Waiting Line

Topics: Marketing, Queue area, Cutting Pages: 23 (6001 words) Published: April 2, 2012

BY Wong Tsz Fung 03007898 Marketing Option

Table of Contents
Acknowledgement Abstract iii iv 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 8

1. Introduction 2. Research Objectives 3. Literature Review
3.1 Definition of Queue 3.2 Queuing as Sacrifice 3.3 Looking for Extrinsic Cues 3.4 Social Proof: the Positive Signal of Queue 3.5 The Interplay between Perceived Product Quality and Perceived Sacrifice

4. Statement of Hypotheses

8. Implications 9. Recommendations 10. Limitations 11. Conclusion 12. References 13. Appendix 13.1 Questionnaire 13. 2 SPSS OUTPUT

20 21 23 24


First, I would like to appreciate my supervisor, Dr. Alex S.L. Tsang of this Honors Project. Although he was very busy at that time, he was patient to give a lot of valuable guidance and advice to me. Without his kind support, this study could not be accomplished favorably.

Besides, I appreciate for the valuable time of supportive subjects, and for assistance and support of my friends.


Most people do not like to queue up because it causes people feel time wasting and anxiety. Abundant mathematical and psychological studies had been conducted to solve this problem. However, in some situation people can choose whether to wait, for example to decide which travel agents to inquire. But, why some consumers are willing to join a queue when they have alternative chooses. I proposed social proof effect can increase the perceived product quality and then indirectly affects purchase intention of consumers. However, queue signals sacrifice to the consumers’ perception at the same time. So in this study, a comprehensive view of queue was considered. I used the purchase decision made on two tuck shops with different queue lengths as an example to examine the relationship between perceived product quality, perceived sacrifice, and purchase intention. The results showed that queue length should be decomposed into perceived product quality and perceived sacrifice in order to understand its relationship with purchase intention. Recommendations were given to retailers to benefit retailers in the long term; also, this study gave some implications and paved the way for the future research.


1. Introduction
Queuing is a common phenomenon in the world, when everything is added up, an average person may spends as much as 30 minutes a day waiting in line, which translates to 20 months of waiting in an 80-year lifetime (Wielenga 1997). Hong Kong is a high density city; we can see many places are full of queues. People queue up to get in the train, bus and taxi; wait for using toilet; deposit money in bank; purchase film ticket and pay money in supermarket etc.

Queuing is divided into two situations. The first situation is that people have little choice but queue, such as withdrawing money from ATM; or waiting to check in for a flight, and even waiting for an organ donation (Zhou and Soman, 2003). In the second situation, people can choose whether to wait or switch another service provider. This happen in cases such as waiting to play roller coaster in a theme park or queuing up to buy a concert ticket of a pop star.

Most of the people do not like to queue up because they feel that queuing is boring, time wasting and caused physical and psychological discomfort. Not surprisingly, abundant studies had evaluated how queuing negatively affect customers’ perception and service evaluation (Larson 1987; Chebat and Filiatrault


1993; Hui and Tse 1996). However, why do people still decide to wait in the second situation even they are not necessary to wait? I suggest queue length can be used as an extrinsic cue to help consumers to estimate product quality and make purchase decision, especially when they have imperfect information about product quality. As the other people state their preference behaviorally by...
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