• Rejoinder: a reply to comments on “should consumers request cost transparency?”

      Simintiras, A.C.; Dwivedi, Y.K.; Kaushik, G.; Rana, Nripendra P. (2015-11)
      The purpose of this paper is to provide response around three commentaries: Lowe’s view on key mechanisms through which greater transparency could influence consumer product evaluations (Lowe, 2015); Kuah and Weerakkody’s critical assessment on whether cost transparency is good for consumers (Kuah and Weerakkody, 2015); and Singh’s perspective on what is behind the price tag and why companies should embrace cost transparency (Singh, 2015). Design/methodology/approach – This is a response to the aforementioned commentaries, from the authors of “Should Consumers Request Cost Transparency?”. Findings – The authors call for empirical studies to shed light on issues, including, but not limited to, drivers and challenges/barriers of making unit cost available; appropriateness of unit cost information for different category of products; information overload caused by cost transparency; effect of availability of unit cost on the consumer decision-making; empowerment of consumers through unit cost information; impact of cost transparency on realisation of fairness, differentiation, competitive advantage and sustainability for businesses; and impact of cost transparency on market dynamics and consumer behaviour. Originality/value – Given its potential impact on both theory and practice, the arguments presented for and against provisioning of unit cost information to consumers is an issue worthy of further debate and empirical investigation.
    • Should consumers request cost transparency?

      Simintiras, A.C.; Dwivedi, Y.K.; Kaushik, G.; Rana, Nripendra P. (2015-11)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose that consumer choice be guided by price fairness judgements to increase consumer satisfaction and subsequently enhance market efficiency. Consumers en masse lack the information to judge price fairness, thereby causing their ability to influence the economy to be overlooked. Design/methodology/approach – This is an argumentative and conceptual work that aims to initiate a debate on this important yet unexplored issue. The arguments presented in the paper are based on economic and technological considerations. Findings – The measure for enabling a consumer price fairness judgement is unit cost information – the cost incurred by a firm to produce a product and/or service. The benefits and challenges stemming from the availability of unit cost information (i.e. cost transparency) to consumers and companies are presented and the likely impact of cost transparency on addressing information asymmetries between buyers and sellers are discussed. Originality/value – Although a significant body of knowledge exists on issues such as price transparency and how it is driven and enabled by the growth of the Internet, there is little or no evidence of research yet on issues related to cost transparency. The authors believe this work would create a new line of research for scholarly community leading to an impact on practice.