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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Technology-Enabled Personalization: The Impact of Device Choice on Consumer Reactance

Published: May 25, 2021


Anne-Sophie Riegger, EBS Universität; Katrin Merfeld, Utrecht University School of Economics; Jan Klein, Tilburg University; Sven Henkel, EBS Universität für Recht und Wirtschaft


Retailers have recognized the need to digitally-enhance their stores, thus increasingly employing technology-enabled personalization (TEP). They can draw on different devices, such as consumers’ smartphones or retailer-owned screens, to personally address customers in the store. Still, devices, opposed to content, remain a rare focus in research. However, as devices fundamentally impact the experience of content, we investigate the impact of different devices used for TEP on consumer behavior. Conducting an experimental study on the effect of the interplay of personalized content and device type on reactance, we find that consumers show altered reactions to TEP content depending on the device it is displayed on. Further, consumers’ TEP acceptance is contingent on the congruency of the device and the content in terms of integration into the extended-self. Thus, reactance is reduced when the personalized content is displayed on a device that is integrated into the extended-self.