Not-so Easy Listening: Roots and Repercussions of Auditory Choice Difficulty in Voice Commerce

87 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2019 Last revised: 5 May 2020

See all articles by Kurt Munz

Kurt Munz

New York University (NYU), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Marketing

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Date Written: May 31, 2019

Abstract

In the context of voice shopping, fifteen experiments demonstrate that information presented by voice can be more difficult to process than the same information presented in writing. Consequently, auditory consumers who shop by voice are less able to differentiate between choice options, leading them to choose recommended items more often, but also defer choice at higher rates compared to when the options are presented visually. This auditory choice difficulty stems from greater difficulty comparing auditory options and is related to an increased burden on working memory. Because the difficulty is related to making comparisons, a joint-evaluation—where an option is considered in the context of others—is more likely to be impacted by voice presentation than a separate-evaluation, and joint versus separate preference reversals are less likely by voice. However, voice presentation can negatively affect the evaluation of even a single item when a consumer compares it against a remembered item, a common scenario in the actual marketplace for tasks such as re-orders. Describing choice options in a way that reduces the burden on memory for auditory consumers can reduce processing difficulty and its downstream consequences.

Keywords: sensory, auditory, voice, choice

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Munz, Kurt and Morwitz, Vicki, Not-so Easy Listening: Roots and Repercussions of Auditory Choice Difficulty in Voice Commerce (May 31, 2019). NYU Stern School of Business. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3462714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3462714

Kurt Munz (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

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