‘Watch Out’ for Wearables : Factors that influence the purchase intention of smartwatches in Germany
Abstract: Background: The rapid growth and increased competition in today’s technology industry leads to a growth in consumers’ expectations on new presented products. One of the growing markets within the technology sector are wearable devices – especially smartwatches. Almost all major IT and electronic giants such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google offer smartwatches – competition is increasingly growing. Consumers benefit from the wide variety of choices while selecting a smartwatch – but what are the factors that influence them to purchase such a device? Purpose: This thesis investigates the intention of German consumers to purchase smartwatches and examines the influencing factors. Method: In order to meet the purpose of this thesis, the authors conducted a quantitative study. The data was collected by means of an online questionnaire among German consumers and was distributed via the messenger application WhatsApp. To ensure the collection of enough responses the authors chose to apply a non-probability snowball sampling approach. Beside demographical questions and two introductory questions concerning the knowledge and the usage of smartwatches, the questionnaire consisted of eight question blocks that have been developed based on two well-established models to predict human behavior and technology adoption: Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Conclusion: The results of this study provide empirical evidence that the attitude towards using was the strongest predictor for the intention to purchase smartwatches. The outcomes further show that the attitude is influenced by the two hedonic factors perceived enjoyment and design aesthetics as well as by the utilitarian factor perceived usefulness. Out of those three factors perceived enjoyment was found to exert the strongest influence on attitude. Contrary to previous research, the results of this study could not reveal a significant influence of subjective norms on purchase intention. However, beside the attitude, perceived behavioral control was also found to influence purchase intention. The findings of this research allowed to draw a variety of theoretical and managerial implications as well as to develop possible research opportunities for future studies.
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