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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Solving the Mystery about Mystery Deals – How the Creation and Resolution of Mystery Deals Impacts Consumers’ Purchase Motivation and Loyalty Intentions

Published: May 27, 2020


Florian Brodschelm, University of Passau; Sebastian Schubach, University of Passau; Jan Schumann, University of Passau


mystery deals; curiosity; retail promotions


Mystery deals, i.e., offers, whose identity is unknown to consumers until after the purchase and that are commonly offered at a discount, are widely used in today’s marketing activities. Consumers appreciate mystery deals because they stimulate their curiosity, which in turn increases their purchase motivation. However, little is known about how consumers react (a) to the price of the mystery deal and (b) to the revelation of mystery deals, especially, when the revealed product or service does not meet their preferences. We find that both curiosity and price attractiveness explain the increased purchase motivation of mystery deals. After the revelation of the mystery, mysery deals also trigger higher loyalty intentions, but only if the revealed product matches with consumers’ preferences. Our results provide new theoretical insights on mystery deals as well as actionable implications for managers.