Why Can't You Be All Talk to Get Things Done? Consumer Acceptance of Voice-Assisted Products

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Journal of Product and Brand Management

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Purpose Voice assistant technology represents one of the most radical artificial intelligence innovations. Drawing on the processing fluency theory and consumer learning literature, this study aims to explore how consumer acceptance of new products is influenced by voice assistant function (VAF), along with the impacts of role clarity and learning modality. Design/methodology/approach Four between-subjects experimental studies were conducted. Study 1 tested the main effect of VAF on consumer acceptance. Study 2 included role clarity as a mediator between VAF and consumer acceptance. Study 3 examined the moderation effect of learning modality and contrasted the effectiveness of experiential and verbal learning in helping increase consumer acceptance. Study 4, as a post hoc study, tested serial mediations to validate whether processing fluency was indeed the mechanism explaining the indirect relationship between VAF and consumer acceptance via role clarity. Findings The negative impact of VAF on consumer acceptance was demonstrated in all four studies. Studies 2 and 3 showed VAF decreased role clarity which further influenced consumer acceptance. Moreover, Study 3 evidenced that experiential learning was more effective than verbal learning in increasing consumer acceptance of voice-assisted products via role clarity. Study 4 demonstrated that VAF decreased role clarity, which in turn decreased processing fluency, leading to lower consumer acceptance. Originality/value This research views the usage of voice-assisted products as a coproduction process between consumers and the VAF. Accordingly, findings provide novel insights into processing fluency of tasks assisted by VAF through the lens of role clarity and learning modality, which enriches the understanding of potential barriers and opportunities for consumers to accept voice-assisted products.


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