Scarcity tactics in marketing: A meta-analysis of product scarcity effects on consumer purchase intentions

Belinda L. Barton, Natalina Zlatevska, Harmen Oppewal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Scarcity tactics are an essential tool for marketers. Cues that signal the current or potential unavailability of a product generally enhance its value and desirability and in turn increase purchase intentions. While there have been earlier reviews, the fragmented nature of the research to date means there is no cohesion across findings. Given that retailers employ a variety of scarcity cues in a diversity of settings, it is important to identify the magnitude of the effect of scarcity cues and how the effect on consumers’ purchase intentions changes across conditions. This research presents a meta-analysis of 416 effect sizes from 131 studies. Results show that demand-based scarcity is most effective for utilitarian products, supply-based scarcity for experiences, and time-based scarcity for high involvement products. The results show that managers need to consider the above factors to maximize the success of scarcity tactics in their marketing campaigns.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Retailing
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2022

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