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Using Heuristics to Revisit Consumer Choice Processes through the Eyes of the Consumer
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Centre for HumanIT. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study is to test Russo and Leclerc’s (1994) three-stage model and evaluate the influence that product familiarity and decision task have on the three stages of consumer choice process. Previous researchers have suggested that consumer choice is performed in a structured manner in a multiple-stage process. These stages are understood as sub-processes of a consumer choice process and consist of iterations of elimination and consideration within the consumer choice process. Russo and Leclerc (1994) identified three such stages – (1) orientation, (2) evaluation, and (3) verification – by studying variations of visual attention in the consumer choice for fast-moving consumer goods. We conducted three eye-tracking experiments with results that generally confirmed the staged consumer choice model suggested by Russo and Leclerc (1994). However, we identified differences in how the mean observation time varies over the three stages of the process. In contrast to the findings of Russo and Leclerc (1994), our results show that product familiarity influences the evaluation and verification stage of the consumer choice process as familiar products are attended longer then unfamiliar. The results show that the influence of product familiarity depends on the decision task, as familiarity has an influence on the consumer choice process when preference choice task is given, but not when a specific quality choice task is given to consumers. Additionally, the results of the experiments are interpreted in terms of heuristics to shed further light on the underlying cognitive processes of the consumer stage model. The results show that the influence of decision task and product familiarity is an effect of different decision heuristics employed during the choice process.

Keyword [en]
product packaging, point of purchase, consideration task, choice task, visual search, heuristic, heuristic decision making, brand familiarity, visual attention, fast and frugal, recognition heuristic, choice process, three-stage model, consumer choice process, decision-making process
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25946OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-25946DiVA: diva2:600544
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2013-10-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. What Does it Take to Get your Attention?: The influence of In-Store and Out-of-Store Factors on Visual Attention and Decision Making for Fast-moving Consumer Goods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What Does it Take to Get your Attention?: The influence of In-Store and Out-of-Store Factors on Visual Attention and Decision Making for Fast-moving Consumer Goods
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Decision making for fast-moving consumer goods involves a choice between numerous similar alternatives. Under such demanding circumstances, a decision is made for one product. The decision is dependent on the interaction between the environment and the mind of the consumer, both of which are filled with information that can influence the outcome. The aim of this dissertation is to explore how the mind and the environment guides attention towards considered and chosen products in consumer decision making at the point-of-purchase.

Consumers are equipped with several effort reduction strategies to simplify complex decision making. The selection of strategies can be conscious or automatic and driven by information in the environment or the mind of the decision maker. The selected decision strategy reduces the set of options to one alternative in an iterative process of comparisons that are fast and rely on perceptual cues to quickly exclude irrelevant products. This thesis uses eye-tracking to explore this rapid processing that lacks conscious access or control. The purpose is to explore how product packaging and placement (as in-store factors), and recognition, preferences, and choice task (as out-of-store factors) influence the decision-making process through visual attention.

The results of the 10 experiments in the five papers that comprise this thesis shed new light on the role of visual attention in the interaction between the environment and the mind, and its influence on the consumer. It is said that consumers choose with their eyes, which means that unseen is unsold. The results of this thesis show that it is just as important to be comprehended as it is to be seen. In split-second decision making, the ability to recognize and comprehend a product can significantly impact preferences. Comprehension stretches beyond perception as consumers infer value from memory structures that influence attention. Hence, the eye truly sees what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2013. 89 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2013:5
Keyword
point-of-purchase marketing, influencing factors, out-of-store, in-store, shelf space, product packaging, package design, visual attention, visual search, eye-tracking, process-tracing, gaze cascade model, recognition heuristic, familiarity, decision-making, decision-making process, decision-making strategies, heuristic decision-making, preference formation, information processing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25947 (URN)978-91-7063-479-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-03-22, 11D 257, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2014-12-11Bibliographically approved

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