#16 - Fill in the blanks

Shoppers who generate spontaneous inferences about missing product information are more likely to make a purchase decision.
— Journal of Consumer Research. Kunter Gunasti and William T. Ross, Jr.

In many high involvement & high price categories, shoppers don't like to make a purchase without complete information about the product. But too much information can also scare shoppers –  almost 1/3 of them walk away.

When information about a purchase is incomplete, shoppers can learn to make inferences about missing information, that in turn increases the likelihood of purchase.

Research demonstrates that both explicitly and implicitly prompting shoppers to ‘fill in the blanks’ about the missing attributes can decrease the chances of them walking away because of insufficient information.


If a product has too many features to list, in-store displays and on-pack information can prompt shoppers make inferences about product features.