Congrats to Nikki Papadopoulou, DBA candidate at IUM, whose article “Gifts as conduits in choice overload environments” has been published in the 3-star journal “Psychology & Marketing”. 

Co-authored with Karine Raïes, Pedro Mir Bernal and Arch G. Woodside.

Promotional gifts help boost spending even when consumers feel overwhelmed with too many options

3-star publication for our DBA candidate, Nikki Papadopoulou!Have you ever found yourself in front of a supermarket aisle or computer screen struggling to choosing among seemingly endless options of the products?

If so, you, like many others before you, have experience choice overload.

Choice overload, is the hypothesis that presenting many versus few options to consumers reduces the share of consumers purchasing any one of the presented options (due possibly to the increase in effort required to evaluate the high versus low number of options).

Aside from frustration that consumers experience when they are overwhelmed with choices, this phenomenon has negative side effects on companies’ bottom lines as consumers avoid making decisions and spend less.

Academic research has focused on many dimensions of the phenomenon but few have identified practical ways of making it easier for consumers to choose and companies to boost consumption.

Niki Papadopoulou, DBA candidate at IUM, and her co-authors, Karine Raïes, Pedro Mir Bernal and Arch G. Woodside, discovered a potential solution to choice overload and their findings are published in an article in the leading academic publication, Psychology & Marketing. Their findings are insightful for practitioners and consumers alike.

Niki and her research team conducted a non-obtrusive field experiment in a three star hotel in Barcelona and discovered that offering high value gifts to clients in a high choice situation increases spending. Gifts, it appears, encourage consumers to spend more, even when they are confronted with a high number of options. Niki’s research team does not know exactly why this occurs but a possible explanation is that reciprocity plays a role. Simply put, when consumers receive free promotional gifts, they are more likely to reciprocate by spending more on products.

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