Triangulating consumers' perceptions of payment systems by using social representations theory: a multi-method approach

Penz, E. and Sinkovics, R. R. (2013) Triangulating consumers' perceptions of payment systems by using social representations theory: a multi-method approach. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 12(4), pp. 293-306. (doi: 10.1002/cb.1420)

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Social systems play a pivotal role in shaping customers' views, the adoption process and subsequent product diffusion for novel products. Perceptions of Austrian consumers regarding payment systems were assessed in a cross-sectional analysis applying social representations theory. Social representations help to unravel the sources of individuals' attitudinal or perceptual similarities and differences, which often stem from inter-group differences. In short, they are useful for the investigation of ‘deeper structure’ aspects of consumer behaviour, as has been shown in previous studies. This may be seen as a further step forward for marketing research, which operates largely on social phenomena. This study addresses the shortage of non-cognitive-based research in marketing by offering a methodological approach that uses triangulation on the basis of associative answers from social groups. A four-step analytic design revealed that consumer groups transpose the abstract concept of payment systems into tangible objects and processes in a similar way; however, their social background impacted which value was attached to established as well as new means of payment. Cash is still seen as the prototypical form of payment; newer forms, such as credit cards or ATM cards, appear already in the periphery of representations, urgently needing well-concerted marketing efforts to become recognized as substitutes for cash. From a managerial view, the research employs social phenomena as a basis for segmenting natural rather than nominal groups in order to better serve consumers' needs in an increasingly connected social reality.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Social representations, consumer behavior, research, methodology, marketing research.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sinkovics, Professor Rudolf
Authors: Penz, E., and Sinkovics, R. R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Consumer Behaviour
ISSN (Online):1479-1838
Published Online:29 May 2013

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