The influence of pre-purchase goals on consumers' perceptions of price promotions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Previous research indicates that the goals consumers have when shopping influence their attention to and processing of information they encounter. The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of consumers' pre-purchase goals on their responses to price promotions. Design/methodology/approach: In three experiments, the existence of consumer goals (i.e. with or without a pre-purchase goal) were manipulated and promotion characteristics including message framing, promotion format, and promotion depth were systematically varied to examine how consumers respond to these price promotions. Findings: Consumers with a pre-purchase goal were found to be more attracted to the promotion than those without a goal. More importantly, pre-purchase goals interact with promotion characteristics and produce differential effects on willingness to buy. Consumers with a pre-purchase goal are more attracted to promotions emphasizing reduced losses while those without a goal responded more favorably toward promotions emphasizing gains. Moreover, consumers with and without a pre-purchase goal respond differently to various discount levels. Originality/value: Existing research on price promotions has not examined the influence of consumers' pre-purchase goals. This paper brings a new dimension to price promotion research. Understanding these variations in pre-purchase goals across consumers will help sellers design more effective promotion programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-694
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 19 2009


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Perception
  • Prices
  • Promotional methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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