ABSTRACT

Purpose - Inducing consumers' behavioral intent to use an outlet shopping center is a critical issue for managers since it can be used as a guide for developing marketing strategies. Low prices could lead to a growth in retail purchases, but there might also be a positive relationship between prices and customer perceptions of product quality. The extent to which consumers use price as a predictor of quality may differ according to the availability of important alternative cues such as brand, store name, and identity salience triggered by the store. Consumers can obtain non-economic benefits from marketing exchanges that go beyond basic economic achievement. We argue that identity salience can play a crucial mediating role when consumers,acting as exchange partners, seek to obtain social benefits. This study shows that identity salience could mediate the relationship between identity salience-inducing factors such as multi-finality, prestige and role performance, and consumers’ behavioral intent to use an outlet shopping center. Research design, data and methodology - The survey was conducted on college students enrolled in marketing classes. A total of 200 questionnaires were distributed, of which only 194 were returned. After five incomplete questionnaires were excluded, a final sample of 189 was used for empirical analysis. Using a covariance structural analysis in Amos17, we confirmed the fit of the research model and estimated its parameters by using the maximum likelihood method. Results - The results of the hypotheses testing are as follows. First, both identity salience and economic benefits have positive effects on the behavioral intent to use an outlet shopping center. Second, role performance, prestige, and multi-finality have positive effects on identity salience. Finally, the additive analysis of the direct effects of identity salience-inducing factors shows that the role performance,prestige, and multi-finality factors have no direct effects on the behavioral intent to use an outlet shopping center, suggesting that Conclusions - This study informs marketers that not only price but shoppers' identity salience directly affects their intent to visit an outlet shopping center. To strengthen shoppers' identity salience, marketers should find ways to help shoppers fulfill their multiple social roles,realize their multiple goals, and achieve prestige. In other words, outlet shopping centers must improve their personal service environment in order to enhance their employees’ service quality and assist the execution of multi-finality by minimizing the perceived costs (e.g.,travel time, effort) associated with shopping trips, thus making it easier for consumers to combine visits to multiple stores in outlet shopping centers and buy the items required for their consumption goals. Outlet shopping centers must also offer assortments with both breadth and depth in order to help consumers play the social roles their social networks have given them.

KEYWORD

Outlet Shopping Center, Economic Benefit, Identity Salience, Role Performance, Multi-Finality.

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