbeing.

- Access to data, services and products, and assistance when needed.

- Integrated, attractive and memorable experiences.

2. MAJOR ICT DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE INTERNET

Here, we identify two technological developments that are most critical from the consumer perspective. The first concerns the exponential growth of the Internet and the second concerns the potential for intelligent search agents (IA) that act on the consumer's behalf. Note that these developments may accelerate the developments as visualized in Figure 1, meaning that ICT and intelligent search agents may be viewed as important conditions for reaching the situation of cell 16. In this paper, we are interested in the intersections of ICT and IA.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is the convergence point of computer technology and telecommunications. Desktops, laptops and mobile phones are now becoming increasingly interlinked, thanks to the growth of the Internet. Realize, however, that the Word Wide Web was released by CERN in 1991! Two years later both business and media began taking notice of the Internet, and the first electronic shopping malls arrived in 1994. Search engines became the technology of the year in 1995, while ECommerce, E-Auctions, and E-Trade became the technologies of 1998 and 1999 (http: URL 1). It may be expected that at the cutting edge of consumer- oriented ICT, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) mobile telephones and SMS (Short Message System) will be the next trend. WAP-enabled mobile phones provide consumers access to the WWW, 24 hours a day and seven days a week from anywhere. With SMS, consumers can be reached on their mobile phones as well.

The key idea of the WWW development is that the virtual marketplace has no time and location constraints, whereas 'conventional' brick-and-mortar businesses still have these constraints.

In the context of ICT, a related development concerns intelligent search agents (IA). Space limitations do not allow us to focus on IA in great detail here. It is clear that intelligent agents have been the topic of interest in consumer research (Ariely, Lynch and Aparicio, 1999; Cooke, Weitsz, Sujan & Sujan, 1999; Gatarski & Lundkvist, 1998; Grayson, Rea, Owen & Skevington, 1999; Huber, West & Min, 1999; West et al., 1999). Researchers in the field of intelligent agents have been stressing the importance of intelligent agents in e-commerce (Nwana, 1996; Maes, 1995; Wooldridge & Jennings, 1995). Intelligent agents may be programmed with the preferences, habits and procedures of the user, learn from the behavior of their user, and adapt to the user. In brief, intelligent (search) agents (Laurel, 1997):

- Learn to think, decide, and act on the basis of external user traits.

- Invite conversational interactions with users.

- Show responsiveness, competence, accessibility, and the capacity to act on behalf of their users.

Intelligent agents will become personal information 'servants' to their owners or 'bosses'. After some time, owners will even become dependent on their IA information 'servants' for planning their activities, travel, and reservations. Consumers will extend their own memory and competences to their IA servant.

Note that there seems to be a contradiction or paradox between the independent consumer assisted by his/her IA information servant, on the one hand, and the provision services and relationships with service providers on the other hand. The independent consumer him/herself may be able to find the 'best' or optimal combinations of goods and services due to improved IA search. The offering of the service provider should thus be superior to or better customized than the self-search offerings that consumers may find and integrate themselves.

The key idea of the IA development is that consumers may, partially or fully, rely on a personal 'digital' agent that assists them in (West et al., 1999): preference construction and discovery; information search and search for alternatives; product evaluation and comparison; purchase and other transactions; consumption decisions (present authors).

3. IMPLICATIONS OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS FOR CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

At this point we return to our core question: To what extent will consumer behavior with the Internet and IA be different from consumer behavior without the Internet and IA? Although we realize that it is risky to anticipate future scenarios on the basis of a selection of contemporary developments, and to speculate about possible consumer behavior implications, we think it is important to do so anyway. The question will be provisionally answered by formulating a set of propositions, which we want to propose as research themes. The first two of these are marketing research oriented propositions. The other propositions relate to consumer behavior research.

Proposition I (Marketing)

The basic proposition is that the marketing scenario provisionally described by cell 16 constitutes the gravity point of near future marketing developments. Market, marketing and ICT developments will converge to create this scenario. Research could be aimed at assessing the relationships between, on the one hand, the different positions and routes that companies take within the matrix and, on the other hand, market performance parameters. It is hypothesized that companies that are moving towards the 'gravity point' have a superior business outlook as compared to companies that stick to traditional market positions. It is also hypothesized that companies that follow the diagonal of Figure 1 have more effective and efficient marketing policies than companies in off-diagonal positions.

Proposition 2 (Marketing)

Even though the two dimensions of the matrix may be independent at present, over time these dimensions become more interrelated due to the growth of the Internet. It is hypothesized that, over time, companies will show a stronger tendency to employ the notion of cross-domain packages to foster customer relationship durability and vice versa.

Proposition 3

At present, consumer needs are often derived from the market performance of products (instead of forming their starting point). The formation of packages or bundles of products and services requires a theoretical and methodological reconsideration of the need concept. Product or attribute related need concepts should be expanded to incorporate product and service bundles. To our knowledge, no package related need concepts are available in the consumer behavior literature. The existing concepts of line and brand extensions do not cover the notions as implied here, but may prove useful after further elaboration.

Proposition 4

Consumers will evaluate market offerings more in terms of indirect and aggregate-level quality criteria ('trust', 'famous brand', I good reputation', 'reliable company', 'endorsed by.., 'internationally reknown', 'also used by...', etc.) as compared to direct quality criteria related to product characteristics and attributes. Consumer behavior research should more strongly focused on the nature and function of such (indirect) heuristics.

Proposition 5

The focus will shift from satisfaction with individual products to satisfaction with overall packages. In this sense, a consumer may be satisfied with a single product but dissatisfied with its contribution to a service provision. Even the reverse is conceivable. Research should be aimed at the adaptation of the satisfaction concept. As satisfaction will be expressed with regard to larger combinations of products and services, so that satisfaction relates to a more aggregate domain, the distinction between consumer satisfaction and wellbeing is likely to diminish.

Proposition 6

The traditional antagonism between the market's supply side and demand side will disappear. Long-term relationships require more openness between both sides. Profits need to be reinvested in a way that is considered most functional by consumers. Companies may operate on behalf of the consumer, almost as consumer organizations. Consumers may become shareholders of a service company or members of a cooperation or association rather than 'targets' or outsiders. This proposition calls for both sociologically and psychologically oriented research. It may be hypothesized that the communication between the two market parties will be more open, more interactive and more continuous. So far, consumer behavior research predominantly has dealt with non-interactive information transfer.

Proposition 7

Customer lifetime loyalty is functional to the providing party (company or agent) because of continuity reasons. Loyalty is functional to the consumer because of overall consumption utility and efficiency reasons. Transition costs and inconvenience may become too high to shift to another service provider. To our knowledge, there no systematic analysis of cost-benefit trade-offs regarding relationship (dis)continuation.

Proposition 8

The notion of the consumer will change from buyer to consumer. In the consumer behavior literature, very little attention is paid to the way consumers actually consume products and services. Consumer (dis)satisfaction research touches on this issue, but does not really cover it. Because of the growing emphasis on the need concept, there will be also a growing emphasis on the actual functionality of the products and services provided. Prepurchase information seeking will become less of an issue. Instead, attention will be more focused on information supporting consumption, i.e., post-purchase activities.

Proposition 9

The responsibility for effective and efficient buying decisions and consumption related decisions is delegated to another party (see also Poiesz, 1993). The intelligent agent will take over traditional consumer responsibilities. It is expected that the notions of consumer responsibility and autonomy become more important concepts, but are, to our knowledge, not considered in the consumer behavior literature. Research should be aimed at the relationships that will develop between consumers and their economic guardian angels: the intelligent agents. The characteristics and behavior of these agents and the underlying 'intelligence' paradigms become of central interest.

Proposition 10

Manufacturers and their brands may become less visible to individual consumers relative to the agents that assemble the products and services for end users. Product brands may be replaced by meta-brands. Because of their broad impact, the corporate identity of these mega-brands will refer to fundamental societal values and issues. Because of this expected tendency, it is important for consumer behavior research to more explicitly incorporate values as predictors of consumer decision making.

CONCLUSIONS

The paper sketches that current marketing developments (product packaging and provider-customer relationships) are accelerated and reinforced by ICT developments and progress made in Intelligent Agent technology. To put it differently, the gravity point of the matrix (cell 16) may be reached in the near future. This implies that consumer behavior will (and is) changing over time as possible future scenarios will become reality in the virtual market place. Our conclusion is that it is not sufficient to apply existing consumer behavior concepts to new consumer behavior phenomena. Subsequently we have to rethink the current consumer-behavior paradigm.

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URL 1: Hobbes' Internet Timeline v5.0

[http://info.isoc.org/guest/Zakon/internet/history/hit.html]

----------------------------------------

Authors

Theo Poiesz, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Johan de Heer, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
W. Fred van Raaij, Tilburg University, The Netherlands



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2001



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Attenuating Endowment Effect with Venmo: Online Payment Systems Make it a Pleasure to Pay

Liang Huang, University of Arizona, USA
Jennifer Savary, University of Arizona, USA

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Effortful but Valuable: How Perceptions of Effort Affect Charitable Gift Choice and Valuations of Charity

Haesung Annie Jung, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Marlone Henderson, University of Texas at Austin, USA

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