Abhijit Biswas accepted for publication in Journal of Retailing

Mike Ilitch School of Business Kmart Endowed Chair and Professor of Marketing Abhijit Biswas has had two papers accepted for publication in the Journal of Retailing, which is devoted to advancing the state of knowledge and application with respect to all aspects of retailing, its management, evolution and current theory.

The first paper, titled “Should firms display the sale price using larger font?” was co-authored by Ilitch School marketing Ph.D. student Ayan Bhattacharyya, Abhijit Guha (University of South Carolina) and Subhash Jha (University of Memphis).

Prior work has shown that evaluations may be lower when retail price discounts are either small or large (vs. moderate), due to concerns about discount depth perceptions and/or product quality. Building from work on perceptual salience, we show that displaying the sale price in larger (vs. similar) font vis-à-vis the regular price makes the sale price more “salient”. In turn, when retail price discounts are either small or large (but, not moderate), such salience impacts how consumers process price discount information, mitigating concerns relating to discount depth perceptions and/or product quality, and so increasing evaluations. In effect, displaying the sale price using a relatively larger font increases consumers’ evaluations, somewhat mitigating the negative aspects of using small or large price discounts. We propose theory contributions towards research on display effects and pricing. Further, the proposed mechanism in this research note is easy-to-implement and is expected to increase sales.

The second paper, titled “Relative persuasiveness of repurchase intentions versus recommendations in online reviews,” was co-authored by Subhash Jha (University of Memphis) and Prashanth Ravula (New Jersy City University).

This paper examines the effects of loyalty expressions (i.e., repurchase intentions vs. recommendations) on review persuasiveness. Specifically, we propose that repurchase intentions have a stronger positive effect on review persuasiveness compared to recommendations because of reviewer credibility. We test the above proposition using both an empirical dataset and multiple experimental studies. In addition, we examine the frequency of purchase as a boundary condition for our proposition. Accordingly, we find that for frequent purchases, repurchase intentions (vs. recommendations) increase credibility, which, in turn, augments review persuasiveness. For infrequent purchases, however, we observe that recommendations (vs. repurchase intentions) enhance credibility, which occurs because of increased review persuasiveness. This research offers contributions to theory in the areas of online reviews, loyalty, source credibility, and cue-diagnosticity, as well as to practice regarding how firms should seek to elicit loyalty expressions (i.e., repurchase intentions vs. recommendations) when soliciting reviews.

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