As a shopping interface, the Web possesses certain unique characteristics that necessitate a reevaluation and a new investigation of online consumer behaviors. One of the unique characteristics of online shopping is that consumers evaluate products and make judgments based on the product information presented on web pages, which enable the design of product list on a web page to have a great potential influence on consumer’s product choice. However, relatively little has been written about the order effects of product list on consumer choice in online retailing settings. The purpose of this study is to investigate how and why product’s presentation order in a list affects consumer’s selection of products. Specifically, this study proposes that the serial position of a product in a list could affect the probability of this product being selected by consumers (position effect), and sorting the products by product configurations in a descending order, an ascending order, or a random order could affect the importance of product configuration as well as relative importance of product configuration/price in consumer’s evaluation and choice (sorting effect). Implications of these two types of order effects for theory and practice are discussed.
Cai, Shun and Xu, Yunjie, "Order effects on consumer product choices in online retailing" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 92.