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Retail Choice Architecture: The Effects of Benefit- and Attribute-Based Assortment Organization on Consumer Perceptions and Choice

Cait Poynor Lamberton and Kristin Diehl
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 3 (October 2013), pp. 393-411
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/671103
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671103
Page Count: 19
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Retail Choice Architecture: The Effects of Benefit- and Attribute-Based Assortment Organization on Consumer Perceptions and Choice
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Abstract

This article explores the effects of two distinct retail choice architectures—those that organize assortments by attributes and those that organize items by benefits. Relative to attribute-based organizations, benefit-based organizations lead to more abstract construal and heighten similarity perceptions among items in an assortment. Such changes in similarity perceptions alter consumers’ strength of preference among items: when choosing from benefit- as opposed to attribute-based organizations, consumers select lower-priced items and are more similarly satisfied with their top choice as with a lower-ranked option. Further, consumers’ internal shopping objectives and orientations cued by the external organization may interact in ways that heighten similarity perceptions. Results suggest that abstract construal cues, regardless of whether they arise internally or externally, may dominate concrete cues in the type of shopping context under consideration.

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