The Quantity Integration Effect: When Integrating Purchase and Quantity Decisions Increases Sales
50 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2018 Last revised: 14 May 2020
Date Written: January 10, 2018
Customers often must decide not only whether to purchase, but also what quantity to buy. The current research introduces and compares the quantity-sequential (QS) selling format, under which shoppers make the purchase and quantity decisions separately, with the quantity-integrated (QI) selling format, under which shoppers simultaneously indicate whether and how much to buy. Although many retailers use the QS format, we demonstrate that the QI format often earns higher purchase rates. A field experiment conducted with a large technology company found that this simple change in decision process yielded considerably higher sales of a major supplies item, amounting to an over $1M annual revenue increase. Laboratory experiments testing various product offers and shopping contexts, totaling over 18,000 experimental observations, document the robustness of this quantity integration effect. The authors detail the psychological mechanisms that contribute to this effect and identify boundary conditions.
Keywords: framing effects, consumer choice, purchase likelihood, purchase quantity
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