This thesis develops technology adoption and sensory information literatures through an evaluation of antecedents to consumers purchase location intention of Musical Instruments (MI). With the unique factor of instrument heterogeneity MI e-retail sales are information asymmetric propositions, where the consumer may make a sub-optimal purchase online having foregone the opportunity to experience the haptic information required to ascertain the instruments true quality. Despite a reticent adoption of MI e-retail from the traditional retail industry online MI sales are increasing, resulting in off-line marketplace contraction, thus investigation of consumers online MI purchase motivations is of value to the industry. The exploration of this topic uses a pragmatic, two-stage mixed-methods process incorporating inductive in-depth interviews with MI retail industry personnel, followed by deductive MI consumer based quantitative questionnaires.The reluctance to adopt e-retail is based on expertise-led aversion and expertise gap where key MI retail influencers attempt to enforce their own views on the correct way to purchase an instrument, rather than responding to consumer trends. This aversion was influenced by their own reliance on haptic information, coupled with knowledge of instrument heterogeneity and their level of musicianship. Consumer research conclusions identify that high haptic-need consumers, who tend to have greater ability and involvement, are more likely to purchase in-store whilst those with lower haptic needs are more willing to purchase MI online. Through the design and empirical testing of the Musical Instrument Need-for-Touch (MINFT) model numerous factors were identified as moderators to this basic supposition. The subsequent development of a MI consumer typology identified five distinct groups that respond to differing stimuli in relation to MI purchase location intention. These findings add to the academic discourse and enable MI retailers to enhance their offerings both in-store and online, leading to more effective targeting of their key customers.
PIRIE, E. 2017. I've got a feeling: the effect of haptic information on the preferred location of purchase of guitars and stringed wooden instruments. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.