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Same price, different perception: Measurement-unit effects on price-level perceptions and purchase intentions

Fecher, André, Thomas Robbert and Stefan Roth

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2019, vol. 49, issue C, 129-142

Abstract: In many countries, retailers are obligated to display unit prices for their products. Still, they have considerable flexibility in the unit price measure used. For example, price can be stated per kg or per 100 g. We demonstrate that large unit price measures (prices per kg) lead to higher perceived prices and subsequently to lower purchase intentions than smaller measures (prices per 100 g). We also elaborate on the boundary conditions of this effect. The results of four experimental studies indicate that the measurement-unit effect is significantly lower when retailers display two prices: unit and retail price. In addition, the effect is dependent on the groceries' package size, as it is only evident for medium-sized packages (e.g., 500 g) but not for small (e.g., 100 g) and large (e.g., 1000 g) packages. The results of these studies provide useful guidance for retailers on the use of different measurement units as a strategic option in their price presentation.

Keywords: Unit pricing; Price perception; Measurement-unit effect; Package size; Consumer behavior; Grocery shopping (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.03.017

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joreco:v:49:y:2019:i:c:p:129-142