Bundle evaluation in different market segments: The effects of discount framing and buyers’ preference heterogeneity
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Heterogeneity of buyers' preferences has played a significant role in the earlier economic analyses of bundling and continues to be important in the recent investigations initiated by marketing and consumer researchers. Guided by a decision-framing conceptualization, this study suggests that in a market characterized by heterogeneous preferences for items included in a bundle offer, buyers' bundle evaluations may vary significantly depending on which item is featured as the price leader (i.e., the discounted item). When two unequally preferred items were evaluated for purchase as a set, bundle evaluation was more enhanced when the price leader was also the more preferred item. Thus, under such preference conditions, bundle evaluation may be quite sensitive to the choice of the price leader. Besides highlighting the importance of incorporating psychological considerations in bundling research, the results of this study also raise questions about the validity of a key assumption made in the extant analyses of bundling strategies. Specifically, perceived savings on one item may not always transfer readily to other items included in a bundle offer. © 1996 Academy of Marketing Science.
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