Persuasive location-based messaging to increase store visits: An exploratory study of fashion shoppers

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Although it appears increasingly important yet potentially challenging to attract customers to physical stores, location-based messaging, i.e., delivering mobile phone messages using data about the recipient's location when that recipient is near the sender, has been said to enable such attraction. Still, existing studies offer very limited insight into which particular location-based persuasion approach retailers should use. Drawing on persuasion theory, this exploratory study aims to investigate and compare the potential of two discrepant persuasion techniques (scarcity and social proof) to influence customers' experiences and thereby stimulate them to visit the retailer's physical store. A factorial survey design was applied to test the research model. Data were collected from a sample of actual customers of a Dutch fashion retailer (n = 579). The results suggest that scarcity is a more effective persuasion technique in the studied context than social proof; scarcity-focused messages appear to be experienced as more informative, more entertaining and less irritating, seem to be valued more because of this, and are thus more likely to incline customers to visit the store. We discuss these findings and their implications for theory as well as for practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102174
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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