Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Linda S. Niehm

Second Advisor

Jessica Hurst

Abstract

The total technology investment by organized Indian retail companies through 2013 was Rs. 1155 crores (about USD 200 million). The rapidly growing Indian retail sector, emerging innovative store-based technologies (like kiosks), and extensive progress in adopting new technologies by consumers all present a pressing need to understand Indian consumers' views on acceptance and use of self-service technologies (SSTs). A model integrating the cultural-self perspective and a modified version of the Technology Acceptance Model was developed to explain the influence of culture and motivation factors on Indian consumers' attitude toward SSTs. Familiarity and service perception of SSTs were introduced as moderators in the relationship between motivation factors and attitude towards SSTs.

Data collectors trained in mall-intercept techniques were employed to approach Indian mall shoppers in Bangalore and Delhi. A total of 302 completed surveys were used for statistical analysis. Results from the present study show that Indian consumers do not conform to any one single cultural group and vary from being an individual- to a relational- to a collective-self person in their present shopping environments. In addition, the results indicate that perceived enjoyment is the most important criterion for SST use. Additionally, the sample of urban and educated Indian consumers was not anxious about using technology; rather, they were receptive to new technology innovations. Lastly, the proposed moderators, familiarity with SST service and service perception of SSTs, were not found to be significantly related to SST adoption.

In this study, educated and employed Indian urban consumers sought enjoyment in their interaction with SSTs as opposed to timesaving and usefulness. It is therefore suggested that effective marketing communication strategies focus on the entertainment or pleasure aspects of using SSTs. The Indian consumers in this study were enthusiastic to learn new SSTs without prior familiarity; they were willing to overcome any anxiety they might have towards new technology adoption. Therefore, retail managers would be wise to focus on training employees to support customers in the transition from employee-assisted services to self-service. To provide maximum customer service, managers should be trained to integrate the right SSTs to retain customers by providing faster, and more efficient and enjoyable service, which could increase profits as well as store loyalty.

This study contributes to the growing knowledge base about consumers' shopping behaviors in relation to SSTs and fills a gap in the literature about the potential for SST use in the Indian retail environment. Findings can aid retailers looking to enhance their service offerings by providing an additional means for customers to purchase merchandise in the store. Future research is needed that applies the model to different populations, different types of SSTs, and different types of retailers.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-3820

Copyright Owner

Rama Srinivasan

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

197 pages

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