Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Gambled Price Discounts: A Remedy to the Negative Side Effects of Regular Price Discounts

Alavi, Sascha
Wieseke, Jan
Volume: 79
Number: 2
Pages: 62 - 78
ISSN-Print: 0022-2429
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015
Keywords: uncertainty, reference price, gambled price discounts, price promotion, marketing innovation

In the context of price discounts, a special type of price promotion, in which savings depend on the outcome of a gamble and are thus uncertain, has recently achieved some popularity. The question arises as to whether such gambled price discounts (GPDs) incur the negative reference price effect—that is, a downward shift in customers' internal reference price (IRP)—which is often associated with regular price discounts (RPDs). From several studies, including two longitudinal field experiments, the authors find that GPDs indeed alleviate the negative reference price effect: IRPs and actual repurchasing tend to be lower for RPDs than for GPDs and a no-discount control condition. Moreover, the authors explore the psychological underpinnings of these effects and show that the different consequences of GPDs versus RPDs on IRPs are more pronounced if information regarding product quality is limited. The authors demonstrate that findings are robust to variations of GPD discount levels and the probability of winning.