The effect of consumer education on unit price usage : an early exploratory study

Mortimer, Gary & Weeks, Clinton S. (2013) The effect of consumer education on unit price usage : an early exploratory study. In Conference of the European Institute of Retailing and Services Studies, 7-10 July 2013, Philadelphia, USA. (Unpublished)


Consumer awareness and usage of Unit Price (UP) information continues to hold academic interest. Originally designed as a device to enable shoppers to make comparisons between grocery products, it is argued consumers still lack a sufficient understanding of the device. Previous research has tended to focus on product choice, effect of time, and structural changes to price presentation. No studies have tested the effect of UP consumer education on grocery shopping expenditure. Supported by distributed learning theories, this is the first study to condition participants over a twenty week period, to comprehend and employ UP information while shopping. A 3x5 mixed factorial design was employed to collect data from 357 shoppers. A 3 (Control, Massed, Spaced) x 5 (Time Point: Week 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20) mixed factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to analyse the data. Preliminary results revealed that the three groups differed in their average expenditure over the twenty weeks. The Control group remained stable across the five time points. Results indicated that both intensive (Massed) and less intensive (Spaced) exposure to UP information achieved similar results, with both group reducing average expenditure similarly by Week 5. These patterns held for twenty weeks, with conditioned groups reducing their grocery expenditure by over 10%. This research has academic value as a test of applied learning theories. We argue, retailers can attain considerable market advantages as efforts to enhance customers’ knowledge, through consumer education campaigns, can have a positive and strong impact on customer trust and goodwill toward the organisation. Hence, major practical implications for both regulators and retailers exist.

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ID Code: 64644
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Unit Pricing, Grocery Shopping Behaviour, Supermarket Retailing , Food Shopping , Longitudinal Study, Experiment
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development (150501)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Research Methodology (150505)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2013 23:30
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2013 01:28

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