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The Effect of Purchase Quantity and Timing on Variety-Seeking Behavior

Itamar Simonson
Journal of Marketing Research
Vol. 27, No. 2 (May, 1990), pp. 150-162
DOI: 10.2307/3172842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3172842
Page Count: 13
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The Effect of Purchase Quantity and Timing on Variety-Seeking Behavior
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Abstract

Two consumer strategies for the purchase of multiple items from a product class are contrasted. In one strategy (simultaneous choices/sequential consumption), the consumer buys several items on one shopping trip and consumes the items over several consumption occasions. In the other strategy (sequential choices/sequential consumption), the consumer buys one item at a time, just before each consumption occasion. The first strategy is posited to yield more variety seeking than the second. The greater variety seeking is attributed to forces operating in the simultaneous choices/sequential consumption strategy, including uncertainty about future preferences and a desire to simplify the decision. Evidence from three studies, two involving real products and choices, is consistent with these conjectures. The implications and limitations of the results are discussed.

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