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Clicks as a healthy alternative to bricks : how online grocery shopping reduces vice purchases

Elke Huyghe (UGent), Julie Verstraeten (UGent), Maggie Geuens (UGent) and Anneleen Van Kerckhove (UGent)
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Abstract
Although consumers are concerned about their health, obesity statistics suggest that contextual factors often lead them to choose unhealthy alternatives (i.e., vices) rather than healthy ones (i.e., virtues). Noting the increasing prevalence of online grocery shopping, the authors focus on shopping channels as one such contextual factor and investigate how food choices made online differ from food choices made in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. A database study and three lab experiments demonstrate that consumers choose relatively fewer vices in the online shopping environment. Moreover, this shopping channel effect arises because online channels present products symbolically, whereas offline stores present them physically. A symbolic presentation mode decreases the products’ vividness, which in turn diminishes consumers’ desire to seek instant gratification and ultimately leads them to purchase fewer vices. These findings highlight several unexplored differences between online and offline shopping, with important implications for consumers, public policy makers, and retailers.
Keywords
grocery shopping, unhealthy food choices, product presentation, instant gratification, shopping channel

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Chicago
Huyghe, Elke, Julie Verstraeten, Maggie Geuens, and Anneleen Van Kerckhove. 2017. “Clicks as a Healthy Alternative to Bricks : How Online Grocery Shopping Reduces Vice Purchases.” Journal of Marketing Research  54 (1): 61–74.
APA
Huyghe, E., Verstraeten, J., Geuens, M., & Van Kerckhove, A. (2017). Clicks as a healthy alternative to bricks : how online grocery shopping reduces vice purchases. JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH  , 54(1), 61–74.
Vancouver
1.
Huyghe E, Verstraeten J, Geuens M, Van Kerckhove A. Clicks as a healthy alternative to bricks : how online grocery shopping reduces vice purchases. JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH  . 2017;54(1):61–74.
MLA
Huyghe, Elke, Julie Verstraeten, Maggie Geuens, et al. “Clicks as a Healthy Alternative to Bricks : How Online Grocery Shopping Reduces Vice Purchases.” JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH  54.1 (2017): 61–74. Print.
@article{7261270,
  abstract     = {Although consumers are concerned about their health, obesity statistics suggest that contextual factors often lead them to choose unhealthy alternatives (i.e., vices) rather than healthy ones (i.e., virtues). Noting the increasing prevalence of online grocery shopping, the authors focus on shopping channels as one such contextual factor and investigate how food choices made online differ from food choices made in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. A database study and three lab experiments demonstrate that consumers choose relatively fewer vices in the online shopping environment. Moreover, this shopping channel effect arises because online channels present products symbolically, whereas offline stores present them physically. A symbolic presentation mode decreases the products{\textquoteright} vividness, which in turn diminishes consumers{\textquoteright} desire to seek instant gratification and ultimately leads them to purchase fewer vices. These findings highlight several unexplored differences between online and offline shopping, with important implications for consumers, public policy makers, and retailers.},
  author       = {Huyghe, Elke and Verstraeten, Julie and Geuens, Maggie and Van Kerckhove, Anneleen},
  issn         = {0022-2437 },
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH                                        },
  keyword      = {grocery shopping,unhealthy food choices,product presentation,instant gratification,shopping channel},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {61--74},
  title        = {Clicks as a healthy alternative to bricks : how online grocery shopping reduces vice purchases},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmr.14.0490},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2017},
}

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