Simplify Or Intensify? Best Seller Signage on Consumer Decision-Making From Large Assortments

Joseph K. Goodman, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Susan Broniarczyk, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Leigh McAlister, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Jill Griffin, Evansville University, USA
Four studies examine whether a common retailer strategy—the use of recommendations such as a “best seller” sign—attenuates or exacerbates the high cognitive load and negative consequences associated with large assortments. Results show that best seller signs can actually exacerbate decision difficulty and regret as consumers engage in a more extensive consideration of options. Best seller signage is shown to increase consideration of non-signed options. The extent to which consumers have developed preferences is a key moderator of the effect of best seller signage on choice from large assortments.
[ to cite ]:
Joseph K. Goodman, Susan Broniarczyk, Leigh McAlister, and Jill Griffin (2009) ,"Simplify Or Intensify? Best Seller Signage on Consumer Decision-Making From Large Assortments", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 157-160.