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EMAC 2022 Annual

The Impact of Sales-related Costs on confusion, hesitation and store-visit postponement

Published: May 24, 2022


Maali BENHISSI, EDC Paris Business School


Making a decision can be difficult, especially during sale periods, when consumers do not want to miss a good deal. This study analyzes consumer understanding during sale periods. The benefits of sales have long been the subject of research. However, sale-related costs have not been analyzed in detail. The present study explores the effect of perceived costs during sale periods and the extent to which such costs create consumer confusion at the point of sale, leading to hesitation prior to decision-making. These can lead consumers to leave stores where they are and decide to return after (referred to here as “store-visit postponement”). A quantitative approach has been used to collect data from 405 consumers. The proposed model has been tested using structural equations. The results show that sale-related costs are a source of confusion to consumers at the point of sale. Confused consumers hesitate and subsequently postpone in-store purchases. This article draws conclusions on managerial actions, as well as the limits and avenues of research.