Drivers of adoption for successive generation of high-tech products

Kaya, Maria & Steffens, Paul R. (2009) Drivers of adoption for successive generation of high-tech products. In Proceedings of 5th Marketing Dynamics, University of Waikato, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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To understand the diffusion of high technology products such as PCs, digital cameras and DVD players it is necessary to consider the dynamics of successive generations of technology. From the consumer’s perspective, these technology changes may manifest themselves as either a new generation product substituting for the old (for instance digital cameras) or as multiple generations of a single product (for example PCs). To date, research has been confined to aggregate level sales models. These models consider the demand relationship between one generation of a product and a successor generation. However, they do not give insights into the disaggregate-level decisions by individual households – whether to adopt the newer generation, and if so, when. This paper makes two contributions. It is the first large scale empirical study to collect household data for successive generations of technologies in an effort to understand the drivers of adoption. Second, in contrast to traditional analysis in diffusion research that conceptualizes technology substitution as an “adoption of innovation” type process, we propose that from a consumer’s perspective, technology substitution combines elements of both adoption (adopting the new generation technology) and replacement (replacing generation I product with generation II).

Key Propositions In some cases, successive generations are clear “substitutes” for the earlier generation (e.g. PCs Pentium I to II to III ). More commonly the new generation II technology is a “partial substitute” for existing generation I technology (e.g. DVD players and VCRs). Some consumers will purchase generation II products as substitutes for their generation I product, while other consumers will purchase generation II products as additional products to be used as well as their generation I product. We propose that substitute generation II purchases combine elements of both adoption and replacement, but additional generation II purchases are solely adoption-driven process. Moreover, drawing on adoption theory consumer innovativeness is the most important consumer characteristic for adoption timing of new products.

Hence, we hypothesize consumer innovativeness to influence the timing of both additional and substitute generation II purchases but to have a stronger impact on additional generation II purchases. We further propose that substitute generation II purchases act partially as a replacement purchase for the generation I product. Thus, we hypothesize that households with older generation I products will make substitute generation II purchases earlier. Methods We employ Cox hazard modeling to study factors influencing the timing of a household’s adoption of generation II products. A separate hazard model is conducted for additional and substitute purchases. The age of the generation I product is calculated based on the most recent household purchase of that product. Control variables include size and income of household, age and education of decision-maker.

Results and Implications Our preliminary results confirm both our hypotheses. Consumer innovativeness has a strong influence on both additional purchases and substitute purchases. Also consistent with our hypotheses, the age of the generation I product has a dramatic influence for substitute purchases of VCR/DVD players and a strong influence for PCs/notebooks. Yet, also as hypothesized, there was no influence on additional purchases. This implies that there is a clear distinction between additional and substitute purchases of generation II products, each with different drivers. For substitute purchases, product age is a key driver. Therefore marketers of high technology products can utilize data on generation I product age (e.g. from warranty or loyalty programs) to target customers who are more likely to make a purchase.

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ID Code: 29742
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Drivers of Adoption, High-tech Products
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 18 Jan 2010 22:35
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2012 12:21

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