There's only one left, do I want it?: the effects of brand and display characteristics on purchase intentions for scarce products

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This research explores the influence of brand and shelf display cues on consumer preferences for products that appear to be in scarce supply. In so doing, I develop a theoretical

This research explores the influence of brand and shelf display cues on consumer preferences for products that appear to be in scarce supply. In so doing, I develop a theoretical model of how scarcity operates in the retail environment, identifying when it increases purchase intentions, when it decreases purchase intentions, and the underlying mechanisms driving these outcomes. Across a series of five studies, I find that when consumers infer that products are scarce due to popularity, they are more likely to buy these products, but only when the products are unfamiliar nonfood brands. I also find that scarce products are less likely to be purchased when they are familiar food brands. In addition, the price of the product is an important moderator of these effects, as price further influences perceptions about the popularity of the product.