My research has been dedicated to understanding the dynamics consumer behavior across within a variety of sequences and contexts. A specific area of focus has been exploring the significance of individual moments, such as decisions, behavior, experiences, and evaluations, and how they influence subsequent moments. While my research primarily delves into the consumer perspective, it holds substantial implications for firms as well. To conduct my research, I employ a diverse range of methodological approaches as appropriate, with a particular emphasis on survey, lab, and field experimental methods. A selection of my published academic research is below.
In addition to my academic research, I have collaborated with various non-profit and commercial organizations on research projects encompassing topics such as segmentation and strategy, audience engagement, diversity and inclusion, brand image, and more.
Which Store’s a Steal and Which Store Is A Stale? How Consumers Form Price Impressions of Different Retailers and Brands. (Link to paper)
This research focuses on the pricing strategies employed by retailers and how consumers respond to them. Previous research examined how consumers perceive stores that offer frequent, small price advantages compared to competitors (referred to as a frequency strategy) versus stores that provide infrequent but significant price advantages (known as a depth strategy). However, these studies typically involved comparing prices from multiple stores simultaneously (such as looking at the prices of the same good at two different stores), emphasizing the comparison between different stores. In contrast, this research investigated what happens when consumers evaluate a store’s prices individually, without comparing them to other stores. Surprisingly, they found that many of the previous findings were reversed. Without cross-store comparisons, consumers tended to use reference prices within the same category rather than across different stores. This shift in perspective meant that deep price advantages had a stronger impact on consumers’ perception of price, making them more influential compared to frequent price advantages. When evaluating stores individually, the results consistently favored the depth strategy, where stores using a HILO pricing approach were perceived as having lower prices than EDLP stores, even when the average prices were the same. These findings challenge previous research that relied on cross-store comparisons to explain the effects of frequency and depth pricing strategies.
That’s So You, But You Never Use It. How Consumer Save Themselves by Saving Products Related to Their Identity. (Link to paper)
This research investigates the relationship between consumers’ identities and their usage of products and brands. Although research has shown that people tend to prefer products that align with their identity, little is known about how this connection impacts actual product usage. To address this gap, the researchers propose a new concept called the “identity conservation effect.” They suggest that consumers are less likely to use identity-related products that are not durable because they perceive a larger tradeoff between the value of owning the product and the value derived from using it. Through six different studies, the authors provide evidence supporting this effect and present a framework that explains the tradeoff between possession value and in-use value of identity products. Overall, the findings contribute to our understanding of how identity influences consumer behavior.
When Do People Splurge? When Do People Save? The Spending Dynamics Consumers Display in a Single Shopping Trip. (Link to paper)
This research focus on understanding how a consumer’s propensity to spend (whether they purchase a more or less expensive product option) varies within a single shopping trip. This suggests that the likelihood a shopper choses a more or less expensive option is influencer by when you make that purchase in a shopping trip. We did this by observing both budget-conscious shoppers and those who don’t have strict budgets. They found that the way these two groups spend money changes differently over time. Budget shoppers tend to spend more compared to the average price in the middle of their shopping trip, while non-budget shoppers spend less at that point. The researchers also discovered that the feeling of discomfort when paying for purchases affects how people consider prices, which in turn affects their spending. By manipulating this discomfort, for example by showing shoppers how much they are spending in real-time or by changing the costs associated with spending, the researchers found they could influence spending patterns. This research has important implications for marketing and promotion strategies, particularly in retail and mobile technology environments, by helping businesses understand when shoppers are most sensitive to price-related factors.
Sometimes People Don’t Want To Know How Much They Are Spending. How Real-Time Spending Feedback Influences Consumer Spending. (Link to paper)
This research examined the impact of real-time spending feedback on shopping behavior. The research found that the influence of real-time spending feedback differs based on whether individuals have a budget constraint or not. For “budget” shoppers, the feedback actually encourages them to spend more by purchasing more national brands. On the other hand, “nonbudget” shoppers tend to spend less when they receive this feedback, as they switch from national brands to store brands. Additionally, the study found that smart shopping carts increase the likelihood of budget shoppers returning to the store, while not affecting the repatronage intentions of nonbudget shoppers. These findings highlight important differences between budget and nonbudget shoppers that have significant implications for both physical and online retailers, as well as app developers.