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Mass-customised products: are they bought for uniqueness or to overcome problems with standard products?

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Through mass customisation, firms can offer individualised products at little additional cost, which has prompted extensive research into the supply side but less investigation of consumer attitudes. Customers' willingness to pay more for mass-customised products may depend on their desire for unique products and use of such products in their self-presentations. It also may reflect their avoidance of the negative attributes of standardised, off-the-shelf products. These positive and negative motivations do not necessarily correlate, which suggests a segmentation approach. In addition to these main effects, the proposed model includes suggested antecedents derived from extant literature. In tests of the conceptual model, a large sample of real-world consumers confirm the main hypotheses, indicating the existence of four customer segments, each with a distinct attitude toward customised products. The results also extend mass-customisation theory and provide valuable insights to marketers for ways to optimise decisions and add mass customised products to their product assortments.
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Keywords: FASHION; MASS-CUSTOMISATION; MOTIVATION; SEGMENTING; WILLINGNESS-TO-PAY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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