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The Impact of Reference Price Effects on the Profitability of Price Promotions

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  • Eric A. Greenleaf

    (New York University)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the impact of reference price effects on retailer price promotions and describes why these effects can make promoting profitable. First, we analyze the profit impact of reference price effects generated by a single period of promotion. The promotion can increase profit if the gain that these effects create in the promotion period outweighs the loss they create in future periods. We then describe how retailers can estimate the optimal strategy of recurring promotions that maximizes profits from reference price effects over a time horizon. Examples of such strategies are presented for a retailer selling a national brand of peanut butter. We obtain insights into how promotion prices, timing, and profits are affected by changes in costs, interest rates, consumers' reactions to reference price effects, and error in estimates used in the model. The retailer's optimal reaction to a trade deal is also examined. This strategy involves a phase of increased promotion activity sandwiched between phases of decreased activity. We explain these results using the effects described in the single-period model.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.14.1.82
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 14 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 82-104

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:14:y:1995:i:1:p:82-104

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    Related research

    Keywords: buyer behavior; pricing research; promotion; retailing and wholesaling;

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    Cited by:
    1. Teck H. Ho & Noah Lim & Colin Camerer, 2005. "Modeling the Psychology of Consumer and Firm Behavior with Behavioral Economics," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000476, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2014. "A Theory of Price Adjustment under Loss Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 9964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Robert Slonim & Ellen Garbarino, 2009. "Similarities and differences between stockpiling and reference effects," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 351-371.
    4. Srinivasan, S. & Pauwels, K.H. & Hanssens, D.M. & Dekimpe, M.G., 2002. "Do Promotions Benefit Manufacturers, Retailers or Both?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-21-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. Zhang, Juan & Gou, Qinglong & Liang, Liang & Huang, Zhimin, 2013. "Supply chain coordination through cooperative advertising with reference price effect," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 345-353.
    6. Arieh Gavious & Oded Lowengart, 2012. "Price–quality relationship in the presence of asymmetric dynamic reference quality effects," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 137-161, March.
    7. Reiner, Gerald & Fichtinger, Johannes, 2009. "Demand forecasting for supply processes in consideration of pricing and market information," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 55-62, March.
    8. Georg Müller & Sourav Ray, 2007. "Asymmetric price adjustment: evidence from weekly product-level scanner price data," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 723-736.
    9. Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Chuan He & Eric Anderson & Lyle Brenner & Preyas Desai & Dmitri Kuksov & Paul Messinger & Sridhar Moorthy & Joseph Nunes & Yuval Rottenstreich & Richard Staelin & George Wu &, 2005. "Incorporating Behavioral Anomalies in Strategic Models," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 361-373, December.
    10. Kathryn Graddy & Lara Loewenstein & Jianping Mei & Mike Moses & Rachel Pownall, 2014. "Anchoring or Loss Aversion? Empirical Evidence from Art Auctions," Working Papers 73, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    11. Zhang, Jie & Kevin Chiang, Wei–yu & Liang, Liang, 2014. "Strategic pricing with reference effects in a competitive supply chain," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-135.
    12. Martín-Herrán, Guiomar & Taboubi, Sihem & Zaccour, Georges, 2012. "Dual role of price and myopia in a marketing channel," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(2), pages 284-295.
    13. Alfred Taudes & Christian Rudloff, 2012. "Integrating inventory control and a price change in the presence of reference price effects: a two-period model," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 29-65, February.
    14. Gadi Fibich & Arieh Gavious & Oded Lowengart, 2007. "Optimal price promotion in the presence of asymmetric reference-price effects," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 569-577.
    15. Fleischmann, M. & Hall, J.M. & Pyke, D.F., 2005. "A Dynamic Pricing Model for Coordinated Sales and Operations," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-074-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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