By David R. Bell, Daniel Corsten George Knox,
"Many retailers believe that a majority of purchases are unplanned so they spend heavily on in-store marketing to stimulate them. At the same time, the effects of “pre-shopping” factors— the overall trip goal, store-specific shopping objectives, and prior marketing exposures that the shopper brings to the store—are largely unexplored. We focus on these out-of-store drivers, and, unlike prior research, use panel data to “hold the shopper constant” while estimating unbiased trip-level effects. Thus, we uncover opportunities for retailers to generate more unplanned buying from their existing shoppers. We find that unplanned buying increases monotonically with the abstractness of the overall shopping trip goal established before the shopper enters the store. Store-linked goals also affect unplanned buying. It is higher on trips where the shopper chooses the store for favorable pricing and lower on trips where the store is chosen as part of a multi-store shopping trip. Though out-of-store marketing has no direct effect, it reinforces the lift in unplanned buying from shoppers who use marketing materials inside the store. Implications for retailers are discussed."
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