Context effects in choice settings have received recent attention but little is known about the impact of context on choice consistency and the extent to which consumers apply choice heuristics. The sequence of alternatives in a choice set is examined here as one specific context effect. We compare how a change from a typical price order to a sensory order in wine menus affects consumer choice. We use pre-specified latent heuristic classes to analyse the existence of different choice processes, which begins to untangle the ‘black box’ of how consumers choose. Our findings indicate that in the absence of price order, consumers are less price-sensitive, pay more attention to visually salient cues, are less consistent in their choices and employ other simple choice heuristics more frequently than price. Implications for consumer research, marketing and consumer policy are discussed.
European Academy of Management. Proceedings 2012, 2012