Do Plant Guarantees Matter?

in HortScience
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  • 1 Michigan State Univ., Horticulture, East Lansing, MI 48910
  • | 2 Michigan State Univ., Horticulture, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • | 3 Michigan State Univ., Horticulture, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • | 4 Michigan State Univ., Horticulture, East Lansing, MI 48824

Consumers face risks each time they purchase and consume products. Guarantees provide a means of potentially decreasing risk for products that cannot be evaluated until consumption has begun, as with ornamental plants. Despite the potential risk reduction, the effect of guarantees on consumer purchases has been a source of debate for many retailers. Research conducted at Michigan State Univ. examined the effects of guarantees on consumer satisfaction and regret of three horticultural products: hanging baskets, potted roses, and perennials. Over half (56%) of respondents stated the retail outlet provided a guarantee. Twenty-six percent stated the guarantee was a deciding factor in choosing that particular plant while 27% stated it was the deciding factor in shopping at that particular retail location. Results show that guarantees reduce risk for consumers, reducing the incidence of regret but have no effect on customer satisfaction.

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