Retail Choice Architecture: The Effects of Benefit- and Attribute-Based Assortment Organization on Consumer Perceptions and Choice
Cait Poynor Lamberton
University of Pittsburgh - Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business
Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 40, 2013
This article explores the effects of two distinct retail choice architectures — those that organize assortments by attributes and those that organize items by benefits. Relative to attribute-based organizations, benefit-based organizations lead to more abstract construal and heighten similarity perceptions among items in an assortment. Such changes in similarity perceptions alter consumers’ strength of preference among items: when choosing from benefit- as opposed to attribute-based organizations, consumers select lower-priced items and are more similarly satisfied with their top choice as with a lower-ranked option. Further, consumers’ internal shopping objectives and orientations cued by the external organization may interact in ways that heighten similarity perceptions. Results suggest that abstract construal cues, regardless of whether they arise internally or externally, may dominate concrete cues in the type of shopping context under consideration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: assortment, marketing, consumer behavior, attribute, benefit, construal-level, choice
JEL Classification: M3, M31
Date posted: January 23, 2014
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