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Self-service technology: an investigation of the potential for adoption in apparel retail settings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sooeun Cho (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: This study investigates the potential for adoption of self-service technologies (SSTs) in the apparel retail environment. The importance of motivation factors (e.g., intrinsic vs. extrinsic) for adopting SSTs in the apparel retail environment is explored as is the moderating effect of familiarity in potential SST adoption. Data were collected via a self-administered questionnaire completed by undergraduate students at a large southeastern university. A total of 494 usable questionnaires were collected. Respondents were predominantly female (82.6%), and ages ranged from 18 to 57 years, with an average age of 22 years. The majority of participants were Caucasian/White and majoring in a business-related field. Measures were based on the existing literature and assessed using a 7-point Likert-type scale and a 7-point semantic differential scale. Because many apparel retail settings do not currently offer self-service technology, participants were provided a definition of SST and an apparel shopping scenario involving the use of SST prior to completing the survey. Structural equation modeling technique was employed via a LISREL 8.8 to test the hypotheses. Results obtained for the main effect of the conceptual model revealed a χ2 of 1283.14 (df = 339; p < .001), GFI of .84, AGFI of .81, CFI of .98, RMSEA of .075, NFI of .97, NNFI of .97, and χ2 / df = 3.79. A χ2 of 115.97 (df = 9; p < .001), GFI of .96, AGFI of .70, CFI of .99, RMSEA of .157, NFI of .99, NNFI of .91, and χ2 / df = 12.89 was revealed for the moderating effect. Results indicated that individuals who perceive SSTs to be personally enjoyable are likely to display a favorable attitude toward using SSTs in the apparel retail environment. In contrast, individuals with a general fear of using technology are less likely to exhibit a favorable attitude toward using SSTs. Regarding the extrinsic motivation factors, perceived usefulness was an important element affecting attitudes toward using SSTs. Results further suggested that individuals who believe that using SSTs would be personally enjoyable and would make the shopping task more efficient are likely to use SSTs when shopping for apparel products. Findings also indicate a significant moderating effect of familiarity with using SSTs on the relationship between technology anxiety and attitudes toward using SSTs. In other words, the influence of technology anxiety on attitudes toward using SSTs tend to be weaker in high levels of familiarity toward technology usage than in low levels of familiarity toward technology usage conditions. This study contributes to the growing knowledge base about consumers' shopping behaviors in relation to SSTs, and fills a gap in the literature about the potential for SST use in the apparel retail shopping environment. Findings can aid apparel retailers looking to enhance their service offerings by providing an additional means for customers to purchase merchandise in the store. Future research is needed that applies the model to different populations, different types of SSTs, and relative to different types of apparel retailers.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
Apparel, Retail, Self-service, Technology
Subjects
Consumers $z United States $v Case studies
Clothing trade $x Technological innovations
Retail trade $x Technological innovations