A corrected version of the article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/107.00000023-corr
Consumers are often less satisfied with a product chosen from a large assortment than a limited one. Experienced choice difficulty presumably causes this as consumers have to engage in a great number of individual comparisons. In two studies we tested whether partitioning the choice task so that consumers decided sequentially on each individual attribute may provide a solution. In a Starbucks coffee house, consumers who chose from the menu rated the coffee as less tasty when chosen from a large rather than a small assortment. However, when the consumers chose it by sequentially deciding about one attribute at a time, the effect reversed. In a tailored-suit customization, consumers who chose multiple attributes at a time were less satisfied with their suit, compared to those who chose one attribute at a time. Sequential attribute-based processing proves to be an effective strategy to reap the benefits of a large assortment.
Partitioning the Choice Task Makes Starbucks Coffee Taste Better , Journal of Marketing Behavior, Volume 1, Issue 3-4 10.1561/107.00000023-corr