CURE: Explorations in Business Research: Scared into buying? An analysis of scarcity signals

Scared into buying? An analysis of scarcity signals

CURE: Explorations in Business Research: Scared into buying? An analysis of scarcity signals

Student Presenters

Shane Ferrell, Grace Granum

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Anne Donnelly, Dr. Michelle Leonard

College

Warrington College of Business

Abstract

This research analyzes the effects of different types of scarcity signals in shelf-based environments and online environments and which types are best suited for each environment. Twenty existing research studies on various types of scarcity signals were utilized to examine how effective each type of scarcity is at influencing consumers’ behaviors in a specific environment. The studies were categorized by their types of scarcity techniques utilized, whether it was a field study or survey, and whether the commerce platform was a shelf-based environment or online environment. Scarcity signals were considered effective when they increased consumer willingness to buy, increased the perceived value and quality of a good, and they increased customer arousal. Demand-driven and supply-driven scarcity signals were effective in both environments. Limited-quantity scarcity signals were effective in both environments while limited-time scarcity signals were only effective online. Unit scarcity signals were effective in both environments while option scarcity signals were only effective in-person. Physical retailers should use demand-driven, limited quantity, and unit or option scarcity signal techniques, while online retailers should use supply-driven, limited-time, and unit scarcity signals.

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