Personalizing the Customization Experience: A Matching Theory of Mass Customization Interfaces and Cultural Information Processing
Journal of Marketing Research
Mass customization interfaces typically guide consumers through the configuration process in a sequential manner, focusing on one product attribute after the other. What if this standardized customization experience was in fact personalized for consumers based on how they process information? A series of large-scale field and experimental studies, conducted with Western and Asian consumers, shows that matching the interface to consumers’ culture-specific processing style enhances the effectiveness of mass customization. Specifically, presenting the same information isolated (by-attribute) to Western consumers but contextualized (by-alternative) to Asian consumers increases satisfaction with and likelihood to purchase the configured product, along with the amount of money spent on the product. These positive consumer responses emerge because of an increase in “interface fluency”—consumers’ subjective experience of ease when using the interface. The authors advise firms to personalize the customization experience by employing “processing-congruent interfaces” across consumer markets.
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Global Center for Customer Insight
American Marketing Association