Consumer responses to offline and online low price signals: The role of cognitive elaboration
Low price signals (LPS), pricing tools where retailers promise to match or beat competitors' prices, have been increasingly popular in offline and online markets. We compare consumer evaluation of offline and online LPS as a function of how deeply they process the signals. Results of an experiment indicate that regardless of retail media consumers accept an LPS as an indicator of low price when they do not elaborate sufficiently on the signal. However, at high levels of elaboration, consumers challenge the assumptions underlying their acceptance of the signal at lower levels of elaboration whereby they become more skeptical of an online signal than an offline signal resulting in lower efficacy of the former. Implications of these findings for consumer vulnerability to false low price signaling are discussed along with other theoretical and managerial implications. Additionally, directions for future research are provided.
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