China now has the most car ownership in the world due to its rapid economic development. As of the end of November 2022, there were 415 million motor vehicles in China overall, of which 318 million were automobiles, according to the most recent statistics provided by the Ministry of Public Security of China. More than 500 million people drive automobiles, including 463 million car owners [1
]. The number of cars and drivers in China currently leads the world. However, child safety seats are not used nearly enough in China. According to the Blue Book of China Children’s Road Traffic Safety (2018) [2
], the death rate of children traveling in vehicles without child safety seats is eight times greater than that of children traveling in vehicles with child safety seats installed. Less than 10% of children in China use child safety seats, much lower than the nearly 90% penetration rate in Europe and the US. Sixty percent of traffic fatalities among children aged 1 to 14 occurred in the ten years from 2012 to 2021 among children under six. Such information was made public by Gao Yan, director of the Traffic Safety Technology Department of the Traffic Management Science Institute of the Ministry of Public Security [3
]. Children who died in cars made up a more significant percentage of child traffic injury deaths, accounting for an average of 43.9% over the past ten years. An amount of 2954 kids between the ages of 1 and 15 lost their lives in traffic accidents, and 13,938 others were hurt, according to the China Road Traffic Accident Statistics Annual Report (2017) [4
]. It is critical to increase the use of child safety seats as a result.
There have been efforts made in every sphere of society to increase the use of child safety seats. For instance, some researchers have studied the data on child safety seats manufactured and exported from China [5
]. In contrast, some designers have conducted research to enhance the functionality of child safety seats [6
]. Some doctors have also studied the situation of newborn children using child safety seats [9
]. Studies have also urged the government and law enforcement agencies to make laws and regulations more stringent [12
]. The analysis of the deciding factors in purchasing child safety seats needs to be improved from the consumer’s perspective.
The theory of consumption value (TCV) is a marketing theory that provides insights into the motivations of consumers’ consumption behavior through consumption value [15
]. Customers prefer to purchase goods that are perceived to have the highest value [16
]. The theory of consumer value (TCV), developed by Sheth et al., provides a substantial theoretical and practical contribution by illuminating the rationale behind consumers’ decisions to purchase specific products, product categories, and brands based on their perceived value [17
]. TCV offers the chance to enlighten and enrich the knowledge of how a variety of goods and services are consumed, including food [18
], clothing [20
], health [21
], education [22
], travel [23
], etc. This claim is supported by recent research, which shows that, in order to comprehend consumer behavior in the modern online and offline environments, perceived value tends to present consumption value [24
]. TCV has made significant contributions to the theory and practice of motivating consumer behavior. There are no studies on the connection between consumer value and consumer behavior in the context of intelligent safety seats. This study’s goals are to integrate and synthesize the knowledge based on TCV’s research findings in the intelligent products field, conduct a more profound analysis of smart child safety seats, and make recommendations for future consumer studies.
China leads the world in producing child safety seats, turning out more than 15 million units annually. To meet consumer demand and increase the use of child safety seats by aligning with consumer values. Chinese manufacturers have developed a variety of “innovative” and functional product designs: the intelligent safety seat. Dehumidification and safety monitoring systems integrated into innovative safety seats are examples [26
]. In addition, child safety seats that can adjust to a child’s size automatically [28
] and detect and alarm when a child has been left in a vehicle [29
] are now commercially available. At the moment, there are no research studies on intelligent child safety seats, which are an innovative intelligent product in a particular field.
The adoption of new products by consumers has been extensively studied in the past, and several conventional research models have been put forth. For instance, TAM (the technology adoption model) [30
], TAM2 (the enhanced technology acceptance model) [31
], TPB (the planned behavior theory) [32
], TRA (the rational action theory) [33
], UTAUT (the unified theory of technology acceptance and use [34
], and DSI (the domain-specific innovativeness) have been developed [35
TAM, TAM2, TRA, TPB, and UTAUT typically study new science and technology. Researchers are more likely to use the DSI theory for research on innovative products in various fields and attempt to explain its utility to consumer research [36
DSI has been found to be the most practical scale for assessing consumers’ capacity for innovation in particular product categories in empirical studies conducted across the globe, including those conducted in the United States, Germany, and France [37
The DSI structure has been found to positively influence consumers’ willingness to try new products in earlier studies with related properties, though the influence coefficient is very small [38
]. Because of this, some researchers have reformulated and put to the test the DSI structure, as well as its relationship to the characteristics of innovative products, and have investigated how these attributes affect consumers’ intentions to buy new products [40
Since there is no similar research in the intelligent child safety seat industry, we refer to Jeong, S. C. et al. [40
]. We modified the research model to be more suitable for consumers of intelligent child safety seats.
Prior academic work has yet to, to our knowledge, successfully integrate domain-specific innovation theories into the theoretical structure of consumer value. This study aims to fill knowledge gaps by examining the relationship between innovation indicators in these areas and how consumers perceive the value of smart safety seats and whether they plan to purchase them.
The contributions of this study are as follows:
Extend the application of partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to a new subject area.
Broaden the research perspective of consumer motivation.
The user portrait of new product promotion is analyzed from two perspectives: consumer product innovation and consumer information innovation.
People now have a new perspective on consumer behavior as a result of the integration of the theory of consumer value and the theory of innovation in particular fields.
This paper’s remaining sections are organized as follows. The first section introduces the theoretical foundation of this study. The second section discusses the study’s methodology, followed by the third section’s study results. The fourth section provides suggestions for future research directions. The fifth section introduces the study’s limitations and conclusions.
This study explores the characteristics of consumers who are willing to purchase innovative car seats. Through the study of model A, the hypothesis of this study has been confirmed. Direct effect analysis shows that both consumer product and information innovation have significant effects on perceived value. Truong, Y. Previously found that consumers’ innovation ability would positively influence perceived value [109
]. The results of this study show that perceived value (perceived product’s usefulness, social value, hedonic value, and novelty value) has a significant positive impact on consumers’ purchase intention. The previous article has a similar conclusion that the intention to use will be positively affected by perceived usefulness [66
]. Hedonic value positively impacts consumers’ behavioral intentions [74
]. Jaleel, A. et al. found that perceived social influence and social value significantly impact usage intention [73
]. A recent study by Adapa et al. established a positive correlation between perceived novelty and use intent [77
In the total effect analysis of this study, consumer product and information innovation positively impact consumers’ willingness to buy innovative car seats. This result is consistent with the opinions of articles in other industries. Lee, K. et al. studied whether product innovation significantly impacts the intention to buy smartphone products. The research results show that product innovation significantly positively impacts the intention to buy mobile phone products [127
By studying model B, the following results are obtained. Perceived product usefulness plays a partial mediating role between consumer product innovation and purchase intention. Perceived social value, hedonic value, and novelty value have no mediating effect on consumer product innovation and purchase intention but only an indirect effect. The impact of consumer product innovation on purchase intent is still much explored in other industries. Saputra M. et al. studied the mediating role of green customer value. The research results show that green customer value has been proven to partially mediate between green product innovation and purchase intention [60
Model B confirmed the following results. A product’s perceived social value, hedonic value, and novelty value fully mediate between consumer information innovation and purchase intention. Researchers are investigating the public acceptance of self-driving cars. Research results show that perceived value fully mediates between consumer innovation and public acceptance of innovative products [128
]. Hong et al. [85
] proved that hedonic value and utilitarian value play an intermediary role in smartwatch consumers’ innovation and use intention.
This study also found that the perceived usefulness of products had no mediating or indirect effect between consumers’ information innovation and purchase intention. In the previous study, Abdurrahman C. and Umut A. explored the adoption of smart home devices [129
]. The results show an insignificant relationship between innovation and perceived usefulness in specific domains.
According to the findings above, CPI has a significantly better effect on perceived value than CII [80
], which means that consumers with a high CPI are more likely to perceive the value of an intelligent safety seat and may be more willing to pay for it than those with a high CII.
5.1. Theoretical Contribution
The research model proposed in this study is based on the work of Jeong, S. C. et al. [40
]. This study further demonstrates that consumers of innovative products and those of innovative information can both positively perceive the novelty and social value of innovative products. The research findings of Jeong, S. C. et al. [40
] indicate that all of the perceived innovative characteristics of wearable technology positively impact the intention to purchase wearable devices. This study also supports our original assertion that purchasing cutting-edge car seats depends on perceived product value. Furthermore, this study examined the multiple parallel mediating effects of perceived product social value, hedonic value, and novelty value on consumer information innovation and purchase intention of intelligent child safety seats [131
]. The analysis also discovered a partial mediating relationship between perceived usefulness and consumers’ willingness to purchase innovative child safety seats. The unique and significant theoretical contributions of this study are those mentioned above.
This study defines the DSI structure from consumer product innovation and information innovation. Its relationship with perceived value is examined, followed by the relationship between perceived value and the intent to purchase new products. In prior studies of a similar nature, DSI structure positively influenced the intention to try new products, but the influence coefficient was minimal [84
]. This study introduced TCV structure rather than directly relating DSI structure to purchase intention in model A. This is so because forward-thinking customers will prefer a new product if it can help them achieve their goals or uphold their values rather than just accepting it out of the blue. The findings support our hypothesis that consumers who use innovative products have a favorable impact on perceived value and a strong desire to buy new goods. In light of the evolving business and technological environment, as well as the challenges that contemporary businesses face in terms of individual innovation capabilities, researchers and practitioners need to pay more attention to product-centric consumer innovation capabilities. This result aligns with studies conducted in different fields [134
By examining the impact of perceived value on the intention to purchase smart safety seats, we were able to confirm the importance of the TCV model. This study demonstrates the importance of considering the product’s social value, novelty, and alignment with consumers’ values, in addition to its features and benefits when studying consumers’ propensity to purchase new products [137
]. Give reasons for and details on how specific users adopt new technologies. It might be a good substitute for the technology acceptance model. Future research may focus on where these two theories on technology adoption converge.
In model B, we investigate the mediating effects of perceived value on both CPI and purchase intention, as well as CII and purchase intention. According to the findings, which are consistent with earlier studies [84
], CPI has a small but significant direct impact on purchase intention. CII had no direct effect on purchase intention, and it is not discussed in the Jeong, S. C. et al. study, nor has it been reported in the literature to date. The results of this study show that perceived product usefulness have a partial mediating effect between CPI and purchase intention, and perceived product social value, hedonic value, and novelty value have multiple parallel mediating effects between CII and purchase intention. These findings suggest that consumers with high CPI may be more inclined to purchase novel products that offer them practical benefits, such as enhancing their work productivity and streamlining the use process. Customers with high CII are more concerned with how well a new product’s novelty, hedonic, and social values align with their own values. Customers with high CII will be more likely to purchase the new product if it matches; otherwise, they may choose not to do so.
Additionally, this study broadens the literature on which this theory is based. This study supported the theory of innovation diffusion in the context of smart safety seats, in contrast to earlier studies that concentrated on the fields of smart wearable technology, online medical applications, and online banking [40
]. We identified the value characteristics of smart safety seats. We confirmed the positive and significant relationship between smart safety seats and purchase intention based on the attributes, consequences, and values of smart safety seats.
Finally, this study confirms the DSI and TCV theories that focus on the intelligent safety seat as the research object. We defined the value of smart seat technology using TCV theory and looked at its relationship to purchasing intent. We also suggest extending the theory by incorporating DSI into this framework. Prior studies have concentrated on the relationship between consumer innovation and adoption behavior [82
]. Additionally, this study broadens the literature on which this theory is based. This study supported the theory of innovation diffusion in the context of smart safety seats, in contrast to earlier studies that concentrated on the fields of smart wearable technology, online medical applications, and online banking [40
]. We determined the perceived value of innovative safety seats according to the consumer value of innovative safety seats. We verified the significant positive relationship between the perceived value and the purchase intention of innovative safety seats.
Previous research has merged TCV theory with other theories. For example, Dhir et al. (2020) blend the TCV theory with the flow theory and theory of planned behavior. To create comprehensive methods for creating ongoing engagement for mobile instant messaging apps [141
Carlson et al. (2019) integrated service dominating logic with TCV theory. To investigate how consumer participation in brand communities on the perception of values [142
], Wu et al. (2017) coupled the expectation–confirmation theory with the TCV theory to compare the repurchase intention of online versus physical music goods [143
As far as we know, this is the first paper to meld TCV and DSI perspectives.
Considering the potential contribution and use of TCV in some studies, a hybrid approach must be applied in future TCV studies. These methods provide researchers with flexibility and the ability to apply optimal strategies to answer research questions. Due to the improved effect of quantitative research techniques on research validity, the mixed method ensures the robustness of research results [144
]. Therefore, this method can provide more abundant results for researchers to study consumption value from the perspective of pragmatism and is also conducive to studying the consumption value of TCV from the overall perspective. TCV can maintain more adequate results for many consumption value problems with complex relationship structures that need further study. Therefore, hybrid research helps analyze the potential relationship between values and to understand the independence of values. In the future, we will further enrich TCV’s existing explanatory capabilities using a hybrid approach to provide detailed, comprehensive, complementary, and holistic knowledge for a deeper understanding of the role of value in consumer behavior.
In the child safety seat industry, there is no previous research article using the partial least squares structural equation model. This study extends the application of PLS-SEM to a new subject area and contributes to the continued development of PLS-SEM.
5.2. The Actual Contribution
The study’s findings address a gap in consumer research in the market for intelligent car safety seats and provide researchers and marketing companies with concrete recommendations and fixes. The results of this study are anticipated to assist designers and promoters of intelligent child safety seats in thinking outside the box when formulating new design and marketing strategies.
The study first confirms that, as consumers’ assessments of the worth of new products rise, so does their willingness to pay for them. Businesses are therefore compelled to learn more about their target market’s ideal outcomes and values to incorporate them into upcoming products. Additionally, sellers must emphasize a new product’s accessibility, compatibility with customers’ values, and uniqueness when it first enters the market. These can increase consumers’ willingness to pay for new goods by boosting their perception of the worth of those goods [145
In addition, based on the empirical results in the previous section, this study confirms that if the perceived usefulness value of the product is high, then consumers with product innovation characteristics will be more likely to buy innovative car seats. Consumers with information innovation characteristics will have a strong purchase intent if they believe an innovative product has high social value, hedonic value, and novelty. By empirically verifying these propositions, this study significantly contributes to a broader study of the child safety seat industry; This will lead to a better understanding of the various emerging psychological factors influencing consumer behavior toward child safety seats.
This study supports the strategic planning and marketing initiatives of manufacturers, designers, brands, and marketing firms in the innovative child safety seat market. Companies must devise strategies, seek out and communicate with product innovators, ascertain their functional needs, and upgrade products to satisfy those needs to launch innovative car safety seats successfully. In order to better understand the opinions of information innovators regarding the social value, hedonic value, and novelty value of products, businesses can conduct surveys and focus group discussions. They can then attempt to align the brand value with these viewpoints.
It is important to note that this study’s conclusions and ramifications do not just apply to the market for innovative car safety seats. We anticipate that more researchers will apply this theory to other industries and further explore and develop the theoretical model to generalize these findings and their implications to other newly developed intelligent product industries.
Researchers in the car seat industry have been focusing on industry regulations and the abuse of car seats, but there is a lack of consumer-centered research. Therefore, to bridge the gap between the car seat industry and product marketing research, this study explores the influence of consumers with product innovation characteristics and information innovation characteristics on their purchase intentions, respectively. The research shows that consumers with innovative products are more likely to buy new products. In addition, in this research in the car seat industry information on the innovation of the relationship between the consumers and purchase intention, this paper proposes a new perception of the product of social values, hedonic value, and novel parallel multiple mediation relationship of value. Therefore, a parallel multiple mediation model is analyzed using the PLS-SEM method based on variance. In addition, this study emphasizes discovering and understanding the behavior of innovators. Intelligent child safety seat marketers of the future should focus on innovators in the product space, as these people have considerable influence on smart seat purchasing decisions. We built and tested a research model to confirm that consumer innovation positively impacts the perceived value of intelligent safety seats and, in turn, consumers’ propensity to purchase these products.
In addition, this study was conducted in a particular cultural context (namely, China), which enjoys a unique identity and prominence in the entire car seat industry as the world’s largest producer and exporter of car seats. This research provides significant theoretical, methodological, and contextual contributions to the overall body of knowledge.
As with all studies, this one had some limitations. In order to ensure that the study is rigorous, we took all possible measures to overcome these errors. However, the questionnaire used in this study has the limitations of general self-assessment questionnaires. Future studies can further improve the scale structure by adding supplementary evaluations from others or integrating additional behavioral, psychological, and physical indicators for comprehensive evaluation. In addition, as mentioned above, due to the limited scope of this study, our sample is only from the innovative child safety seats in China, which is only a part of the innovative child safety seats in the world. Therefore, it is recommended that more similar studies be conducted in the child safety seat industry in other countries to verify the claims made in this study in different and broader contexts. The future research direction is to further study the predictability of this model [119
] and the relationship between consumer identity and brand [146