Choose as much as you wish: Freedom cues in the marketplace help consumers feel more satisfied with what they choose and improve customer experience
Keywords: 
Freedom cue
Customer experience
Consumer satisfaction
Field study
Process tracing
Issue Date: 
27-Jul-2023
Publisher: 
American Psychological Association
ISSN: 
1939-2192
Note: 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License CC BY 4.0
Citation: 
Fasolo, B. (Barbara); Misuraca, R. (Raffaella); Reutskaja, E. (Elena). "Choose as much as you wish: Freedom cues in the marketplace help consumers feel more satisfied with what they choose and improve customer experience". Journal of experimental psychology: Applied. 30 (1), 2023-07-27, 156 - 168
Abstract
Consumer satisfaction and customer experience are key predictors of an organization’s future market growth, long-term customer loyalty, and profitability but are hard to maintain in marketplaces with abundance of choice. Building on self-determination theory, we experimentally test a novel intervention that leverages consumer need for autonomy. The intervention is a message called a “freedom cue” (FC) which makes it salient that consumers can “choose as much as they wish.” A 4-week field experiment in a sporting gear store establishes that FCs lead to greater consumer satisfaction compared to when the store displays no FC. A large (N = 669) preregistered process-tracing experiment run with a consumer panel and a global e-commerce company shows that FCs at point-of-sale improve consumer satisfaction and customer experience compared to an equivalent message that does not make freedom to choose any amount salient. Perceived freedom mediates the effect. FCs do not change the time spent or clicks on the website overall but do change the focus of the choice process. FCs lead to greater focus on what is chosen than on what is not chosen. We discuss practical implications for organizations and future research in consumer choice.
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