Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/37168
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce and pushed consumers to shop for food items online to a greater extent. Drawing on signaling theory, this research explores if cues can be used in e-commerce to influence online consumers to buy environmentally sustainable fish products. Two types of sustainability cues, an environmental sustainability tag and eco-labels, were examined in separate studies using the research method of choice-based conjoint analysis (CBC analysis). Conjoint analysis has been applied in consumer research to gain an understanding of product preferences and is valued for how it mimics real-world scenarios. In two studies, online stores were simulated and participants asked to choose between fish products. These fish products differed in regards to five product attributes; sustainability cue, product origin, procurement method, purchase state, price. Study 1 tested the effect of a green sustainability tag that read ‘‘environmentally sustainable’’ while Study 2 tested the effect of the eco labels of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). About 600 participants resident in the USA completed each study, which was distributed with Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk) crowdsourcing service. Despite eco-labels being more costly signals, the sustainability tag was found to be a more effective as a quality cue. This suggests that consumers do not necessarily perceive more costly signals as better indicators of quality. Also, these results indicate that online retailers can play an important role in assisting the consumption of sustainably sourced fish, as tags are easy and cheap to implement. A segment of ‘‘Green consumers’’ was identified, for which the sustainability cues were the most important product attributes affecting the choice of fish. This segment had consumption patterns on par with average fish consumers and was more likely than other segments to believe green marketing claims as well as that green products were beneficial to the environment. Also, this segment was less likely than other segments to believe that green products were expensive. The research has implications for Icelandic fisheries as the results indicate that sustainability can be an effective point of differentiation for Icelandic fish in the US market and that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced fish products.
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