Blanchard, S. J., Dyachenko, T. L., & Kettle, K. L. (2020). Locational choices: Modeling consumer preferences for proximity to others in reserved seating venues. Journal of Marketing Research, 57(5), 878-899.
This article proposes a measurement approach to determine how consumers prefer to locate themselves in proximity to others during consumption experiences, such as when they purchase reserved seating tickets to a performance. Applied to data from locational choice experiments that simulate reserved seating assortments, administered to more than 2,000 participants, this approach reveals the importance of modeling proximity to others when studying locational choices. It also emphasizes the degree to which consumers are heterogeneous in their preferences for proximity to both focal elements (e.g., stage, screen, aisles) and other consumers. Therefore, event operators should collect data beyond purchase ticket logs and also include consumers who did not purchase. Furthermore, this study illustrates how managers can use fitted, individual-level parameters and an optimization model to make more effective seat-level availability decisions. In addition to these recommendations for managers of reserved seating venues, this article offers novel contributions to research related to advance selling, spatial models, and personal space.