Antecedents of perceived value and purchase intentions

Although perceived value is highly personal and idiosyncratic (Zeithaml 1988), scholars have tried to find common predictors of perceived value to understand what constitutes value and purchase intentions. Over the years, a considerable body of literature has empirically investigated the antecedents that determine product value and product choice (e.g. Bolton and Drew 1991; Zeithaml 1988), and store value and store choice (e.g. Baker et al. 2002; Donovan et al. 1994; Sirohi et al. 1998; Zeithaml et al. 1996). Most authors in this field used Zeithaml's classification of perceived costs and benefits to predict perceived value and purchase intentions (e.g. Baker et al. 2002; Sirohi et al. 1998; Sweeney et al. 1999). As such, they often treated the benefits and costs both as antecedents and as components of value (see Dabholkar et al. 2000). Before addressing the criteria consumers use for their purchasing, this observation is explained.

Research on value dimensions (e.g. functional value, emotional value) focuses on the components or constituents of value. It focuses on construct definition, denoting what perceived value includes or comprises (Rossiter 2002). In this respect, perceived value is seen as the (weighted) summation of its components. When these components are not related to an overall measure of perceived value, it is not possible to capture the effect or importance of each dimension (Dabholkar et al. 2000; Sweeny and Soutar 2001). Contrastingly, research has also addressed how the concept of perceived value behaves in retail settings, referring to the determinants and consequences of (the components of) value. This type of research focuses on understanding the relationships between constructs. Here, the benefits and costs sometimes act as components of value, and as antecedents of value. For instance, time and effort costs are seen as antecedents of perceived value (Zeithaml 1988), but can also simultaneously act as a component of value (cf. Baker et al. 2002).

Studies focusing on the interrelationships often take a more practical view, and use the identified costs and benefits without explicitly addressing whether they are used as components or predictors of value (e.g. Baker et al. 2002; Cronin et al 2000). However, the complex nature of the perceived value concept sometimes necessitates researchers to model benefits/costs simultaneously as antecedents and components of value. The second stream of research provides us additional insights into how customers evaluate value. For example, research on the value dimensions cannot explain the dual effect of price (cf. Agarwal and Teas 2001; Dodds et al. 1991).