When creating a unique experience for consumers, and in response to consumer demand for personalized products, retailers increasingly offer products customized to meet the individual consumerís need. A developing technology emerging in the retail setting is body scanning, with which consumer body measurements can be taken and then used to create personalized apparel products. However, this relatively new technology has little research backing its usefulness and practicality in the eyes of consumers. In order to better gauge the adoption of the technology in terms of diffusion within a retail context, an analysis of the personal factors contributing to consumersí willingness to use body scanning was conducted.
Using Rogerís theory of diffusion (2003), which acknowledges the importance of innovators in paving the way for the diffusion of innovations in the marketplace, selected consumer characteristics were chosen for study in the current research on body scanning technology. The characteristics were, in part, taken from the Blackwell, Miniard, Engel (2001) model of consumer behavior and included personal values, involvement, susceptibility to interpersonal influence and innovativeness. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the factors contributing to consumer willingness to try body scanning by testing a model that incorporated the research variables. The variables were expected to contribute to innovativeness, and ultimately to the time frame of technology adoption. Correlations, factor analysis, and univariate analysis of variance results were reported for this exploratory test of variable relationships. Multinomial regression was used to build the final research model from the significant variables.
Final model results showed that normative susceptibility to interpersonal influence decreased oneís chances of being among the first to adopt an innovative product. Normative involvement has no significant effect on responses of later adopters. Increases in informational SII scores also increased chances of being the first to adopt, and later to adopt as well. As subjectsí involvement scores became greater, they were more likely to fall into the early majority of innovative shoppers. Innovativeness was significant to those intending to adopt body scanning early, but not to later adopters. Multinomial regression showed the individual values of security and fun and enjoyment of life to be important to those earliest to adopt body scanning technology. The resulting findings can be applied in a broader text, with further testing of the research model recommended for other innovations. Future directions for research are mentioned following the discussion of conclusions.