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Size, entropy, and density: what is the difference that makes the difference between small and large real-world assortments?

By Barbara Fasolo, Ralph Hertwig, Michael Huber and Mark Ludwig

Abstract

Consumer research has shown the downsides of offering consumers too much choice and is now starting to explore moderators of the effect of assortment size on consumer decisions. Building on previous studies, this research examines two side effects of tyranny of choice in the marketplace: high assortment entropy and high density of attribute values. We analyze two supermarkets—one offering small, the other large assortments—to examine how size, entropy, and density relate in the marketplace. We find that larger supermarket assortments come with higher density and higher entropy. Simulations of various choice strategies in these marketplace assortments reveal that making selections from large high-density and high-entropy assortments is time consuming, and better choice quality is not a forgone conclusion, even for customers with ambitious aspirations

Topics: HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1002/mar.20272
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:32731
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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