Product “Position”-Ing: Implications of Vertical and Horizontal Shelf Space Placement

This paper investigates consumers’ inferential process based on a product’s physical position on a shelf. It examines whether consumers extract meaning from the position of products in both horizontal and vertical arrays, and, as a consequence, whether the position of a product on a shelf array systematically affects its choice likelihood. Three different experimental studies support that i) consumers believe that products offered are ordered according to general, meaningful criteria, ii) consumers hold shared vertical and horizontal price schemas, and these schemas translate into quality perceptions, iii) these inferences lead to their belief that items in the middle of an array represent the best price/quality trade-off, iv) this implicit ordering criterion favours the central item as a position-based compromise between price and quality, which leads to a center advantage in choice.


Ana Valenzuela and Priya Raghubir (2009) ,"Product “Position”-Ing: Implications of Vertical and Horizontal Shelf Space Placement", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 22-23.


Ana Valenzuela, Baruch College, CUNY, USA
Priya Raghubir, UC Berkeley, USA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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