Driving Into the Ecosystem - Service Ecosystem Loyalty in the 2022 Car Industry
This paper aims to add to the novel concept of ecosystem loyalty, specifically applied to the automobile industry. The automotive industry is shifting as part of general trends in sustainability, digitalization, servification, and shifting consumer values. Car companies are moving to integrate these changes by developing a variety of car-usage options. This paper presents a research model consisting of six constructs representing general consumer attitudes (environmental concern, price sensitivity, total care convenience, frequency of car use, preference for flexible pricing, vehicle preference), hypothesised to correlate with consumers’ attitudes towards three car usage offerings: a car-sharing service, a car subscription service, and purchasing a car. Moreover, the relation between the three offerings was tested to investigate if these attitudes influence one another. 203 consumers completed a questionnaire, from which the data was used to do a regression modelling and correlation matrix analysis. Consumers favouring car subscription perceive maintenance and repair as burdensome, making total care packages a potential USP for such services. Additionally, consumers who prefer car subscriptions consider the car’s attributes (e.g. newness) as important - and it is even more important to customers with positive attitudes towards purchasing a car. The frequency of car use was found to affect consumers’ choice between car-sharing and purchasing a car, which in turn, was influenced by the consumers’ age. This indicates a potential for consumers to use car-sharing as a ‘try-out’ when they are young and their frequency of car use is low and ‘drive’ into the ecosystem if their experience with car-sharing was satisfactory as their frequency of car use increases with age. Consumers with positive attitudes towards car-sharing are found to be price sensitive, highlighting the need for car companies to develop a competitive pricing strategy to motivate consumers to take their first step into the brands’ ecosystem. Lastly, the three different car usage offers do constitute the basis for an ecosystem; however, the results show that these might be used consecutively instead of simultaneously.
MSc in Marketing and Consumption