The Impact of In-store Inspirational (vs. Deal-oriented) Content on Overall Shopper Spending: The Importance of Activating Consumption Goal-completion

December 2022 | Shankar, Venkatesh

In-store communication delivered through technology formats (e.g., kiosk, digital display) as well as non-technology formats (e.g., magazine cover, flyer) can help retailers enhance sales by delivering relevant content to consumers. Although prior research has primarily examined the effects of deal-oriented content that primarily offers promotions for a single product on shopper spending, the effects of inspirational content that sparks ideas (e.g., novel ways to use products) on spending are unclear. Inspirational content can affect spending differently from deal-oriented content as it activates stronger motivation for consumption goal-completion. Guided by motivation for goal-completion, this article proposes that inspirational content increases spending more than deal-oriented content does. The authors propose and empirically test the hypotheses using data from a set of experimental studies, a field experiment, and an eye-tracking study. The results show that inspirational content increases spending more than deal-oriented content or no content. This effect is mediated by consumption goal-completion, such that it is attenuated when consumers already have consumption goals or when the content detracts from inspiration-induced goals. These results suggest that retailers can increase sales by using clear, inspirational content in their communications.



  • Dhruv Grewal
  • Carl-Philip Ahlbom
  • Stephanie Noble
  • Unnati Narang
  • Jens Nordfalt


Journal of Marketing Research

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