The Importance of Selling Formats: When Integrating Purchase and Quantity Decisions Increases Sales

90 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2018 Last revised: 11 Apr 2022

See all articles by Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

On Amir

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Date Written: January 10, 2018

Abstract

Customers must often decide on the quantity to purchase in addition to whether to purchase. The current research introduces and compares the quantity-sequential selling format, in which shoppers resolve the purchase and quantity decisions separately, with the quantity-integrated selling format, where shoppers simultaneously consider whether and how many to buy. Although retailers often use the sequential format, we demonstrate that the integrated format can increase purchase rates. A field experiment conducted with a large technology firm found that quantity integration yielded considerably higher sales, amounting to an increase of over $1 million in annual revenue. To demonstrate robustness and explore various contributing mechanisms, a series of lab experiments test and control for different elements of the selling formats. The results suggest that quantity integration can change the psychology of making a purchase: the integrated format anchors customers later in the decision-making funnel than the sequential format, and additional implementation elements (e.g., the specific call-to-action used) may contribute to an increased effect. More broadly, this work sheds light on mechanisms underlying the influence of selling formats and the importance of how everyday choices are structured.

Keywords: framing effects, consumer choice, purchase likelihood

Suggested Citation

Duke, Kristen and Amir, On, The Importance of Selling Formats: When Integrating Purchase and Quantity Decisions Increases Sales (January 10, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3099746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3099746

Kristen Duke (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

On Amir

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
858-534-2023 (Phone)
858-534-0745 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/amir/

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