Impact of vertical sequence on consumers’ choice between hedonic and utilitarian products

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Luqiong Tong
Song Su
Cite this article:  Tong, L., & Su, S. (2018). Impact of vertical sequence on consumers’ choice between hedonic and utilitarian products. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(3), 409-420.


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Given that display patterns greatly impact consumers’ product evaluations and choices, we investigated how vertical sequence influences consumers’ self-control behavior regarding choosing between hedonic and utilitarian products. We first conducted a pretest to examine whether or not vertical display sequence influenced product preference when the products presented belonged to the same category. In Study 1, we then tested the basic effect of vertical sequence on the choice between hedonic and utilitarian products. Finally, we conducted Study 2 to examine the underlying mechanism of the impact of vertical sequencing on the choice between hedonic and utilitarian products. Results showed that when hedonic and utilitarian products were jointly presented and when the hedonic (vs. utilitarian) product was placed at the top (vs. bottom), consumers were more likely to realize the difference in experiential benefits between the hedonic and utilitarian products and, thus, were more likely to choose the hedonic (vs. utilitarian) product.

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