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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Which deal goes viral? The effect of persuasion heuristics on word-of-mouth toward promotional deals

Published: May 27, 2020


Oanh Nguyen, UNSW Sydney; Liem Ngo, UNSW Sydney; Tania Bucic, UNSW Sydney


persuasion heuristics; competitive threat; word-of-mouth


Online retailers have increasingly displayed persuasion heuristics such as deal scarcity and deal popularity to enhance promotional effectiveness. However, it is unclear whether and how different persuasion heuristics stimulate consumer intention to spread word-of-mouth towards the promotional deals. In this study, we suggest that the reminder of deal scarcity is less effective in promoting the positive word-of-mouth valence about the deals as compared to the reminder of deal popularity. Furthermore, we posit that competitive threat acts as the underlying mechanism that explains this phenomenon. Results from two experimental studies support our hypotheses and offer important implications for online retailers and marketers to achieve more effective word-of-mouth referral campaigns.