How Much Does It Cost? A quantitative study on the impacts of price presence and choice-set size in Online Grocery Checkout
Abstract: Online Grocery Shopping is currently one of the fastest growing e-commerce sectors, with traditional grocery retailing further by far the largest retail sector in the physical market. While the design of online grocery stores has been the subject of numerous previous studies in retailing, the checkout process has been sorely neglected. In this thesis the choice of delivery options is examined as currently, the majority of OGS retailers do not display the prices of delivery options at the point of decision. Through a quantitative experimental study, varying both the presence of price information and the number of options available to consumers, we show that check-out design affects consumer choices, evaluations, and satisfaction. While the study finds no evidence that the effects of price presence on choice are reduced through increased experience, price presence is found to negatively impact satisfaction and retailer evaluations. Choice-set size is shown to increase customer evaluations of the decision situation, but not impact choice satisfaction. The processes behind these effects include attribute salience, psychological distance, and the psychological cost of trade-offs to consumers. Further, the findings in this thesis have implications for the profitability of online grocery retailers, and for retail academia. Finally, this study raises several future research questions concerning consumer decision-making, check-outs, and sustainability.
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