Marketing Letters

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 305–317 | Cite as

Consumer substitution decisions: an integrative framework

  • Rebecca W. HamiltonEmail author
  • Debora V. Thompson
  • Zachary G. Arens
  • Simon J. Blanchard
  • Gerald Häubl
  • P. K. Kannan
  • Uzma Khan
  • Donald R. Lehmann
  • Margaret G. Meloy
  • Neal J. Roese
  • Manoj Thomas


Substitution decisions have been examined from a variety of perspectives. The economics literature measures cross-price elasticity, operations research models optimal assortments, the psychology literature studies goals in conflict, and marketing research has examined substitution-in-use, brand switching, stockouts, and self-control. We integrate these perspectives into a common framework for understanding consumer substitution decisions; their specific drivers (availability of new alternatives, internal vs. external restrictions on choice); the moderating role of a consumer’s commitment to an initially desired alternative; and the affective, motivational, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes of substitution. We use this framework to recommend new avenues for research.


Substitution Consumer choice Choice restriction Commitment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca W. Hamilton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Debora V. Thompson
    • 2
  • Zachary G. Arens
    • 3
  • Simon J. Blanchard
    • 2
  • Gerald Häubl
    • 4
  • P. K. Kannan
    • 1
  • Uzma Khan
    • 5
  • Donald R. Lehmann
    • 6
  • Margaret G. Meloy
    • 7
  • Neal J. Roese
    • 8
  • Manoj Thomas
    • 9
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  4. 4.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  5. 5.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  6. 6.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  8. 8.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  9. 9.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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