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Personalisation of promotional offers in a mobile coupon service context: the role of regulatory fit

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posted on 03.02.2017, 03:37 by Khajehzadeh, Saman
This thesis theoretically develops and empirically tests a model of personalisation in the context of mobile couponing. The focus is in particular on personalised mobile coupon services provided to shoppers in shopping centres while they shop. To use such a service, customers sign up once and then send requests to receive new offers whenever they wish during their shopping trip. Three factors are identified as the key cues conveyed by a mobile coupon. The three factors consist of: the type of product category offered by a mobile coupon (i.e., hedonic or utilitarian), the congruency of the offer with consumers’ temporal (i.e., current or future) needs, and the convenience of access to a merchant to redeem the coupon (i.e., convenient or inconvenient). It is hypothesised that these factors interact with the consumer’s shopping motivation in affecting the consumer’s intention to redeem an offer. It is also hypothesised that this relation is mediated by perceptions of regulatory fit. The main theories used in this thesis to explain the hypothesised effects include regulatory focus theory, construal level theory, and the notion of regulatory fit. The main premise of the thesis is that consumers’ responses to personalised mobile coupons depend on the compatibility of the mobile coupon’s cues with the consumer’s focal shopping motivation. The reason for this is that hedonic and utilitarian shoppers perceive different levels of regulatory fit in compatible and incompatible offers. In order to test the proposed theoretical framework, four preliminary and four main studies were conducted. According to the extant literature on regulatory focus, firstly, certain marketing cues (e.g., the expiration date of a promotion, the framing of its message, and the familiarity of the brand) each prime certain types of regulatory focus (i.e., promotion or prevention). Secondly, the compatibility between the type of regulatory focus primed by these marketing cues and the type of regulatory focus adopted by consumers results in increased shopping basket size, including both promoted and unpromoted products (Ramanathan and Dhar, 2010). In the same vein, research has illustrated that the compatibility between product offers’ attributes and people’s regulatory focus results in higher product evaluations, greater behavioural intentions, as well as more actual behaviours, which occurs through the perception of regulatory fit. In the present thesis, the results of two preliminary experiments conducted among members of an online panel shows that: First, consumers’ shopping motivation as well as mobile coupons’ cues (i.e., the type of product offer they have received, and the congruity of the offer with the consumers’ temporal needs) each prime a certain type of regulatory focus which is superior in strength to the other type. Also, two preliminary studies showed that the spatial distance of a target object (in the present thesis, access convenience of a retailer) activates a certain type of construal level (i.e., concrete or abstract) more strongly than the other type. Second, the results of four main experiments demonstrated that the compatibility between the regulatory focus activated by a personalised mobile coupon’s cues and the one activated by a consumer’s shopping motivation leads to the perception of regulatory fit and subsequently enhanced intention to redeem. However, the results showed that consumers with different shopping motivations differ in their perceptions of regulatory fit in the same compatible or incompatible personalised offer. In particular, it was found that while utilitarian shoppers respond to personalised offers that are relevant to their focal shopping motivation (i.e., utilitarian products, products congruent with their current needs, and offers that are convenient to redeem), hedonic shoppers are responsive to both compatible and incompatible personalised offers (i.e., to both hedonic and utilitarian products, to products congruent with their future or current needs, and to offers that are convenient to redeem, especially utilitarian products). In this research, it was also shown that regulatory fit mediates the effect of the interaction between shopping motivation (as a situational state variable) and mobile coupons cues on intention to redeem an offer. In terms of managerial implications, the results of the present thesis suggest that managers can use consumers’ shopping motivation, their last purchase history, and their location as appropriate bases for personalising their mobile coupon offers. Specifically, the findings provided by this thesis suggests that, at a market level, while applying personalisation for utilitarian shoppers is important, it is less important for hedonic shoppers. This is important since in a mobile couponing business model, the more elements considered to target consumers, the more expensive will be for merchants, who are charged by mobile service providers to deliver their offers.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Harmen Oppewal

Additional supervisor 1

Dewi Tojib

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Monash University. Faculty of Business and Economics. Department of Marketing


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics