Investigating decision factors in mobile application purchase: A mixed-methods approach

Hee Woong Kim, Atreyi Kankanhalli, Hyun Lyung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of the smart devices market and the development of mobile applications (Apps) for them have given rise to an App economy. Sales of mobile applications are a key revenue source in this economy, with the expected worldwide market growth of US $75 billion by 2017. Despite the trend, many mobile Apps fail to attract customers, yet there has been a lack of research and understanding of the factors that affect the decisions to buy them. This study is thus motivated to examine the factors that people consider in their buying decisions of mobile Apps for their smartphones. This mixed-methods investigation first adopts an exploratory and qualitative approach to identify the purchase decision factors based on interviews with consumers. It then undertakes a quantitative, confirmatory study using a survey to test the model derived using mental accounting theory and the findings of the exploratory study. The results show the direct and indirect effects of five factors – word of mouth about App, App usefulness, monetary value of App, App trialability, and App enjoyment – on the intention to purchase an App. In this manner, this study advances our understanding of the decision-making factors leading to the purchase of mobile Apps. It also facilitates developers and marketers to promote the sales of their Apps for revenue generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-739
Number of pages13
JournalInformation and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


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