Purpose Building on the theoretical paradigms of consumer free-riding and cognitive dissonance, this study aims to evaluate whether consumers’ cognitive effort when making a purchase decision impacts upon the relationship between free-riding habits and postpurchase cognitive dissonance. Design/methodology/approach To explore the relationship between cross-channel free-riding, cognitive efforts and cognitive dissonance, a framework was conceptualized and empirically tested on a sample of 518 Italian consumers. Covariance-based structural equation modeling and bootstrapped mediation analysis was performed with the PROCESS macro. Findings Results show that the more cognitively involved a free-riding consumer is, the more he/she will experience postpurchase cognitive dissonance. Originality/value Modern consumers habitually finalize their purchase activities through multiple different channels. The abundance of e-commerce/online platforms does indeed offer consumers a plethora of alternatives to physical/offline stores. Hence, consumers have been seen to act as “free-riders.” It is becoming more and more common for consumers to seek information in physical stores and then purchase a product online more conveniently. This notwithstanding, it has emerged that free-riding consumers tend to experience cognitive dissonance – which is a sensation of emotional discomfort – after making their purchases. The causes of this phenomenon are yet to be fully unpacked.

Why do consumers free ride? Investigating the effects of cognitive effort on postpurchase dissonance / C. Nosi, L. Zollo, R. Rialti, C. Ciappei. - 39:5(2022 Jul 25), pp. 417-431. [10.1108/JCM-02-2021-4436]

Why do consumers free ride? Investigating the effects of cognitive effort on postpurchase dissonance

L. Zollo
Secondo
;
R. Rialti
Penultimo
;
2022-07-25

Abstract

Purpose Building on the theoretical paradigms of consumer free-riding and cognitive dissonance, this study aims to evaluate whether consumers’ cognitive effort when making a purchase decision impacts upon the relationship between free-riding habits and postpurchase cognitive dissonance. Design/methodology/approach To explore the relationship between cross-channel free-riding, cognitive efforts and cognitive dissonance, a framework was conceptualized and empirically tested on a sample of 518 Italian consumers. Covariance-based structural equation modeling and bootstrapped mediation analysis was performed with the PROCESS macro. Findings Results show that the more cognitively involved a free-riding consumer is, the more he/she will experience postpurchase cognitive dissonance. Originality/value Modern consumers habitually finalize their purchase activities through multiple different channels. The abundance of e-commerce/online platforms does indeed offer consumers a plethora of alternatives to physical/offline stores. Hence, consumers have been seen to act as “free-riders.” It is becoming more and more common for consumers to seek information in physical stores and then purchase a product online more conveniently. This notwithstanding, it has emerged that free-riding consumers tend to experience cognitive dissonance – which is a sensation of emotional discomfort – after making their purchases. The causes of this phenomenon are yet to be fully unpacked.
Cognitive efforts; Consumer behavior; E-commerce; Free-riding behavior; Postpurchase cognitive dissonance;
Settore SECS-P/08 - Economia e Gestione delle Imprese
31-mag-2022
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
JCM - Nosi, Rialti, Zollo, Ciappei.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Post-print, accepted manuscript ecc. (versione accettata dall'editore)
Dimensione 542.7 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
542.7 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/929881
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact