Journal of Marketing Behavior > Vol 4 > Issue 2-4

The Long versus Short of It: The Last Consumer Experience

Tamara Masters, Department of Marketing, Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, USA,
Suggested Citation
Tamara Masters (2020), "The Long versus Short of It: The Last Consumer Experience", Journal of Marketing Behavior: Vol. 4: No. 2-4, pp 133-171.

Publication Date: 21 Dec 2020
© 2020 T. Masters
Behavioral Decision Making,  Customer Relationship Management,  Individual Decision Making,  Services Marketing,  Marketing Research,  Consumer Behavior,  Psychology,  Heuristics,  Behavioral strategy,  E-Commerce and E-Business Models,  Retailing


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In this article:
Literature Review 
Theoretical Conceptualization 
Study 1: Test for the Effect and Personality Traits 
Study 2: High- versus Low-Effortful Decision-Making 
Study 3: Influence of Type of Product 
Study 4: Control for Effort and Receipt Length 
Study 5: Field Study at a Fast Food Restaurant 
General Discussion 
Implications for Policy and Managerial Practice 
Appendix A 
Appendix B 
Appendix C 
Appendix D 
Appendix E 
Appendix F 
Appendix G 


Checkout is the final point in a shopping trip and is perceived to capture the sum total of the shopping experience. However, in this paper we suggest that receipt length can play a significant role in determining the level of satisfaction with the shopping trip. Keeping everything constant, we predict that consumers would be more satisfied when they receive a longer than shorter receipt. Past research indicates that individuals infer elements of themselves by observing their behavior in different situations. In our context we suggest that length of a receipt, a task-uninformative feature, can trigger thoughts about effort expended while shopping. Consumers use receipt length to infer that they are being rewarded for their shopping effort. If commensurate, decision or physical, effort was expended then a long receipt can be perceived as tangible recognition for the effort invested. Across five studies we demonstrate what we refer to as the receipt-effect and test for the underlying effort-based explanation. We conducted studies in controlled settings and a field setting at a busy restaurant, which provide insight into marketing strategist.