Scarcity Effects on Consumers' Affective, Cognitive, and Conative Responses: Moderating Role of Shopping Orientation

Date
2016-11-09
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Kwon, Wi-Suk
Byun, Sang-Eun
Katz, Jeffrey
Deshpande, Gopikrishna
Forsythe, Sandra
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Abstract

Scarcity accelerates decision makers' perceived perishability of an offer, limiting their freedom to delay the purchase decision and creating a sense of urgency for an immediate action. Despite the ubiquity of scarcity tactics in marketing, empirical explanations of the integrative psychological mechanism underlying the scarcity effect have been scant. This study examines consumers' affective, cognitive, and conative responses to scarce offerings. Through an online experiment with 203 college consumers, this study revealed that the scarcity effects on consumers' affective response (arousal) and conative response (buying intent) were relatively robust across multiple products, suggesting the strong role of scarcity in leading to consumers' emotional decision making. However, scarcity effects on consumers' cognitive responses regarding the product benefit dimensions differed across products. Further research is needed to delve into the personal or situational factors that lead to differential scarcity effects on consumers' cognitive information processing of product benefits.

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