Unit pricing increases price sensitivity even when products are of identical size

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18 Citations (Scopus)


That displaying unit prices leads consumers to choose lower unit priced product options is well established. However, whether this effect occurs persistently across purchase conditions is unclear, and if so, why? This paper proposes that the presence of unit prices increases the salience of price in decision making, making consumers more price-sensitive, which in turn activates a greater motivation to select cheaper products. Findings from three experiments show that this motivational effect persists even when unit prices offer little cognitive benefit, such as when product options have identical sizes. Results also show that the motivational effect of unit pricing operates independently of the cognitive effect, and that an individual's price consciousness moderates the motivational effect. The paper demonstrates that unit pricing increases consumer price sensitivity in the context of price discounts, extending the generalizability of the unit pricing effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109 - 121
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Shopping behavior
  • Unit pricing
  • Price perception
  • Purchase motivation
  • Supermarkets
  • Public policy

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