Research needs for assessing online value creation in complex consumer purchase process behavior
Consumers face considerable frustration when purchasing structurally and/or semantically complexhigh-involvement products online. Reliance on computer-mediated communications for theirinformation needs may result in functional and emotional frustration from information overloadand lack of personal trust. This paper proposes a responsive real-time information system as a proxy fora perceptive sales representative who assesses customer needs based on information exchanges andthen offers appropriate responses. By tracking and analyzing a consumerÃÂ¿s online activity, vendors canoffer information relevant to the consumerÃÂ¿s real-time needs, facilitating their purchase process. Inessence, this is a real-time value co-creation process based on the consumer offering cues to vendorsthrough their key strokes and mouse click activity. This allows for differentiated information offeringsfor inexperienced and more experienced consumers, creating value by dynamic information serving.Where appropriate value is created, consumers will experience less frustration and continue online,rather than possibly moving offline or to alternative vendors. In examining the bases of consumerinformation needs in complex purchases, this paper identifies the data required to enable a responsivedialog between vendors and consumers.