Cell phone buyers focus too much on having latest features

Consumers focus on having features instead of elaborating on how often a feature will be used.

Updated: Sep 23, 2012, 20:48 PM IST

Washington: Consumers focus on having features instead of elaborating on how often a feature will be used, and this can lead to a decrease in product satisfaction, according to a marketing professor at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Across five studies and four product domains, Joseph K. Goodman, PhD, assistant professor of marketing, found that consumers fail to estimate their feature usage rate before purchasing multifunctional products, which negatively affects product satisfaction.

Goodman and his co-author, Caglar Irmak, PhD, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, showed that this shift in preferences is due to a change in elaboration from using to having features.

The pair identifies three key moderators to this effect: need for cognition, feature trivialness and materialism.

“Consumers focus too much on just having the latest features, and don’t spend time elaborating on how often they will use the features,” Goodman said.

“When they do actually elaborating on usage, then they tend to buy lowered featured products, and they tend to be more satisfied with their purchase, regardless of whether they buy a high or low feature product,” he added.

Goodman said their findings can’t tell consumers what to buy, but they do suggest that consumers should at least stop and consider how often they are going to use each new additional feature before they make their decision.

“This little act of consideration can lead to greater satisfaction down the road,” he concluded.

The study is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Research.