Assisting sustainable food consumption: The effects of quality signals stemming from consumers and stores in online and physical grocery retailing
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AuthorSigurdsson, Valdimar; Larsen, Nils Magne; Alemu, Mohammed Hussen; Gallogly, Joseph K.; Menon, Vishnu R.G.; Fagerstrøm, Asle
Increased fish consumption can contribute to a more sustainable food system. This paper explores how signaling affects consumer choices in fresh fish purchasing situations, both in traditional and online retail settings. We examined two different types of market signals; quality signals stemming from consumers as a social proof and authority signals coming from stores. Study 1 showed that quality signals from other consumers (product rating) had the highest importance score in an online setting when compared to traditional attributes in a conjoint experiment. Study 2 again confirmed the prominence of quality signals from consumers by extending the research over to brick and mortar retailing and top-selling items. Study 3 followed up with in-store experiments, using fresh cod fillets as the target product and fresh ground beef as a comparison. The experiments showed increased sales from both types of signaling, with an overall 41.5% increase for fish in our study.