Purpose—This study examines how consumers’ self-construal moderates their buying behavior in situations requiring consumers to buy larger-than-expected clothing sizes. We explore the potential effectiveness of two distinct communication strategies - emotional versus informational ad appeals - to mitigate the negative effects of sizing discrepancies.
Design/methodology/approach—A total of three experiments were conducted to examine the proposed framework. Studies 1 and 2 investigate whether self-construal moderates the relationship between sizing discrepancy and purchasing intentions. Study 3 examines the effectiveness of communication strategies in reducing the detrimental effects of sizing discrepancy.
Findings—When encountering sizing discrepancies, we find that consumers with an interdependent self-construal have lower purchase intentions than those with an independent self-construal. We demonstrate that an emotional communication strategy is more effective for consumers with an interdependent self-construal, whereas an informational communication strategy is more effective for consumers with an independent self-construal.
Originality—With the lack of a universal sizing system, consumers often struggle to find clothes that fit as expected. However, extant research has not explored cross-cultural differences in how consumers respond to sizing discrepancies and how managers can reduce any potential negative effects.
Jung, H., Magnusson, P. and Peng, Y. (2023), "The influence of self-construal on consumer responses to sizing discrepancy", International Marketing Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-08-2022-0179
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