Do Consumers Prefer Offers that are Easy to Compare? An Experimental Investigation

Jena Economic Research Papers 2011 - 044

49 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2011

See all articles by Paolo Crosetto

Paolo Crosetto

Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory

Alexia Gaudeul

Joint Research Center of the European Commission

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 13, 2011

Abstract

Consumers make mistakes when facing complex purchasing decision problems but if at least some consumers choose only among offers that are easy to compare with others then firms will adopt common ways to present their offers and thus make choice easier (Gaudeul and Sugden, 2011). We design an original experiment to identify consumers’ choice heuristics in the lab. Subjects are presented with menus of offers and do appear to favour offers that are easy to compare with others in the menu. While not all subjects do so, this is enough to deter firms from introducing spurious complexity in the way they present products.

Keywords: Bounded Rationality, Cognitive Limitations, Common Standards, Consumer Choice, Experimental Economics, Heuristics, Libertarian Paternalism, Pricing Formats, Spurious Complexity

JEL Classification: D83, L13, D18

Suggested Citation

Crosetto, Paolo and Gaudeul, Alexia, Do Consumers Prefer Offers that are Easy to Compare? An Experimental Investigation (October 13, 2011). Jena Economic Research Papers 2011 - 044, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1943603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1943603

Paolo Crosetto

Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory ( email )

BP 47
38040 Grenoble
France

Alexia Gaudeul (Contact Author)

Joint Research Center of the European Commission ( email )

Via E. Fermi 2749
Brussels, B-1049
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/behavioural-insights/about_en

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