Do consumer perceptions matter in measuring choice variety and variety seeking?
This research marries scanner panel choice data of consumers in single member households to their survey-based perception data and draws upon behavioral and modeling research to contribute to the variety seeking literature. It presents a new consumer-based measure of choice variety based on inter-product similarity perceptions and illustrates that others-based (i.e., researchers, managers, and retailers) measures of choice variety such as number of brand switches underestimate choice variety. Moreover, incorporating the consumer-based measure instead of others-based measures in latent class models improves their efficiency of classifying households into high versus low variety seeking. The consumer-based measure of choice variety is valid in terms of its positive relationship with consumer's intrinsic or trait-based variety seeking tendency. Theoretical (market structure, consideration set) and managerial implications (targeting of price promotions to reduce spending, product design, cross-price elasticity) of the findings are offered.
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