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Title: Online sales promotion in hedonic versus utilitarian product categories

Authors: Ravi Narayanaswamy; Richard A. Heiens

Addresses: School of Business Administration, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801, USA ' School of Business Administration, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801, USA

Abstract: The current study examines the relationship between hedonic versus utilitarian product categories and the use of sales promotion among online retailers. Results indicate that the online sales promotion mechanisms heavily favoured by hedonic marketers and less common among marketers of utilitarian products include price promotions, free gift promotions, and sweepstakes and contests. The only sales promotion mechanism that appears to be equally favoured by hedonic and utilitarian product marketers alike is the limited hour special. Online sales promotions for hedonic product categories may be more popular because they are more likely to lead to consumer brand buzz and electronic word-of-mouth. The exception, however, may occur when the value of the marketing message is determined by time and immediacy. Therefore, online retailers have learned to utilise the limited hour special sales promotion format not only for hedonic products, but for utilitarian products as well.

Keywords: hedonic; utilitarian; sales promotion; online retailing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2018.088590

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2018 Vol.9 No.1, pp.77 - 88

Available online: 16 Nov 2017 *

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