Consumer responses to firm-owned devices in self-service technologies: Insights from a data privacy perspective

Stefanie Sohn*, Oliver Schnittka, Barbara Seegebarth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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While self-service technologies (SSTs) enable customers to produce services such as food ordering, hotel check-in, and retail store checkout on their own, they involve the use of devices that are either firm-owned (e.g., the retailer provides a handheld device for self-checkout) or customer-owned (e.g., a customer uses a personal smartphone for self-checkout). With the increasing relevance of customer-owned devices, the role of firm-owned devices is an open question. Therefore, this study examines the role of devices in SSTs. In a series of six empirical studies and drawing on data privacy theory, we explore consumer responses to firm-owned (vs. customer-owned) devices. The findings reveal that consumers prefer firm-owned devices in SSTs and that their general need for data privacy guides these preferences. The findings also show that the interaction with firm-owned (vs. customer-owned) devices is associated with increasing perceptions of data privacy because consumers feel less vulnerable when interacting with firm-owned devices. However, this effect changes depending on the service firm's practices of customer data usage (data sensitivity and transparency). These findings add to knowledge about consumer response to SSTs and devices, and thereby unfold how devices are interwoven with consumer data privacy. Practitioners learn how consumers respond to device ownership in SSTs and when firm-owned (vs. customer-owned) devices induce favorable customer responses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)77-92
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Customer data usage
  • Data privacy
  • Device ownership
  • Device type
  • Self-service technology
  • Vulnerability


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