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When Plentiful Platforms Pay Off: Assessment Orientation Moderates the Effect of Assortment Size on Choice Engagement and Product Valuation

Frank Mathmann, Mathew Chylinski, Ko de Ruyter and E. Tory Higgins

Journal of Retailing, 2017, vol. 93, issue 2, 212-227

Abstract: Popular digital platforms, such as Netflix and GrubHub, purposefully aggregate offerings, according to the premise that customers value products chosen from plentiful assortments. Yet academic literature provides little clarity about when, for whom, or how larger online retail assortments affect the value of the products. To provide new insights, the current article aims to address ambiguous extant findings about the effects of larger product assortments. Specifically, this research tests whether customers with high, as opposed to low, assessment orientation value products more when they have chosen them from larger, as opposed to smaller, assortments. Four experiments affirm this idea, such that customers with a high assessment orientation value products more when they have chosen them from platforms with relatively larger assortments. Sequential mediation of the effect occurs through increased choice engagement and attitude certainty. For managers, customer segmentation along the assessment dimension offers benefits, while assessment type marketing communications can increase the likelihood of product selection, like in our field study, where we find an increase of 27%.

Keywords: Assortment size; Choice overload; Retail platform; Assessment orientation; Value from fit; Choice engagement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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