The Effect of Reference Price on Customers’ Decisions in Online Shopping

  •  Yihan Zheng    


In this research, we examined the effect that different reference prices have on online customers in their shopping process. We hypothesized that the actual price paid will be higher for participants who saw a higher reference price. We designed two different surveys targeting potential customers - the only difference between the two versions was the price for reference shown to the participants at the beginning of the survey. Designed to mimic the actual online shopping scenario, the surveys collected 136 responses in total, and the results suggest there is a difference of $22.93 in the mean values of the price customers are willing to pay. The Hedges' g value for the mean difference is 0.42, which indicated that there is a practical significance. This result indicates that customers’ willingness to pay will rise as the reference prices increase.

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