Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Filling In The Blanks: Consumers Want Complete Information To Make Choices

Date:
October 15, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the way consumers behave when information about a purchase is incomplete. The study suggests that there are ways for marketers to reduce the number of customers who leave empty handed.

Most people don't like to make a purchase without complete information about the product they're buying. For example, if someone comparing wireless plans doesn't know the coverage area, she may be more likely to walk away from the purchase.

A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the way consumers behave when information about a purchase is incomplete. Authors Kunter Gunasti and William T. Ross, Jr. (Pennsylvania State University) suggest that there are ways for marketers to reduce the number of customers who leave empty handed.

According to the authors, shoppers need to learn to make inferences about missing information. "This research demonstrates that both explicitly and implicitly prompting consumers to make inferences about the missing attributes reduces the tendency to defer choices and increases the likelihood that consumers will make a purchase decision," the authors explain. "In parallel, consumers who generate spontaneous inferences are also more likely to make a purchase decision."

In a series of studies, the researchers asked participants to make choices among health clubs, wireless service providers, and laptops. Some participants had complete information and others did not have access to certain attributes of the options, like the fees or contract areas for wireless plans. A striking 31 percent of people chose a "no-choice" option when information was missing. In subsequent studies, researchers asked some participants to fill in the blanks of missing attributes. Fewer of the people asked to make inferences selected "no choice."

"Marketers can easily apply these methods in many purchase contexts. For instance, when shopping in retail stores, consumers can be covertly prompted to make inferences by sales people or in-store displays, and this may decrease the probability that they leave the store without making a purchase decision," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kunter Gunasti and William T. Ross, Jr. How Inferences about Missing Attributes Decrease the Tendency to Defer Choice and Increase Purchase Probability. Journal of Consumer Research, February 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Filling In The Blanks: Consumers Want Complete Information To Make Choices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014111206.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, October 15). Filling In The Blanks: Consumers Want Complete Information To Make Choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014111206.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Filling In The Blanks: Consumers Want Complete Information To Make Choices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014111206.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins