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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Impact of Conceptual (vs. Perceptual) Product Categorization on Consumer Shopping Experience

Published: May 28, 2019


Arezou Ghiassaleh, University of Lausanne; Bruno Kocher, University of Lausanne; Basilio Noris, Pomelo Sàrl; Pierrick Maire, Pomelo Sàrl; Gabriel Borduas, Pomelo Sàrl


Conceptual Categorization; Perceptual Categorization; Rational Thinking


In this research, we distinguish between the effects of conceptual and perceptual categorization on consumer shopping experience. Across our studies (two field studies and two lab studies), we show that conceptual (vs. perceptual) categorization induces a rational thinking style, increases the time consumers are willing to spend in the store, increases multi-category purchase and ultimately the number of products consumers buy. In addition, our findings suggest that conceptual (vs. perceptual) categorization is not always perceived positively by consumers. We show that conceptual (vs. perceptual) categorization is evaluated more positively for utilitarian but not for hedonic products.