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Cancellation policies in combination with scarcity- and social proof appeals : a study into the effects of cancellation policies and persuasion cues on consumer responses within the online booking industry

Velten, M. (2017) Cancellation policies in combination with scarcity- and social proof appeals : a study into the effects of cancellation policies and persuasion cues on consumer responses within the online booking industry.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the relationship between cancellation policies and persuasion heuristics on consumer responses (attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the product and purchase intention) in an online booking environment. Online Travel Agents (OTA's) often use persuasion signals and "free cancellation" banners simoultaniously in their advertisement, however, no research is found that probed the interaction between these constructs. This research builds on two assumptions that might explain the interaction effects. In addition to this, main effects are expected from cancellation, social proof and scacrity on the dependent variables. The following managerial implications are given: OTA’s need to explicitly incorporate social proof appeals in their advertisement designs, since this can result in positive attitudes towards their advertisements, towards their products and increases consumers’ purchase intentions. Further, when OTA’s strive for the most positive attitude towards the advertisement, they should include social proof appeals in their ads, and are advised not to combine them with free cancellations signals. However, if they want to use ads without social proof appeals, they should provide visitors with free cancellation signals. Moreover, marketers should be cautious with scarcity appeals, since it can have a negative influence on consumers’ attitudes and behavioural intentions. Finally, since banners with “free cancellation” do not significantly influence consumers attitudes and behavioural intentions, it is advised to OTA’s to not use free cancellation signals too often.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72502
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