Funded Phd Research

Evan Weingarten

Staged Choice in Online and Offline Shopping: How Choice Architecture Influences Perception and Purchase

Marketing Department; Faculty Adviser: Barbara Kahn

These two intertwined projects address how changing the focus of consumers’ attention and time they spend in different stages of purchase decisions can affect purchase likelihood and satisfaction. They jointly address choice overload scenarios in which an abundance of options may otherwise deter purchase, or consumers may not be able to appreciate the total variety in the assortment.

The first project explores how, counter-intuitively, a delay between picking options for a home try-on set (stage one) and trying on those options prior to purchase (stage two) can bolster satisfaction and in turn purchase likelihood. The second project examines how manipulations to an assortment’s organizational structure influence shoppers’ attention patterns and how many SKUs are seen as consumers move through various shopping stages in an aisle (category level, individual SKU level).

The first project contributes to retailing by presenting a counterintuitive result about managing product delivery delays; despite some firms’ attempts to expedite delivery to within an hour (e.g., Amazon, eBay), the delay may not be wholly bad. The second project may help retailing companies by demonstrating how alterations in choice architecture can increase or decrease the number of products consumers both see (via new attention-based measures) and potentially purchase. We explore these two projects through a series of controlled laboratory studies and experimental eye-tracking data from a major firm on real supermarket shelves.


Kahn, Barbara and Evan Weingarten (2014), “Deciding Now and Later: The Benefit of Delay in Staged Decision-Making,” Association for Consumer Research, 42, pp. 76-80.