The Role of Consumer’s Self-Identity on Pro-Environmental Behavioral- and Loyalty Intentions

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Thesis Purpose: We aim to enhance the understanding of why Swedish consumers perform pro-environmental behaviors and how this can be influenced by managers and marketers in the shopping mall environment, making the mall more attractive and shoppers more loyal. Theoretical Perspective: We take on a sociological perspective by researching constructs based on identity theory, conspicuous consumption, and the theory of self-congruity. Methodology/Empirical Data Collection: A deductive approach and thus a quantitative research strategy was chosen to fulfill the aim of this cross-sectional study. We made use of non-probability sampling and recruited respondents through a web survey (n=336). We performed non-parametric signed rank and ranked order correlation tests, as well as (moderated) mediated regression analyses to investigate the relationships between pro-environmental self-identity, social visibility, and social consumption motivation. We adopted a one-group pre-post design to investigate the attractiveness and loyalty of a mall in the current, and a future imagined setting through a story treatment. Findings/Conclusion: Pro-environmental self-identity positively predicts the intention to perform pro-environmental behaviors. Although social consumption motivation shows to be insignificant in the investigated context, the measure of social visibility indicates that social status motives matter in sustainable consumption. We contribute to a deeper understanding of Swedish shoppers’ motivation to perform pro-environmental behaviors. The reconstruction of their (pro-environmental) self-identity, as well as the public display, seem to be important factors. The adoption of pro-environmental behaviors leads to an increase in mall attractiveness which in turn increases mall loyalty. The identification with a mall and its shoppers predicts a great extent of shoppers’ loyalty intentions. As the identification with a mall and its shoppers has not been studied before but showed strong predicting effects on loyalty intentions, we deliver a major contribution to the limited literature on intangible cues. Practical Implications: Our study gives shopping mall management and marketers insights into how to increase mall attractiveness and loyalty intentions by truly understanding its customers. We recommend to use the pro-environmental self-identity construct to segment customers and consequently depict to what extent pro-environmental behaviors would be adopted. As these behaviors inhabit social status value, an increase in visibility through prompts and the use of social norms seem adequate to stimulate the adoption of such behaviors. To not threaten the identity of certain segments, and therefore, the possibility of losing them as shoppers, changes in the mall environment should be carefully considered.

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