“Retail is detail! Give consumers a gift rather than a bundle”: Promotion framing and consumer product returns
Shinyoung Lee, Youjae Yi
Psychology & Marketing
Retailers often use the promotion strategy of offering supplementary products (e.g., free gift, bundle) to attract consumers and increase sales. Despite the growing literature on the promotions that are differently framed but offer economically identical values, little research has examined the link between promotion framing and consumer product returns. The current article sheds light on this relationship, hypothesizing that a free gift promotion would be superior to a bundle promotion in reducing consumer product returns. The findings suggest that a gift‐framed promotion leads to a lower product return intention than an economically equivalent bundle promotion, because consumers tend to perceive more loss from giving up the gift‐framed (vs. bundle‐framed) deal. Further, this study examines a moderating role of brand familiarity (familiar vs. unfamiliar) and shows that the merits of free gift framing on product return intention via perceived loss are amplified (attenuated) when the promoted brand is familiar (unfamiliar). Overall, the investigations of this study imply that it is better to frame a promotion as a “free gift” than a “bundle” to increase perceived loss in returning the purchase and thus to decrease consumer product returns. This strategic intervention works especially when the gift is offered by familiar brands.