Utilitarian and hedonic promotional appeals of 99-ending prices The influence of decision-making style Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2015

start page

  • 212

end page

  • 237


  • 1-2


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0309-0566

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-7123


  • Purpose - This paper aims to explore not only the utilitarian but also the hedonic persuasive effects of promotional techniques like 99-ending prices and the influence of consumers' decision style when evaluating these appeals. Evidence suggests that retailers use 99-ending prices as a promotional technique, based mostly on its savings appeal. Design/methodology/approach - Three complementary studies were performed. Afirst field study among 317 shoppers allows to test the hypotheses for two groups of decision-makers (intuitive and analytical) using structural equation modeling based on the partial least squares algorithm. Then, a laboratory experiment assigned to 123 respondents manipulates the decision-making style and, in turn, tests more precisely the proposed hypotheses. Finally, the third study replicates the laboratory experiment with 104 respondents without manipulating decision-making; rather it is measured, which allows to test the effect of internal-based versus contextual-based decision style. Findings - First, the 99-ends are not strictly associated to utilitarian benefits (savings, quality or convenience) but also to hedonic benefits fulfilling consumer's needs for exploration, value expression and entertainment. Second, a better understanding of the moderating role of the decision-making style is obtained: consumers in an intuitive decision mode give importance only to hedonic benefits; and there are differences in the analytical decision mode: when the decision-making style is internal (measured as a personal trait), consumers give importance to both utilitarian and hedonic benefits; however, when the decision-making style is contextual (manipulated), consumers focus only on utilitarian benefits.


  • individual-differences; advertised prices; endings; persuasion; patterns; signal; image