Mix or Match? Consumer spending decisions in conditional promotions

Tatiana Sokolova, Yi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Conditional multi-item promotions are a prevalent marketing tactic whereby consumers have to buy a certain number of products to get a discount. This paper examines how framing a multi-item promotion in terms of savings on multiple items versus a single item (e.g., “buy two, get X% off on both” vs. “buy two, get 2X% off on the cheaper item”) affects consumers’ decision-making and product choices. Two laboratory studies and a field study at a boutique clothing store demonstrate that the “2X% on cheaper” framing makes consumers more likely to select similarly priced primary and secondary items. This strategy is driven by increased focus on promotional savings under the “2X% on cheaper” framing, which leads consumers to spend more on their secondary items. Overall, this research shows how a subtle change in the framing of multi-item promotions changes consumers’ product selection strategies and shopping basket composition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Early online date5 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2020


  • Behavioral pricing
  • Multi-item promotions
  • Promotion framing
  • Shopping basket composition

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