The Impact of Product Location Changes on Habits, Search, and Purchase Decisions

54 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2023

See all articles by Jiaming Xu

Jiaming Xu

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Bryan Bollinger

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Raluca Ursu

New York University - Stern School of Business

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Date Written: February 9, 2023

Abstract

Consumers’ habitual buying behavior imposes barriers on marketers who wish to acquire new customers. In this paper, we consider one possible disruptor of consumers’ habitual buying behavior in a physical retail environment – changing product locations – and study its impact on consumer decisions. Because locations generally reflect underlying demand conditions, identification of causal effects is often difficult. Additionally, a lack of in-store data on both search and purchase decisions makes it difficult to determine which decision-making stage is affected when product locations change. To address these challenges, we use the exogenous timing of an aisle reset in our focal product category (juices), and we pair household and store-level sales data with individual in-store eye-tracking measures, which capture search behavior. We show that 1) consumers search longer, for a more diverse set of products, and spend less time on each searched product in response to product location changes; 2) changing the locations of consumers’ previously purchased products has spillover effects: consumers are more likely to search and buy products that are close to the old and the new location of their previously purchased products; 3) other in-store marketing strategies, e.g., price promotions, can moderate the effect of product location changes.

Keywords: product location, search, habitual buying behavior, eye-tracking data, panel data

Suggested Citation

Xu, Jiaming and Bollinger, Bryan and Ursu, Raluca and Fitzsimons, Gavan J., The Impact of Product Location Changes on Habits, Search, and Purchase Decisions (February 9, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4352266 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4352266

Jiaming Xu

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

Bryan Bollinger

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

40 W 4th St
Tisch 804
New York, NY 10012
United States

Raluca Ursu (Contact Author)

New York University - Stern School of Business ( email )

Tisch Hall
40 W 4 St.
New York, NY NA 10012
United States

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
350
Abstract Views
1,221
Rank
161,876
PlumX Metrics