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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Spillover effects from context attractiveness on product evaluation in retailing: The role of thinking style and visual attention

Published: May 28, 2019


Oliver Büttner, University of Duisburg-Essen; Benjamin Serfas, University of Duisburg-Essen; Mathias Streicher, University of Innsbruck


Visual Attention; Store Design; Eye Tracking


Two experiments demonstrate that the attractiveness of retail environments spills over to product evaluation. Study 1 found that products that were presented on attractive webstores were rated as more attractive than products on unattractive webstores. This effect was larger for participants with a more experiential and less rational thinking style. In study 2, we experimentally manipulated breadth of visual attention (narrow vs. broad) and used pictures from brick-and-mortar retailing. The results replicate the spillover effect: Products in attractive (vs. unattractive) contexts were liked more. The effect was more pronounced for participants with broad (vs. narrow) visual attention. Data from eye tracking show that the spillover effect was mediated by attention allocated to the context (vs. target product). This research underlines that retail contexts shape consumer judgments and provides insights into the processes that underlie spillover effects.