Consumer decision making across product categories: The influence of task environment



This two-part investigation examines consumer choice behavior across a total of nineteen different nondurable product categories. Study I utilized a mail questionnaire to measure decision heuristics. In Study II, shoppers were intercepted at the point of purchase. Results of both studies reveal considerable variation in choice rules within subjects and across decision contexts. An attempt is made to assess the importance of task environment variables, including extent of price variation, number of brands available, presence of shelf tags, amount of product class advertising, and amount of shelf space. The findings provide tentative support for the impact of contingent factors on the use of consumer choice tactics.