1. research was inspired by this assumption to prove

1.   
Discussion, Implications and Limitations

The current chapter discusses
the results found in the previous chapter and outlines their theoretical and
managerial implications. Afterwards, the limitations of this research are
described and recommendations for future research are provided.

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1.1  DiscussionJK1  and theoretical implications

This study investigated the effect of
price and product description and possibly their interaction on the expected
quality of an experience product and whether the latter leads to purchase
intention for this type of products. In order to fully understand the results
of this research, in this section they will be discussed thoroughly.

On the basis of previous research it was
expected that price is positively related to a product’s perceived quality (Dawar & Parker, 1994; Grewal & Monroe, 1995;
Bagwell & Riordan, 1991; Erdem, Keane & Sun, 2008) since there
are numerous sources which suggest that price is very often used as a proxy for
quality (Makasi & Govender, 2017). The purpose of this study was to test
this theory in the context of experience products. Therefore, it was attempted
to check whether price can be used as a determinant of an experience product’s
quality before consuming the product. As the results show, price has indeed a
positive effect on expected quality and that customers associate a higher price
with higher quality. This finding is quite reasonable since price is one of the
few available cues before consuming an experience product. Therefore, it is supported that consumers use price as
quality cue to judge the product before consuming it. Additionally, expected
quality has a strong positive relationship with purchase intention for
experience products. Therefore, it was proven that expected quality mediates
the effect of price on purchase intention.

Alternatively, a body of literature
suggests that it is possible to prime consumers to think about a product in a
certain way (Rajagopal & Burnkrant, 2005; Potcheptsova et al., 2010). This research
was inspired by this assumption to prove that it is possible to influence
consumers’ evaluations of expected quality of experience product by formulating
appropriate product description. This strategy is especially important for this
type of products since they have limited information prior to consumption and
it is a way to signal quality before the purchase. Consequently, the results of
this study show that the higher the complexity of a product description, the
higher is the expected quality of an experience product. This means that
customers use it as a quality cue to judge the product before making the
purchase. Interestingly, the analysis shows that product description has even
slightly bigger effect on expected quality than price (d=0.49 and d=0.50).

The hypothesized interaction between price
and product description on expected quality was not proven. It was expected
that there will be moderation because of results from previous studies (Rao and
Sieben, 1992; Miyazaki et al., 2005) which conclude that second quality cues
such as warranty, country of origin etc. can enhance the price-quality
relationship. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the two variables might
interact i.e. high price and complex description might enhance the expected
quality of a product. Contrary to these expectations, the results show no significant
interaction and therefore we conclude that the two variables have independent
effects on expected quality.

The most interesting finding is that price
has a negative effect on purchase intention. It was expected that the effect
will be opposite because of the ambiguous nature of experience products. Since
they imply higher quality uncertainty prior to purchase and due to their
symbolic and hedonic functions as opposed to consumer products. Based on
another research (Chiang and Jang, 2007), it was hypothesized that a higher
price will lead to higher purchase intention for this kind of products.  This effect was found only in the case of the indirect
effect which is mediated by expected quality. The direct effect of price on purchase
intention though is negative. This contradiction seems a little
counterintuitive but it does make sense. JK2 Apparently, when consumers take expected quality into account,
they perceive the higher price as a favorable indicator and increase their purchase
intention. Otherwise, when they do not think about the quality of a product,
the price has negative effect on their purchase intention. It turns out that
experience goods are not as different from search goods in terms of purchase
intention as it was expected. This effect could also be seen as a limitation
and be due to the fact that most respondents were students and your
professionals and they are usually quite price sensitive. In any case, the
results of this study show interesting implications for academics and practitioners
which will be discussed next.

1.2  Practical implications

Given the results of this study, the
following recommendations for marketing managers can be provided. First of all,
this study proves that price can be successfully used as a quality cue and
therefore practitioners should consider setting the right price in order to be
able to signal the quality of their experience products. By doing that, they
are able to facilitate the customers’ decision making and decrease the risks
associated with buying a product with ambiguous nature. Also, when the
customers have higher quality expectations for a product, they are willing to
pay more for it (Olson and Jacoby, 1972), which allows for better margins. Certainly
this does not mean setting an unjustified very high price because as the
results of this study show, price is negatively related to purchase intention. Therefore, it is vital to put a lot of consideration into
setting the right price level in order to find the balance between increasing
the expected quality and not decreasing the purchase intention for experience
products. JK3 

Furthermore, marketing managers should
take the time to formulate product descriptions which are able to demonstrate
the quality of the experience product they are marketing. By doing so, they can
imply higher quality by a more complex and elaborate description for instance. A
great advantage of this strategy is that is has very low costs. It does not
cost much to formulate a product description which implies higher quality.   The practical implication of this tactic is
that it allows pricing strategy which is consistent with the customer’s quality
beliefs (Nagle & Holden, 2002) and consequently marketing managers can
achieve better margins.

It is very important to note
that wrongfully signaling product quality and increasing the customers’ quality
expectations to a level at which they cannot be satisfied, can have a serious
drawbackJK4 . Marketing managers should still try to make realistic
promises to which they are able to deliver but they just should communicate
their products’ quality better. That is why we recommend responsibly using the
price and product description cues to signal quality and that way they will
achieve higher purchase intention for their products.

 

1.3  LimitationsJK5 
and recommendations for future researchJK6 

This study has a few limitations which are
worth mentioning. First, the sample of respondents is not an absolute representation
of the population as it consists of mainly students and young professionals
from different countries. According to some researchers students are not the
best sample of respondents and do not qualify as real consumers (Sears, 1986)
and using them as respondents leads to lower external validity of the research.
Therefore, we recommend that future research studying this matter should use a more
representative sample. JK7 

This non-representativeness of the sample might
be the reason for the odd statistics showing that 78% of the respondents claim
to like drinking wine but 92.5% say that they drink wine sometimes or more
often than that. Therefore, about 14% of the respondents drink wine even though
they do not really like it. This might be due to the fact that most of the
respondents are students and they normally have lower income and might buy wine
even though it is not their preferred booze. Additionally, another disadvantage
of choosing wine as an example is the fact that respondents might have been
totally honest when answering the questions about their drinking habits.
Therefore, social desirability bias might have occurred. Hence, it is advised
that other researchers replicate this study using a different example of
experience product.

Additionally, a limitation of this
research could be the fact that respondents were very geographically dispersed
and therefore have different cultures, currencies and drinking habits. We tried
to use country of origin and wine involvement as covariates but since their
addition to the analysis did not significantly improve the model (R square
increased with less than one percent), it was decided to drop the covariates.
The respondents come from so many different countries that it was impossible to
form proper groups and 67 of them (more than a quarter of the total number of
respondents) had to just go to the group “other”. The table with country of
origin distribution is in appendix. It is
therefore suggested that other researchers who would study this matter to either
use a sample from one country only or to choose a small number of countries and
focus on them.

Moreover, according to some researchers
(Reips, 2002; Birnbaum 2004; Skitka and Sargis 2006), online experiments are
not appropriate when participants have to deal with concrete stimuli as is the
case of physical products like the one used in this study. Consumers do not
normally buy wine online so the experiment environment is much different than
the one where consumers usually buy this type of products. Therefore, it is
recommended that this research is replicated in a field experiment in order to
achieve better external validity.

 

 

 

 

 JK15.1.1
Theoretical Implications

 JK2Wording

 

Relate your findings to other research here; cite
research

 JK3This
is very general and already known – what about specifics for experience
products

 

As finding are not significant à what can managers not
expected to have an effect (what will not help them to make money where they
might expect to make money).

 JK4I
get the point, but stay closer to your findings when discussing the managerial
implications

 JK55.2
Limitation

 JK6This
section is a bit to short

è  What would you do differently the next time?

è  Maybe the study was underpowered à
thus resulting in not significant effects

è  A field experiment might be an option to overcome the problems
you perceived in your study

 

Other experience products

 

What else could be done – future research

 JK7This
is okay, but very general. What else?