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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Using self-determination theory to analyse consumer preferences for health and fitness app features

Published: May 25, 2021


Violeta Stancu, Aarhus University, Denmark; Darius-Aurel Frank, Aarhus University; Liisa Lähteenmäki, Aarhus University, Denmark; Klaus Grunert, Aarhus University, MAPP Centre, Department of Management


Smartphone apps can promote healthy behaviours. Our aim was to assess consumer preferences for features that can support sustained use of health apps. In an online survey, 720 respondents in Spain and Germany made choices between two app screens varying in the contained features. One choice task dealt with two features of the app recommendations, allowing choices and presenting an anthropomorphic cue. Consumers preferred the feature that allowed choices in the recommendations. The anthropomorphic cue was preferred in Germany and disliked in Spain. In terms of self-regulation, we tested two features, providing feedback containing an evaluation besides information and displaying the information on progress in a dynamic format. Consumers preferred feedback with evaluation and information, whereas the dynamic display was disliked in Germany. In terms of gamification, we tested the presence of levels of progress and allowing to self-select the rewards. Both features were valued.