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Framing the deal : the role of restrictions in accentuating deal value

Authors Inman, J. Jeffrey
Peter, Anil C.
Raghubir, Priya
Issue Date 1995-10
Summary We propose that consumers use the presence of a restriction (i.e., purchase limit, purchase precondition or time limit) as a source of information to evaluate a deal. In a series of five studies we present evidence suggesting that restrictions serve to accentuate deal value and act as "promoters" of promotions. We begin by using aggregate level scanner data to test our hypothesis that a sales restriction (e.g., "limit _ per customer") results in higher sales. The following four experiments then investigate contextual and individual factors moderating this effect. Study 2 demonstrates that restrictions only have a positive effect for low need for cognition individuals. Studies 3 and 4 examine the differential effect of restrictions across discount levels and between deals using different frames, identifying boundary conditions for the restriction effect. Finally, Study 5 explores the mediating role of deal evaluations and identifies brand loyalty and deal proneness as moderators of the restriction effect. An integrative model across studies demonstrates the robustness of the restriction effect and supports the premise that restrictions work through signalling value. Implications for how consumers determine promotional value are discussed.
Language English
Format Working paper
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