Consumer Ambivalence in Luxury Personal Selling: On Sales Assistant Side

S. Prestini*, Roberta Sebastiani

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


Despite the recent economic regression, the global luxury goods sector seems not to give evidence of slowing down. Even though the role of the salesperson is a critical component in the process of enhancing customer shopping experience, there is few research investigating sales assistants’ attitudes and behaviors toward luxury shoppers. Moreover shoppers often experience consumer ambivalence in their relationship with salespeople (Bush et al., 2015). They are becoming more and more omnichannel-oriented, utilizing all available company touchpoints, both online and offline, before and after direct contact with sales assistants. However, personal selling still maintains his centrality in the purchasing process. There are only few studies investigating consumer ambivalence emerging from buyer-seller relationships, in particular in the luxury shopping experience, although brand ambassadors offer shoppers extra-ordinary experiences created in the store that are less meant to please the customer than to impress him/her and generate awe (Dion, et al. 2011). This research aims at contributing to the literature on personal selling in the omnichannel context understanding to what extent luxury sales assistants are conscious of the consumer ambivalence that they can generate in luxury shoppers. Additionally, we investigate how they identify and react to these multiple emotional states across different types of luxury shoppers. Through focus groups with 12 luxury sales ambassadors, I argue that sales assistants recognize consumer ambivalence in luxury shoppers. Four luxury shopper typologies – which experience diverse consumer ambivalences that sales assistants contribute to generate – are identified. For each category, sales assistants classify appropriate personnel reactions to manage the shopper’s mixed emotional state with the purpose of achieving their sales goals. The elicited shopper typologies emerged through the intersection of two main variables: intrinsic/extrinsic aspiration and focus on product/relationship. Sales assistants are aware that their behavior and attitude impact on shopper’s emotions and the related consumer outcomes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings XIV SIM Conference
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
EventoSIM Conference 2018 - Bergamo (Italia)
Durata: 26 ott 201727 ott 2017


ConvegnoSIM Conference 2018
CittàBergamo (Italia)


  • Consumer ambivalence
  • Luxury


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