Scarcity as a marketing instrument : the roles of goal frames and perceived consumer competition.
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- Master of Science 
Purpose: This master thesis has three main objectives. The first aim is to investigate the influence of scarcity appeals on consumer purchase behaviors. The second aim is to investigate the moderator effect of goal frames (gain goal, hedonic goal and normative goal) on the relationship between scarcity appeals and consumer purchase intention. The third objective is to explore the mediating effect of consumer perceived competition on the link between the scarcity appeals and consumer purchase intention. Scope: This research is based on a field experiment with a sample of 13,780 users in collaboration with the company Norwayshop, and two survey based experiments with a sample of 220 respondents. Findings: The results reveal important findings that will contribute to the marketing literature. This research shows that demand-based scarcity has both a direct effect on consumer purchase intention and an indirect effect through perceived consumer competition on purchase intention. On the other hand, although supply-based scarcity shows an insignificant direct effect on purchase intention, it shows a significant indirect effect on purchase intention through perceived consumer competition. At the same time, the study provides evidence that there exists an interaction effect between goal frame messages and scarcity appeals on purchase intention. There are some particular combinations between scarcity appeals and goal frames which generate a higher consumer purchase intention than others. The findings conclude the following combinations to be the best to achieve higher purchase intention: (1) demand-based scarcity message with a gain goal message; (2) demand-based scarcity message with a normative goal message; (3) supply-based scarcity message with a hedonic goal message. Last, the findings show an insignificant interaction effect between demand-based scarcity and supply-based scarcity on perceived consumer competition. However, the results still show that combining demand-based scarcity and supply-based scarcity generates higher purchase intention compared with other scarcity conditions. Contribution: This research, unlike prior studies, examines the effect of different types of scarcity appeals separately as well as the interaction effect between them. In addition, the study uncovered the role of goal frames and perceived consumer competition in the relationship between scarcity appeals and customer purchase behaviors. It is also the first time in the scarcity field to test the effect of scarcity appeals in a field setting by collaborating with an e-commerce company.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017