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Information search and product knowledge: Differences between shopaholics and general shoppers in the UK and Taiwan

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Abstract:

This study examines shopaholics in the UK and Taiwan, focusing on the role of information search and product knowledge. Specifically, we compare the levels of compulsiveness in shopaholics in both nations and seek to explain why, in comparison to normal shoppers, such individuals require less information about the products they buy. The article reports two online studies designed to address these issues. The first study showed that shopaholics in Taiwan scored higher on measures of compulsive buying than those in the United Kingdom and, in contrast to their British counterparts, they were more knowledgeable about products than normal shoppers. The second study showed that, for luxury products, poor knowledge increased the need for information and that shopaholics' lower need for information could be partially explained by their better product knowledge. For non-luxury products, poor knowledge did not increase the need for information. Implications of these findings for the design of website advertisements are discussed and related suggestions are provided for future research.

Keywords: COMPULSIVE BUYING; CROSS-CULTURAL COMPARISON; INFORMATION SEARCH; PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE; SHOPAHOLICS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539212X13546197910019

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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