How the Order of Sampled Experiential Products Affects Choice


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The results of five experiments reveal that when sampling a series of experiential products (e.g., beverages or music), consumers prefer the product sampled second in a series of two desirable products but relatively prefer the product sampled first in a series of two undesirable products. The underlying process for both outcomes is a recency effect, such that there is better recall for the most recently sampled experiential product. The recency effect observed for experiential products reverses to a primacy effect while sampling non-experiential products (e.g., scissors). The authors also demonstrate that the placement of an undesirable experiential product in conjunction with two desirable experiential products can exaggerate preference for the later sampled desirable product (when the undesirable product is sampled first) or result in preference for the earlier sampled desirable product (when consumers sample the undesirable product between the two desirable products). However, the preference for the earlier sampled desirable product only holds if there is no time delay between the sampling of the products or between the sampling and the choice evaluations.



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