An Investigation of the Relationships among Consumer Characteristics, Attitude, and Purchase Intention in Apparel Mass-customization
Mass-customization is a form of consumer-centric business practice, which is a hybrid of customization and mass-production (Gilmore & Pine II, 1997). It is the use of flexible processes and organizational structures to produce individually customized apparel products at the low cost of a standardized mass-production system (Hart, 1995). Very limited academic consumer research has been conducted in the area of apparel mass-customization. The purposes of the study were (a) to investigate consumers' purchase intentions of mass-customized apparel, (b) to examine the relationships among consumer characteristics, perceived usefulness, perceived behavioral control, attitude toward using apparel mass-customization, and purchase intention of mass-customized apparel, and (c) to identify the predictors of the overall purchase intentions and those of the purchase intentions of specific types of mass-customized apparel (i.e., design, fit and personalization mass-customized apparel). A conceptual model was developed, and eight hypotheses were generated to test the proposed relationships among the variables. A questionnaire was developed as the instrument of collecting data. A national sample of 474 male adults was recruited by a market research company. Statistics such as descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the collected data. The results indicated that more than half of the respondents were willing to purchase mass-customized dress shirts. The relationships among consumer characteristics, perceived usefulness, perceived behavioral control, attitude toward using apparel mass-customization, and purchase intention of mass-customized apparel were confirmed, and the predictors of the overall purchase intention and of the purchase intention of specific types of mass-customized apparel were identified. Based on the results, in-depth discussions and related marketing implications were provided.