New Mobility Trend and Technologies - Effects on Consumer Behavior

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Gold Coast
Hosted By: American Economic Association
  • Chair: Sven Henkel, EBS University

Drivers of Autonomous Vehicle Adaption – A Qualitative Assessment of Consumers’ Motives

Katrin Merfeld
,
EBS University
Mark-Philipp Wilhelms
,
EBS University

Abstract

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a cornerstone of the automotive industry’s strategy to address future society’s needs. The introduction of AVs will drastically change the automotive industry, as established OEMs will face new competitors of the IT domain and novel customer needs have to be understood. While technological, legal, and traffic-management related aspects have been widely assessed insights into consumer’s perception have been widely neglected. Nevertheless, understanding the fears, wants, and needs of consumers is critical in the race to AV success. <br /><br />
<br /><br />
We conducted a series of interviews with different customer groups in Germany, recruited by a leading German vehicle manufacturer. Means-end chain (MEC) analysis was used to explore the motives and motivational patterns underlying consumers’ acceptance of AVs. The MEC technique allows for a detailed analysis of consumers usage and cognitive motive structures, by linking participation relevant attributes, resulting utility components, and underlying individual values, which can serve as a basis for market segmentation. <br /><br />
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Preliminary results show that consumers’ value efficient utilization of driving periods, reduction of stress levels, increased quality of life through reduced commuting times via route optimization but fear handing over control to the car and a loss of driving pleasure. Moreover, we find that consumers can be grouped regarding their expectations of driving AVs: Those that describe a driverless future and want to engage in other tasks, such as watching movies or socialising with friends, and those that can only imagine engaging in less “demanding” tasks. <br /><br />
<br /><br />
We contribute to existing research by taking a consumer-focused approach that allows for the understanding of an MEC and apply it to an innovation perception process. The results enable managers to identify factors impacting willingness for product trial and identify unmet needs in the market development, allowing for a targeted marketing approach to prepare customers’ for the actual market introduction.

Peer-to-Peer Carsharing: Investigating Car Owners’ Participation Motives - A Qualitative Study

Mark-Philipp Wilhelms
,
EBS University
Katrin Merfeld
,
EBS University

Abstract

Carsharing user numbers and the set of service offerings are growing globally. Offerings can be categorized into business-to-consumer and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) services. Peer-to-peer carsharing, facilitating car rental between private individuals, has attracted attention from managers and researchers alike. It is expected that 34% of consumers would want to rent their vehicle to others. However, actual participation rates remain behind these expectations. Studies on carsharing predominantly focus on identifying users’ consumption motives in business-to-consumer contexts. However, no study has considered consumers’ motivational drivers to offer peer-to-peer carsharing services. <br /><br />
<br /><br />
In-depth interviews were conducted with German P2P carsharing owners and analysed employing means-end chain (MEC) theory. The MEC technique allows for a detailed analysis of owners’ participation motives via linking participation relevant attributes, resulting utility components, and underlying individual values. Results allow managers to identify renter segments based on core values and understand the functional and psychosocial consequences the customers strive for. <br /><br />
<br /><br />
We identified three overarching participation motives: (1) economic interest, (2) quality of life, (3) helping others. Economic interest is associated with the benefit of reducing the costs of car ownership. Quality of life is associated with the benefit to generate additional income through offering P2P carsharing. Funds are invested in hobbies and social activities. Helping others refers to the consequence that it feels good to provide renters with mobility. Thereby owners become a part of the experiences created with their cars. The frequently discussed motive sustainability is not a main participation motive for most owners’ but rather is seen as an indirect consequence of participation.<br /><br />
<br /><br />
We contribute to existing research by placing owners’ participation motives at the centre of attention, thus extending knowledge about consumers’ motivational patterns in the sharing economy. We derive implications for practitioners and identify areas for further academic investigation.

The Mediated Effect of Psychologcial Ownership on Loyalty in Access-Based Consumption. The Case of Carsharing

Natalia Sowik
,
EBS University
Katrin Merfeld
,
EBS University
Mark-Philipp Wilhelms
,
EBS University

Abstract

Consumers express their self through ownership. Nevertheless, access-based consumption, referring to the avoidance of ownership, but the acquisition of temporary access to objects, is gaining momentum. The most famous example is carsharing. Based on fundamental changes in consumer behavior, which indicate a shift from ownership to access, we assume that it is not essential to own an object to develop feelings of ownership. Such possessive feelings represent the psychological part of ownership referring to the theory of psychological ownership. It describes the stage when an individual perceives an object as "his" and focuses on possessiveness, describing the extent to which an object is "mine." Psychological ownership has been examined in organizational behavior: employees perceive their company as their own, adapting their behavior to enhance the company’s welfare. Investigations on psychological ownership in the context of marketing and consumer behavior are limited. To examine psychological ownership in access-based consumption, we conducted a quantitative study among 1,523 carsharing users. The results support our assumptions. There is no significant difference between respondents, who additionally own a car, and those, who do not. Psychological ownership is improved through the frequent usage of the service. Based on a structural equitation modeling, we confirmed significantly positive impacts of psychological ownership on satisfaction and trust. Satisfaction and trust strongly improve loyalty in access-based consumption. Additionally, loyalty has a significantly positive effect on consumer's future usage intensity in access-based consumption.
Discussant(s)
Sven Henkel
,
EBS University
JEL Classifications
  • M3 - Marketing and Advertising
  • Y4 - Dissertations (unclassified)