Designed to Learn: How Category Design Influences Consumer Learning, Satisfaction and Choice

Cait Poynor, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Stacy Wood, University of South Carolina, USA
Vast quantities of product information are available in the marketplace, but recent research has demonstrated that too much information can have a deleterious impact on consumer learning. This research demonstrates that category design (grouping products in terms of taxonomic or thematic similarities) offers a novel means of addressing this problem. Two experiments demonstrate that organizing a retail assortment in thematic as opposed to taxonomic groupings increases learning for expert consumers but not for novices. Interestingly, this change in organization, via its impact on perceived effort, also improves experts’ choice quality and increases their shopping satisfaction.
[ to cite ]:
Cait Poynor and Stacy Wood (2009) ,"Designed to Learn: How Category Design Influences Consumer Learning, Satisfaction and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 150-153.