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Mohammad Galib

DBA Graduate - 2020

Thesis title

Mobile coupons: help or hurt?

Supervisor(s)

Robert Mai
Purpose While a majority of the coupon-related studies focused on paper coupons, previous research on coupons provides limited insight regarding consumers’ differences in perceptions between paper and mobile coupons, and the reason behind these differences. Since coupons are an extremely important marketing instrument, companies are increasingly investing in them as a promotional tool. However, the current knowledge about the notable differences coupons bring to the online world is scant. A comparative analysis between mobile and paper coupons has surprisingly been ignored by previous researchers. The current study attempts to fill this research gap by addressing the differences in perception between paper and mobile coupons. This research study discovers new potentials of mobile coupons, and its purpose is to examine whether coupon type (mobile vs. paper) has any impact on a consumer’s coupon usage intention. It will attempt to explore the drivers and barriers of consumers’ coupon usage intention, and will examine to which extent coupon type translates into higher usage intention rates. It investigates three mechanisms by which a coupon operates and also evaluates four boundary conditions under which those three mechanisms are activated. Design/methodology/approach This study was guided by the Thaler’s (1985) transactional utility theory. The framework developed in this dissertation has been tested using multiple methods in a series of three studies in various domains involving 1050 participants. Based on the proposed model, fifteen hypotheses have been developed with one dependent, one independent, three mediating, and four moderating variables. The data of this study was analyzed with exploratory factor analysis, t-test, and multiple regression analysis, including the analysis of each mediating and moderating factor. Findings This study revealed that when the coupon type changes from paper to mobile, people’s coupon intention to use decreases, with the lack of trust as the primary barrier. Research limitations/implications This study has empowered the transactional utility theory (Thaler, 1985) by applying it in a new domain of couponing and demonstrating that consumers’ decision of coupon usage is influenced not only by acquisition utility (financial incentives) but also by transaction utility (non-financial psychological satisfaction). It developed a new theoretical framework that includes mechanisms that go beyond transactional utilities (Less Effort), such as Trust and Need for Haptics. Practical implications The findings of this study will help marketers achieve effective customer segmentation basis, efficient distributions of coupons, accurate selection of the products for couponing, and efficient development of pricing strategy. Originality/value The current study is the first attempt to apply this transactional utility theory (Thaler, 1985) to compare consumers’ perception between mobile and paper coupons. Keywords Mobile/Paper coupon, trust, effort