Effortless online shopping? How online shopping contexts prime heuristic processing

João Niza Braga*, Sofia Jacinto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Online shopping is often motivated by the opportunity to save resources due to its high convenience and accessibility. We thus propose that online-shopping contexts can prime low effort processing, which increase heuristic decisions, when compared with offline contexts. Four experimental studies test this hypothesis. Study 1 shows that consumers expect to spend fewer resources in online than in offline shopping decisions. Studies 2 to 4 show that priming an online (vs. offline) shopping context increases reliance on heuristic cues in probability judgments (Study 2) and in product choices (Studies 3 and 4). Results further show that systematic processing of relevant nonheuristic information is reduced after priming online-shopping contexts and suggest that resource-saving expectations associated to online-shopping mediate attitudes toward systematic-options. This research brings novel and important contributions by investigating the role of online shopping contexts on the activation of resource-saving expectations and on the use heuristic cues in consumer decisions. Limits and implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-755
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


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