Contingent Response to Self-Customization Procedures: Implications for Decision Satisfaction and Choice

Ana Valenzuela*, Ravi Dhar, Florian Zettelmeyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Self-customization is the process by which consumers seek to customize offerings to their own preferences. In this article, the authors propose that differences in self-customization procedures potentially influence (1) the product configuration favored, (2) the degree of decision difficulty in product customization, (3) the degree of satisfaction with the customized option, and (4) the degree of willingness to purchase. The authors examine these propositions in a series of studies that allow self-customization through the use of either a by-attribute or a by-alternative method. They show that consumers tend to choose an intermediate (compromise) option significantly more often when they customize a product using the by-attribute method than when using the by-alternative method. In addition, the by-attribute customization procedure leads to a lower level of experienced difficulty greater satisfaction, and higher willingness to purchase the customized option than the by-alternative method. Finally the decrease in experienced difficulty in the by-attribute customization method is not solely due to the reduction in information consideration but also due to less explicit trade-offs among competing characteristics. These results can aid marketing managers in designing mass-customization procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-763
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • customization procedures
  • decision difficulty
  • product self-customization
  • satisfaction
  • willingness to purchase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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