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Notable Research Publications

Dr. Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee's extensive body of research covers a diverse range of topics in marketing and consumer behavior. His recent work delves into the realm of digital marketing and technology, with a particular focus on the influence of social media fashion influencers in sustainable fashion conversations and the utilization of artificial intelligence in the banking sector. Additionally, his research explores the evolving landscape of digital fashion and the impact of virtual reality on destination marketing. Dr. Lee's studies also investigate consumer behavior during critical events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding light on essential item purchases and psychographic traits. His expertise extends to various aspects of retail, including sustainable fashion behavior, returnable packaging, and profiling gifters. Furthermore, he explores the intersection of technology and consumer behavior, examining virtual products, wearable technology, and virtual reality devices. Throughout his career, Dr. Lee has made valuable contributions to the field of marketing education, utilizing innovative teaching methods and strategies to engage students effectively. His research has been published in esteemed journals, reflecting his commitment to advancing the understanding of consumer behavior and marketing practices.

Journal of Business Research

Using Warmth as the Visual Design of a Store: Intimacy, Relational Needs, and Approach Intentions

Baek, Eunsoo
Ho Jung Choo
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

Store design involuntarily affects consumer's thoughts and behaviors. Retailers use color and material to project a certain visual, modifying the environmental perceptions of a consumer's store experience. Although, a knowledge gap exists on how visual representations of warmth (via design elements) influence consumers in a retail context. In a series of three experiments, this research seeks to address this gap. Corresponding to assimilative effects of warmth, Study 1 shows a visually warm (vs. cold) store design induces intimacy. Based on complementary effects of warmth, Studies of 2A and 2B report a visually warm (vs. cold) store design is preferred only for consumers with high relational needs. Study 3 presents a boundary condition which reveals that our results do not hold for luxury brands. Together, the results provide valuable insights from a theoretical and managerial perspective on how retail spaces via design can influence consumers as nonverbal communication.

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Social Media Fashion Influencer eWOM Communications: Understanding the Trajectory of Sustainable Fashion Conversations on YouTube Fashion Haul Videos

Shelley Haines
Omar H. Fares
Myuri Mohan
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

This study aims to examine YouTube comments relevant to sustainable fashion posted on fashion haul videos over the past decade (2011–2021). It is guided by two research questions: (1) How have sustainable fashion-related comments posted on YouTube fashion haul videos changed over time? and (2) What themes are relevant to sustainable fashion in the comments posted on fashion haul videos? The findings suggest that consumers are becoming more aware of and responsive to sustainable fashion. The originality of this research stems from identifying the source of this interest.

Journal of Financial Services Marketing

Utilization of Artificial Intelligence in the Banking Sector: A Systematic Literature Review

Omar H. Fares
Irfan Butt
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

This study provides a holistic and systematic review of the literature on the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the banking sector since 2005. In this study, the authors examined 44 articles through a systematic literature review approach and conducted a thematic and content analysis on them. This review identifies research themes demonstrating the utilization of AI in banking, develops and classifies sub-themes of past research, and uses thematic findings coupled with prior research to propose an AI banking service framework that bridges the gap between academic research and industry knowledge. The findings demonstrate how the literature on AI and banking extends to three key areas of research: Strategy, Process, and Customer. These findings may benefit marketers and decision-makers in the banking sector to formulate strategic decisions regarding the utilization and optimization of value from AI technologies in the banking sector. This study also provides opportunities for future research.

Computers in Human Behavior

Defining Digital Fashion: Reshaping the Field via a Systematic Review

Eunsoo Baek
Shelley Haines
Omar H. Fares
Zhihong Huang
Yuwei Hong
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

The field of digital fashion is rapidly evolving, yet what constitutes digital fashion, and how it should be defined has not been firmly established. This study aims to conceptualize and define digital fashion and its components (themes). Applying an inductive approach, we initially identified 10 keywords linked to digital fashion via a Twitter analysis. Then, a systematic literature review was conducted (n = 116 articles). Six themes related to digital fashion were identified: design, consumer, virtual, body, printing, and supply. Themes include topics relating to the advancement of digital technologies in the fashion design process, innovation to enhance consumer experiences, and improvements to the value chain. Inspired by the six themes, we define digital fashion as “the virtual creation, production, and representation of one's identity via computer-generated design.” An overview of each theme and its contribution to the field of digital fashion is discussed. Future research developments to extend this domain are considered.

Journal of Vacation Marketing

Is VR Always Better for Destination Marketing?

Tom Griffin
Daniel Guttentag
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee
Juleigh Giberson
Frederic Dimanche

The increasing popularity and accessibility of virtual reality (VR) presents an opportunity for destination marketers to leverage its strengths to attract visitors. However, VR's benefits over more traditional media formats remain unclear. This paper reports results from two experiments that compared the impacts of consuming destination marketing material through VR with other media formats. The measured impacts include destination image, perceived advertising effectiveness, and behavioral intentions. Further, the dual experiments allowed for a comparison between different VR content styles (i.e. active vs. passive). Results show that more active VR content largely outperformed other media formats, but with a more passive style of VR these benefits were mostly muted. The findings have direct theoretical and practical implications relating to VR tourism marketing.

Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science

Essential Item Purchases During COVID-19: A Cluster Analysis of Psychographic Traits

Pearlyn Ng
Xuan Quach
Omar H. Fares
Myuri Mohan
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

​This research seeks to profile consumer segments formed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a set of psychographic consumption traits: Narcissism, Psychological Entitlement, Status Consumption, Fear of Embarrassment, and Fear of Missing Out. Based on a cluster analysis of 281 consumers, the data generated four distinct groups: Egalitarians, Agentic Egoists, Communal Egoists, and Conformists. Further, we compared the segments in their acquisition behavior as it pertains to importance of purchase, quantity of purchase, sharing of purchase, and willingness to pay for essential items. Our results showed that each cluster was associated with a unique set of consumer preferences. For instance, Egalitarians placed less importance on medical items. Conformists placed greater importance on acquiring disposable masks than others. Communal Egoists were interested in food-related items such as bottled waters and snacks. Agentic Egoists reported that they would spend more money on cold/cough medicines than Egalitarians and Conformists. Overall, our findings provide key insights and recommendations to retail managers. Some limitations include our sampling approach (i.e. US consumers) and determining clusters based on select psychographic traits. We acknowledge that there are other characteristics that can differentially influence consumers’ acquisition behavior during the pandemic.

Journal of Business Research

Virtual Products as an Extension of Presentation of My Body: Exploring Hedonic and Utilitarian Shopping Value in Retail Environment

Ayman Alzayat
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

​Consumer’s ability to touch products is an essential component of one’s retail shopping experience. When the ability to touch is not available, Virtual Reality (VR) platforms may provide a simulated medium for consumers to haptically explore products. In multiple studies, we discover that a VR retail environment (vs. an online retail website) positively impacts hedonic shopping value. Further, we demonstrate that a VR retail environment leads to consumers perceiving certain products as an extension of the body as opposed to perceiving it as a presentation of the body. Our findings reveal that a VR retail environment is more suitable for products that are perceived as an extension of the body (e.g., tools) rather than as a presentation of the body (e.g., clothes). Finally, we unveil mediating pathways to these relationships involving telepresence and need for touch.

International Review of Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Research

Communicating Returnable Packaging via Ease of Use Labeling

Polina Ratnichkina
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee
Shelley Haines

Product labeling strategies are integral to effectively communicating returnable packaging campaigns to consumers. As sustainability initiatives have grown in importance, retailers have become more sensitive to the issues of excess packaging waste. This research presents two experimental studies. Study 1 demonstrates that messages pertaining to ease of use for consumers to return products were more effective than other alternatives, such as rewards, social modelling, and control. Study 2 shows that ease of use messages were more effective than justification-based messages when individuals were primed to be more self-enhancing, but not when they were primed to be more self-transcendent. Overall, this research shows that targeting self-enhancing values via ease of use messaging improves the likelihood of intended consumer participation in returnable packaging programs.

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

Brand Balance: The Effect of Influencer Brand Encroachment on Interactivity

Lara Hamdan
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

As social media platforms continue to have an increased presence in influencer marketing, researchers and practitioners are seeking ways to optimize the use of these platforms. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of brand encroachment, a level of brand's control over the promotion executed by social media influencers (SMIs), on the importance of interactivity of SMIs. The results of the experimental study suggest that as brand encroachment decreases, there is an increasing importance of being interactive. In addition, with lower brand encroachment, SMIs portray more personal power and passion toward the product or service being promoted. As influencers create communities via increased levels of engagement, authenticity and relatability, it is of paramount importance that SMIs build relationships through interactivity in low-brand encroachment settings. Brands should offer more opportunities for SMIs to be interactive with their audience, while intrinsically building their personal power and passion as sources for these interactions.

Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences

Understanding Barriers and Factors Associated with Consumer Adoption of Wearable Technology Devices in Managing Personal Health

Ksenia Sergueeva
Norman Shaw
Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

This research seeks to identify the barriers and factors associated with adopting wearable technology devices (WTDs) for managing personal health. Based on a partial least square (PLS) analysis of 277 US-based residents, the findings demonstrate that performance expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, hedonic motivation, habit, and personalization are significant predictors of consumers' intention to use WTDs. Interestingly, price value, privacy concerns, and health consciousness are not significant. This study will inform future research on WTDs in personal health management. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are also presented.

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