Unit Pricing Increases Price Sensitivity Even When Products are of Identical Size

Jun Yao, Harmen Oppewal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

That displaying unit prices leads consumers to choose lower unit priced product options is well established. However, whether this effect occurs persistently across purchase conditions is unclear, and if so, why? This paper proposes that the presence of unit prices increases the salience of price in decision making, making consumers more price-sensitive, which in turn activates a greater motivation to select cheaper products. Findings from three experiments show that this motivational effect persists even when unit prices offer little cognitive benefit, such as when product options have identical sizes. Results also show that the motivational effect of unit pricing operates independently of the cognitive effect, and that an individual's price consciousness moderates the motivational effect. The paper demonstrates that unit pricing increases consumer price sensitivity in the context of price discounts, extending the generalizability of the unit pricing effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Retailing
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Price perception
  • Public policy
  • Purchase motivation
  • Shopping behavior
  • Supermarkets
  • Unit pricing

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