Productivity Metrics and Consumers' Misunderstanding of Time Savings

B (Bart) de Langhe, Stefano Puntoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The marketplace is replete with productivity metrics that put units of output in the numerator and one unit of time in the denominator (e.g., megabits per second; Mbps). Three studies examine how productivity metrics influence consumer decision-making. Many consumers have incorrect intuitions about the impact of productivity increases on time savings: they do not sufficiently realize that productivity increases at the high end of the productivity range (e.g., from 40 to 50 Mbps) imply smaller time savings than productivity increases at the low end of the productivity range (e.g., from 10 to 20 Mbps). Consequently, the availability of productivity metrics increases willingness to pay for products and services that offer higher productivity levels. This tendency is smaller when consumers receive additional information about time savings through product experience or through metrics that are linearly related to time savings. Consumers' intuitions about time savings are also more accurate when they estimate versus rank time savings. Estimates are based less on absolute than on proportional changes in productivity (and proportional changes correspond more with actual time savings).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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