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I'll have the ice cream soon and the vegetables later: A study of online grocery purchases and order lead time

Katherine L. Milkman, Todd Rogers and Max H. Bazerman
Marketing Letters
Vol. 21, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 17-35
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40604696
Page Count: 19
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I'll have the ice cream soon and the vegetables later: A study of online grocery purchases and order lead time
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Abstract

How do decisions made for tomorrow or 2 days in the future differ from decisions made for several days in the future? We use data from an online grocer to address this question. In general, we find that as the delay between order completion and delivery increases, grocery customers spend less, order a higher percentage of "should" items (e. g., vegetables), and order a lower percentage of "want" items (e.g., ice cream), controlling for customer fixed effects. These field results replicate previous laboratory findings and are consistent with theories suggesting that people's should selves exert more influence over their choices the further in the future outcomes will be experienced. However, orders placed for delivery tomorrow versus 2 days in the future do not show this wantlshould pattern, and we discuss a potential explanation.

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