Discovering the preferences and the behaviour of consumers is a key challenge in marketing. Information about such topics can be gathered through surveys in which the respondents must assign a score to a number of items. In this article we suggest a strategy to analyze such data and achieve this objective: it consists in identifying groups of consumers whose response patterns are similar and characterizing them in terms of preferences and covariates. We use latent class models allowing for heterogeneity of both latent class and within-class probabilities across individuals. We illustrate the proposed methodology using data about the preferences of Belgian households for supermarkets.
latent class analysis rating scores heterogeneity EM algorithm marketing