Mix or match? Consumer spending decisions in conditional promotions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Conditional multi‐item promotions are a prevalent marketing tactic whereby consumers have to buy a certain number of products to get a discount. This paper examines how framing a multi‐item promotion in terms of savings on multiple items versus a single item (e.g., “buy two, get X% off on both” vs. “buy two, get 2X% off on the cheaper item”) affects consumers’ decision‐making and product choices. Two laboratory studies and a field study at a boutique clothing store demonstrate that the “2X% on cheaper” framing makes consumers more likely to select similarly priced primary and secondary items. This strategy is driven by increased focus on promotional savings under the “2X% on cheaper” framing, which leads consumers to spend more on their secondary items. Overall, this research shows how a subtle change in the framing of multi‐item promotions changes consumers’ product selection strategies and shopping basket composition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-102
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
Early online dateApr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • behavioral pricing
  • multi-item promotions
  • promotions framing
  • shopping basket composition


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