Proposing Customers Economic Value or Relational Value? A Study of Two Stages of the Crowdfunding Project

Shuang Ma, Ying Hua, Dahui Li, Yonggui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most crowdfunding studies have examined factors that contribute to the success in the funding stage of a crowdfunding project, while little is known about success-promoting factors in the postfunding stage. Based on customer value theory, this study investigates (a) the main effects of customer value propositions on project performance in both the funding stage and the postfunding stage and (b) how factors about customer value delivery moderate these main effects. We found that price incentive had a positive effect on funding performance in the funding stage, whereas the effect of personalization was negative. Price incentive was not found to influence postfunding satisfaction in the postfunding stage, while personalization exerted a positive effect. As indicators associated with customer value delivery, both creator's project experience and promised delivery time demonstrated interaction effects with personalization but not with price incentive on funding performance. These factors also interacted with price incentive to affect satisfaction. This study offers insights to help project creators achieve a balance between proposing economic value and relational value while the creators can leverage their project experience and promised delivery time for successful crowdfunding projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDecision Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Crowdfunding enables internet users to invest underutilized financial resources to support entrepreneurs who seek to raise money for new ventures (Mollick, 2014 ). When launching a crowdfunding project, the creator (i.e., entrepreneur) describes the project to solicit funding from backers (i.e., the crowd). In return, the creator promises to provide an array of rewards (e.g., products, service, or earnings) to backers if the project is successfully funded. These rewards or proposed customer value is important for the creator to raise money and develop relationships with backers (Grönroos, 2009 ; Thürridl & Kamleitner, 2016 ). A successful project is believed to offer value propositions and deliver value to backers (Fredman, 2015 ). However, approximately 10% of crowdfunding projects fail to deliver promised rewards or value to the crowd when they approach the end or postfunding stage of the project life cycle (Belavina, Marinesi, & Tsoukalas, 2019 ).


  • Creator's Project Experience
  • Crowdfunding
  • Customer Value
  • Customer Value Delivery
  • Personalization
  • Price Incentive
  • Promised Delivery Time

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