NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ898957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
Embedded Promotions in Online Services: How Goal-Relevance Ambiguity Shapes Response and Affect
Brasel, S. Adam
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v16 n3 p263-280 Sep 2010
Adding promotions to online services is increasingly commonplace, yet consumers may have difficulty determining whether service-embedded promotions are goal-relevant, due to the linear and transactional nature of online services. This contextual effect of goal-relevance ambiguity on promotions is explored across three studies. An exploratory study utilizing actual service websites and a broad range of consumers as participants showed promotional elements in online services generated considerable confusion, and instructions labeling promotions as optional did little to relieve goal-relevance ambiguity. A second study using student participants inserted promotions into an online airline ticket service, a shopping site, a local news blog, and a news headline aggregator, to explore how linear and transactional sites such as online services compared to more exploratory or informational online environments. Results showed that service-embedded promotions enjoyed initial compliance far beyond promotions in traditional websites but also generated increased confusion, frustration, and anger. A third study utilizing student participants explored how varying levels of online service experience created differing responses to promotions in services; novices were less able to judge promotional goal-relevance and experienced more confusion, whereas experienced searchers were more likely to respond with frustration and anger. Many participants complied with promotional offers at the time of the service transaction, but stated intentions to use the promotion postservice were very low. The overall results spotlight goal-relevance ambiguity as an important driver of consumer response to online promotions, and highlight the role website context can play in the processing of online promotional elements. (Contains 4 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A