Can I Choose My Offer: How Choice on Sales Offer Impacts Consumer Purchase Decision?

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





Scot Burton

Committee Member

Ronn Smith

Second Committee Member

Daniel Villanova


Consumer Behavior, Psychological Ownership, Retailing, Strategy


While making a purchase decision consumers tend to evaluate various assortments. Most of the research in choice literature has focused on the impact of focal product assortment size and consumer preferences. With the advent of a novel sales promotion strategy, where consumers are provided with a choice to select an offer, this dissertation investigates the effect of choice on sales offer, specifically free offers on purchase evaluations. Building on choice literature and sales promotion this dissertation argues that choice on sales offers, particularly free offers, will have a positive effect on purchase evaluations and the effect gets accentuated under certain conditions. Across two essays, I show that providing choice on gift offers increases decision freedom leading to an increased gift value perception which in turn positively influences purchase intention (Essay 1). I further test boundary conditions of product-gift congruency and product type that moderates the effect of choice on purchase intention via decision freedom and gift value perceptions. In Essay 2, I build on the psychological ownership literature and show the linkage between choice on sales offers and antecedents to psychological ownership, namely, self-identity and self-investment. Across, ten experiments, using field and national adult samples, I find convergent evidence that providing choice on sales offer, particularly free offers positively impact consumers’ purchase evaluations. However, the effect of choice on a free offer is stronger for utilitarian products, when the focal product and free offer are congruent, and in the case of purchasing a product for a close friend.

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