First-time buyers’ subjective knowledge and the attribute preferences of Chinese car buyers

Lixian Qian, Didier Soopramanien*, Ahmad Daryanto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This research focuses on the subjective knowledge of first time buyers (FTBs hereafter) and how it influences their preference attributes in a market, more specifically, the emerging Chinese car market. Previous research has considered the difference in the subjective knowledge of a product between owners and non-owners but does not account that some non-owners have stronger intentions to make a purchase. Yet, the impact of the purchase goal of FTBs on their subjective knowledge remains unexplained. This research demonstrates that the effect of the purchase goal on subjective knowledge is moderated by product ownership. Specifically, the findings show that the purchase goal only affects the level of subjective knowledge of FTB but not those of potential repurchasing buyers. Furthermore, when segmenting potential FTBs on the basis of their subjective knowledge, the segment of potential FTBs with higher subjective knowledge display similar attribute preferences to owners, while the preference differences are observed when segmenting potential buyers into owners and non-owners. From a managerial perspective, the findings of the research demonstrate the value of using subjective knowledge for consumer segmentation when targeting car buyers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Attribute preferences
  • First time buyers
  • Intention to buy
  • Subjective knowledge


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