Unnecessary Purchases: Creating Artificial Buying Pressure Through the Use of Coupons

ABSTRACT - Research has shown that consumers make decisions about whether to purchase unnecessary products (e.g., to stockpile) based on the availability of future discounts. Our research shows that consumers do not necessarily take this information into account. Instead, the artificial buying pressure induced by coupons forces consumers to superficially evaluate the utility of a discounted purchase as positiveCwithout considering other decision factors (opportunity costs, amount of inventory at home etc.). Our studies show that discounted products are purchased regardless of a consumer’s need for the product or familiarity with the brand. Consistent with our predictions, artificial buying pressure effects vanish when consumers are fully informed of the consequences of purchasing the unnecessary product.



Citation:

Rebecca Walker, Rajagopal Raghunathan, and Suresh Ramanathan (2003) ,"Unnecessary Purchases: Creating Artificial Buying Pressure Through the Use of Coupons", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Darach Turley and Stephen Brown, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 270.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2003      Page 270

UNNECESSARY PURCHASES: CREATING ARTIFICIAL BUYING PRESSURE THROUGH THE USE OF COUPONS

Rebecca Walker, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Rajagopal Raghunathan, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Suresh Ramanathan, University of Chicago, USA

ABSTRACT -

Research has shown that consumers make decisions about whether to purchase unnecessary products (e.g., to stockpile) based on the availability of future discounts. Our research shows that consumers do not necessarily take this information into account. Instead, the artificial buying pressure induced by coupons forces consumers to superficially evaluate the utility of a discounted purchase as positiveCwithout considering other decision factors (opportunity costs, amount of inventory at home etc.). Our studies show that discounted products are purchased regardless of a consumer’s need for the product or familiarity with the brand. Consistent with our predictions, artificial buying pressure effects vanish when consumers are fully informed of the consequences of purchasing the unnecessary product.

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Authors

Rebecca Walker, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Rajagopal Raghunathan, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Suresh Ramanathan, University of Chicago, USA



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2003



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