Sales promotions are one of the key promotional strategies that companies worldwide
have used to stimulate consumers' behavioral responses, especially their immediate
product interest and product purchase (Kotler 2000; Pelsmacker et al. 2001; Percy 1997; Schultz et al. 1998). An analysis of consumer characteristics and the influences those
factors have on consumer responses to products promoted through sales promotional
programs is required for developing appropriate sales promotional programs. This
understanding should be developed at both the product category and the individual brand
levels (Schultz et al. 1998).
A number of empirical studies have emerged investigating the influence of consumer
characteristics on consumer responses to sales promotions; however, there is a notable
lack of research focusing on consumers in Asian regions, and to examining consumer
responses to non-grocery products (at the specific brand level) promoted through price
discounting programs. This thesis addresses gaps in the literature by investigating the
How do consumer characteristics influence consumer intentions to purchase the
seasonally discounted Reebok athletic footwear in the Thai market?
To provide an answer to this research problem, the researcher reviewed the literature in
relation to consumer characteristics and their influence on consumer responses to sales
promotions. Two key behavior theories relevant to sales promotions: namely utility
theory (Thaler 1985); and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) were
discussed. A number of influential demographic, psychographic, and normative
influencing characteristics relevant to these theories were identified and used to develop
primary hypotheses depicting the influence of these factors on consumer intentions to
purchase the seasonally discounted Reebok athletic footwear in the Thai market.
Next, a two-stage research design was implemented. In stage one, exploratory research
with four knowledgeable persons, three executives from Reebok (Thailand) and one
from Super Sports (the largest retail chain selling athletic products in Thailand), was
undertaken using in depth interviews. This exploratory study aimed mainly to identify
all possible consumer characteristics most relevant to the research context investigated. Data collected from this stage of the research were analyzed using content analysis
techniques. Findings of this research were enhanced with that from the review of
literature in order to finally select a complete set of antecedent consumer characteristics
and to propose a final set of hypotheses explaining the influence of these variables on
purchase intentions. These hypotheses were tested in the stage-two research.
In stage two of this study, data were collected for testing the proposed hypotheses using
the mail survey approach. Questionnaires were developed and sent to 1,600 individuals
selected from the database of Super Sports, using a simple random sampling technique.
A total of 554 valid questionnaires were returned resulting in a responses rate of 34.9
percent. The data were analyzed by SPSS using factor analysis and regression
In summary, the findings of this research indicated that demographics were not
significant and did not impact both psychographic and normative influencing
characteristics and purchase intentions. On the other hand, five specific psychographic
and normative influencing characteristics were found to have an impact on purchase
intentions and these variables included: deal proneness; value consciousness, price
consciousness; attitudes of reference groups towards a purchase of seasonally discounted
Reebok athletic footwear; and quality consciousness.
Deal proneness was seen to be the most important variable that had a positive influence
on purchase intentions and it was followed by value consciousness, price consciousness,
and 'attitudes of reference groups'. Quality consciousness was shown to be the least
significant variable and it had a negative impact on this dependent variable. These
findings support the literature indicating that psychographic and normative influencing
variables are more influential than demographics in explaining consumer responses to
products promoted through sales promotions. They also support the use of consumer
characteristics relevant to utility theory (Thaler 1985); and the theory of reasoned action
(Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) as antecedent variables to explain the variance in consumer
responses to sales promotions.
The key contributions of this research are discussed in chapter 6. The body of
knowledge regarding consumer characteristics and the influence of these factors on consumer responses to products promoted through sales promotions has been extended.
The findings of this research provide theoretical contributions by:
- using a comprehensive set of consumer characteristics relating to both the utility
theory (Thaler 1985) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) as antecedent variables in this study;
- investigating associations between antecedent factors (demographic,
psychographic, and normative influencing characteristics) in addition to the
relationship between these variables and the dependent variable of purchase
- conducting this study in a research context rarely adopted by previous research;
- using a probability sampling technique (the simple random sampling approach)
for sample selection.
The results of this research also provide practical contributions to Reebok (Thailand)
and Reebok retailers by:
- providing analytical information that helps these companies to understand how
consumer characteristics influence consumer intentions to purchase the
seasonally discounted Reebok athletic footwear, and this knowledge in turn will
assist them to develop and implement price-discounting programs more
- suggesting these companies to select appropriate product items (athletic footwear
models) for the discounting programs and to develop media plans to expose the
promotional events to target consumers in order to persuade these consumers to
favorably respond to the discounting programs of Reebok athletic footwear.
This research also suggests future research to extend the knowledge relevant to this
research area by:
- including additional relevant antecedent consumer characteristics into a research
- comparing these findings with those of future studies that may conduct their
investigations in different research contexts (for instance research undertaken with
different rates of discounting programs, different athletic footwear brands, or