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Consumer-defined assortments: application of card-sorting to category management


Category management theory and practice have traditionally overlooked the role of the consumer in defining category boundaries. Industry-based criteria do not necessarily overlap with the perceptual view of the assortment held, implicitly or explicitly, by consumers. This research aims to propose a methodological approach to derive a customer-oriented shelf layout from customer perceptions of product similarities and to empirically test if adopting such a consumer-oriented shelf layout significantly affects consumers’ in-store perceptions and reactions. In two studies, we show that consumer-based shelf layouts determine higher levels of store satisfaction because of the higher level of fit between product display on the shelves and consumers’ cognitive categorization of the assortment.

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Correspondence to Gabriele Pizzi.

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Pizzi, G., Marzocchi, G.L. Consumer-defined assortments: application of card-sorting to category management. Ital. J. Mark. (2020).

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  • Card-sorting
  • Category management
  • Assortment
  • Store satisfaction