Title: Hiding Gifts behind the Veil of Vouchers: The Effect of Gift Vouchers in Conditional Promotions
Speaker: Yan Zhang, NUS Business School
Time: Wednesday, June7, 13:30-15:00
Place: Room 217, Guanghua Building 2
To boost sales, companies often conduct promotions in which merchants offer a gift conditional on the purchase of a focal product. Customers can either receive the gift directly or receive a voucher entitling them to the gift. This article examines whether using a gift voucher influences consumers’ intentions to purchase the focal product. We suggest that a voucher serves as a decoupling device that breaks the direct association between the focal product and the gift, reducing people’s tendency to compare the gift value with the focal product price. Consequently, presenting a voucher, as compared to presenting a gift directly, decreases purchase intention for promotions that offer high-value gifts but increases purchase intention for promotions that offer low-value gifts. Across six experiments, we find evidence consistent with this prediction. Moreover, we find that the effect of vouchers is less pronounced among consumers who have purchased similar products in the past. Although vouchers have no inherent economic value in themselves, they significantly influence consumers’ purchase decisions.
Dr. Yan Zhang is an assistant professor of marketing at NUS Business School and an ACSEP affiliate faculty member. She conducts research in areas of judgment and decision making, prosocial behaviors, social cognition, and consumer psychology. She uses experimental approaches to investigate the psychological mechanisms behind consumer judgment and decisions. Her research has appeared in notable journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, etc. Dr. Zhang received a bachelor’s degree in management from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1999, and a PhD degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Chicago in 2009.
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