Comparing an in-store experiment to simulated purchasing
Purpose: Price discounts in the retail sector are the norm rather than an exception. However, price promotions have several negative impacts on brands. Less attention has been devoted to non-monetary promotions (e.g. shelf talkers, in-store displays). The aim of this work is to fill this gap, by showing the effects of non-monetary promotions in store and the relationship with the way consumers react to analogous non-monetary promotions on-line. Design: The study comprised three main stages: a) the selection and pre-test of the promotional material with a representative sample of the Australian wine drinking population; b) an in-store experiment with an Australian wine retailer across 62 stores located in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, and c) an online discrete choice experiment to test the effects of the same stimuli used in the in-store experiment on consumers’ simulated purchases. Findings: The in-store analysis confirmed that the closer an advertising message is to a product, the higher is the impact on consumers’ choices. In particular, the study found that regional messages had a larger effect compared to the environmental message. Secondly, verbal shelf talkers tend to have a bigger effect than visual ones. Third, banners are only useful to promote environmental friendly wines. In addition, it was possible to observe substitution effects between wines showing a shelf talker and control wines. The online choice experiment confirmed to have a high external validity to predict effects of in-store promotion campaigns. They are a particularly suitable market research method to pre-test promotional campaigns.