Divide and Prosper: Consumers' Reaction to Partitioned Prices
Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 35, pp. 453-463, November 1998
Posted: 24 Jun 2009
Date Written: 1998
Many firms divide a product's price into two mandatory parts, such as the base price of a mail-order shirt and the surcharge for shipping and handling, rather than charging a combined, all-inclusive price. The authors call this strategy partitioned pricing. Although firms presumably use partitioned pricing to increase demand and profits, there is little clear empirical support that these prices increase demand or any theoretical explanation for why this should occur. The authors test hypotheses of how consumers process partitioned prices and how partitioned pricing affects consumers' processing and recall of total costs and their purchase intentions and certain types of demands. The results suggest that partitioned prices decrease consumers' recalled total costs and increase their demands. The manner in which the surcharge is presented and consumers' affect for the brand name also influence how they react to partitioned prices.
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