'Limited-quantity' ads play a role in consumer aggression

W. P. Carey researchers examine why shoppers become Black Friday brawlers, concluding that retailers should be more cautious in how they use 'scarcity ads,' and consumers should understand that psychologically, these effects can happen and you should control your own behavior.

Black Friday is almost here. Are you prepared — to fight for or pass up the best sales? According to a study by Assistant Professor of Marketing Kirk Kristofferson and Professor of Marketing Andrea Morales, advertising may play a role in what we'll do for a deal. The duo did seven studies with more than 1,100 participants and proved that simply being shown a "scarcity ad" was enough to incite aggressive behavior. In an ASU Now article on November 15, 2016:

Aggression spiked when people saw ads that limited quantity, but not time — such as a “one-day-only” sale. “We see the aggression in the quantity ad because if you get there before me, I don’t get it. The consumers are pitted against each other. But if it’s a limited-time ad, you can get there at 9:01 and I can get there at 4:59 and I still get it. We’ve removed the threat.”

About Kirk Kristofferson and Andrea Morales

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