Access-based consumption refers to market-mediated transactions without transfer of ownership. Due to recent advances in technology, access-based services provide consumers with convenience and increased choice without the commitment associated with ownership. In particular, access-based fashion service providers have achieved considerable successes in recent years. However, despite the growing practical importance and academic interest in this regard, studies concerning access-based consumption in the fashion industry have not yet sufficiently explained this alternative consumption practice. In order to shed light on the complex nature of access-based fashion consumption, this literature-based research study aims to determine whether a certain consumption approach with respect to access-based fashion consumption may lead to more favorable consumer responses than another consumption approach. To do so, two studies were conducted in which data were collected from American female millennials via Amazon Mechanical Turk. The pilot study (n=105) was conducted to assess the main effect of experience recommendation theory in an online clothing rental context, which represents a type of access-based fashion consumption. The results indicated the reverse effect of experience recommendation theory, suggesting the superiority of material framing over experiential framing. These unexpected results may stem from the focus of the pilot study, which was rented (as opposed to owned) fashion products (as opposed to functional products). To validate the results of the pilot study and answer the additional questions raised by it, the main study (n=141) was designed to explain the unexpected results by suggesting potential mediators (i.e., psychological ownership, hedonic value, and social value), as well as a moderator (i.e., consumer materialism). The main study demonstrated that material (rather than experiential) framing was associated with greater happiness and higher word-of-mouth (WOM) intentions, thereby confirming the results of the pilot study. Psychological ownership and hedonic value mediated the relationship between framing and purchase-related happiness, while hedonic and social values mediated the relationship between framing and WOM intentions. However, consumer materialism did not moderate the relationship between material framing and consumer responses. This research contributes to the literature by investigating the ambiguous nature of access-based fashion consumption. It tested experience recommendation theory in a new context, and suggested the underlying mechanisms that explain whether a certain framing with respect to access-based fashion is superior to another framing. This research also has practical implications due to suggesting the importance of material framing for access-based fashion service providers and marketers in terms of managing ambiguity so as to generate positive consumer evaluations and behaviors.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2018. Major: Design. Advisor: Juanjuan Wu. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 82 pages.
Revisiting The Experience Recommendation Theory In Access-Based Fashion Consumption.
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