Customer Trial of Self-Service Technology : An investigation of vending machines for non-prescription drugs
In the context of the deregulation in the pharmaceutical industry in Sweden, many new business chances have been created. The rising numbers of players in the market started up the race for gaining market shares and attracting customers with new products and services. One of the new players, GreenCross AB, introduced MiniApotek, a vending machine of non-prescription medicine, to the Swedish market. The business concept is to provide a new, secured and convenient way of buying non-prescription medicine to the Swedish society. However, there is a gap between the retailer’s business expectation and the customers’ perception of this new service.
The purpose of this thesis is to investigation the different factors that affect potential customers’ trial behavior of self-service technology. Specifically, the researchers explore and examine the main factors that directly manipulate customers’ trial at MiniApotek.
A quantitative approach is applied in this thesis to identify the key factors and explain their strong influence to trial. The empirical data collected from conducting a survey at Stockholm University, was combined with e-mail communication with GreenCross AB. These materials were analyzed in accordance with the three applied theories, the product concept, pre-purchase stage in consumers’ decision making process and model of customers’ trial of self-service technologies.
The researchers conclude that there is a strong influence of inertia, need for personal interaction, technology anxiety and perceived risk on the trial of potential customers at MiniApotek. It is found that these factors have a negative effect on the adoption process of MiniApotek in Swedish market. Consequently, the authors think GreenCross AB needs to get a better understanding of the real market need and take these factors into great consideration, as well as find a better strategy to improve the company’s business situation.
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