Manuscript _The Upside of Social Crowding on Consumer Product Preference-市场营销系|光华管理学院


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Manuscript _The Upside of Social Crowding on Consumer Product Preference


Marketing Seminar2017-24

Topic:Manuscript _The Upside of Social Crowding on Consumer Product Preference

Speaker:Ying Ding, Renmin University of China

Time:Wednesday, 15 November, 09:00-11:00

Location:Room K01, Guanghua Building 2


The current research investigates how social crowding in a retail setting affects consumers’ choices from a product class they intend to purchase from. Employing a secondary retail dataset, we provide initial empirical evidence suggesting that the market share of the best-selling items in a store increases during rush versus non-rush store hours. Results from four additional experiments provide converging evidence demonstrating that feeling socially crowded in a store increases the choice share of consumers’ favorite item from a product class. This effect occurs because social crowding leads consumers to infer the overall availability of the product class they intend to purchase from as low, which consequently broadens the discrepancy between the liking of their most-preferred and less-preferred alternatives. The authors further identify three theoretically relevant marketing variables that may moderate the inferential effect of social crowding on product preference, that is, inventory replenishment, assortment size and actual product supply level. While prior research has primarily focused on the negative influences of social crowding on consumers’ in-store shopping experience, the present research shows that social crowding can boost sales of consumers’ favorite items. These findings provide novel insights into the upside of social crowding on consumer product preference.


Ying Ding, Assistant Professor of the Renmin University of China, her research interests are Consumer behavior and decision making; Social influence and self-concept and Green consumption.

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