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How consumers respond to social norms: an evidence from pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing

Preeti Narwal (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India)
Jogendra Kumar Nayak (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 2 April 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019

1173

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate consumer behaviour in response to social norms under pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing. Specifically, it explores the critical role of social norms such as norm priming and consumer prior trust in the retailer on consumers’ perceived price fairness, trust, willingness to pay, purchase intentions and intentions to spread negative word of mouth about the retailer.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on dependent measures were collected through the scenario-based online experimental approach and assessed using MANOVA analysis.

Findings

Results confirm the significance of norms by indicating the critical role of norm belief on consumer responses. Also, increasing the salience of norms by priming them usually intensifies negative behaviour, and pre-existing trust in the retailer serves as an imperfect cushion against consumer negative reactions to norm violation, but this effect is observed to be decreasing with increase in prior trust.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should consider the contextual (time, place, media) influences and assumptions to increase the generalizability of the findings.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper to explicitly examine the effects of social-norm compliance by sellers on consumer behaviour in the context of PWYW pricing.

Keywords

Citation

Narwal, P. and Nayak, J.K. (2019), "How consumers respond to social norms: an evidence from pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 494-505. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-05-2018-2677

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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