The Impact of a Complement-Based Assortment Organization on Purchases

Panagiotis Sarantopoulos, Aristeidis Theotokis, Katerina Pramatari, Anne L. Roggeveen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines whether and why organizing product categories according to the consumption goal they serve (i.e., complement-based assortment organization) may increase purchases, compared with organizing product categories according to their attributes or physical characteristics (i.e., substitute-based assortment organization). Across two field experiments, a virtual reality experiment, and a lab experiment, the authors show that a complement-based assortment organization, compared with a substitute-based assortment organization, leads to increased numbers of purchases and increased expenditures. Ease of visualization of the consumption process mediates the results. The impact of the complement-based organization on purchases is more pronounced for less involved consumers and for consumers with a less specific shopping goal. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-478
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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