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Productivity Metrics and Consumers’ Misunderstanding of Time Savings

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)396-406
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The marketplace is replete with productivity metrics that put units of output in the numerator and one unit of time in the denominator (e.g., megabits per second [Mbps] to measure download speed). In this article, three studies examine how productivity metrics influence consumer decision making. Many consumers have incorrect intuitions about the impact of productivity increases on time savings: they do not sufficiently realize that productivity increases at the high end of the productivity range (e.g., from 40 to 50 Mbps) imply smaller time savings than productivity increases at the low end of the productivity range (e.g., from 10 to 20 Mbps). Consequently, the availability of productivity metrics increases willingness to pay for products and services that offer higher productivity levels. This tendency is smaller when consumers receive additional information about time savings through product experience or through metrics that are linearly related to time savings. Consumers’ intuitions about time savings are also more accurate when they estimate time savings than when they rank them. Estimates are based less on absolute than on proportional changes in productivity (and proportional changes correspond more with actual time savings).

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© 2016, American Marketing Association