Visual Influences on Quantity Perception on Online Grocery Retailing

Wanyi Zheng*, Michael He Jia, Echo Wen Wan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


Online retailing platforms are adopting various practices to present quantities of grocery items on the webpages where consumers make quantity-based purchase decisions. The current research identifies a solution based on visual aids—supplementing the numerical information with a corresponding number of visual icons—to promote product packs containing more individual units. Thirteen preregistered, incentive-compatible studies (N = 6,388) demonstrate that our proposed solution of visual aids of quantity presentation shifts consumers’ preferences from smaller-quantity packs toward larger-quantity packs, compared to the numerical presentation of quantity. This effect is robust across product categories and visual icons and occurs because visual aids of quantity presentation increase the perceived quantitative difference between two packs, consequently enhancing the relative attractiveness of larger-quantity packs over smaller-quantity packs. Furthermore, the visual aid effect is attenuated when visual icons are less discriminable from each other or require more effort to process or when people avoid bulk buying. This research extends the literature by demonstrating that visual aids can even influence perceptions of easy-to-assess small quantities and generates novel managerial insights into the optimization of quantity presentation practice in online grocery shopping.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2024
Event2024 ISMS Marketing Science Conference - International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 202329 Jun 2024


Conference2024 ISMS Marketing Science Conference
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • visual aids
  • quantity presentation
  • perceived quantitative difference
  • visual processing
  • preference


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual Influences on Quantity Perception on Online Grocery Retailing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this