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Consumer preference for product bundles: The role of reduced search costs

Abstract

Most prior research on bundling from a consumer perspective has focused on how bundles are processed, particularly from a prospect theory or mental accounting perspective. In contrast, relatively little research has examined the factors that might drive consumer preference for bundles versus individual items. This article addresses one such factor: the potential to reduce search and assembly costs. Through exploratory interviews and two laboratory experiments, the authors show that preference for a bundle is greater when bundle choice will reduce search effort than when it will not, particularly among consumers who are less motivated to process information.

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Authors and Affiliations

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Additional information

Judy Harris (JLHarris@Towson.edu) is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and e-Business, College of Business and Economics, Towson University. She received her doctorate from the University of Houston. Her work has been published in theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Retailing, the Journal of Advertising Research, theJournal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Psychology & Marketing, and other publications.

Edward A. Blair (blair@uh.edu) is a professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. He is the author of several books, along with numerous articles in such journals as theJournal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, theJournal of Consumer Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, and others. He has served on the editorial boards of theJournal of Marketing Research, theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and theJournal of Business Research.

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Harris, J., Blair, E.A. Consumer preference for product bundles: The role of reduced search costs. JAMS 34, 506 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070306288405

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070306288405

Keywords

  • bundling
  • product bundles
  • search costs
  • perceived value
  • consumer choice
  • information processing
  • need for cognition