Heuristics and anchorages in the formation of prices in supermarkets

  • Roberto Brazileiro Paixão Universidade Federal da Bahia; Escola de Administração
  • César Valentim de Oliveira Carvalho Júnior Universidade Federal da Bahia; Faculdade de Ciências Contábeis
  • Adriano Leal Bruni Universidade Federal da Bahia; Faculdade de Ciências Contábeis
Keywords: Prices, Supermarkets, Heuristics, Anchorage

Abstract

This paper analyzes the process of the formation of prices emphasizing the phenomenon of anchoring on the digit before the period, which assumes that in a simplified decision-making process, consumers might stress only the digit before the period. Therefore the cents would not be perceived and a price such as $ 2.99 would be mentally registered as only $ 2.00. One study examined 4.144 prices on gondolas and 52 prices on tabloids at three supermarket chains in Salvador, Bahia. Results disclosed a significant practice of pricing with the higher number of cents that is consistent with anchoring. A second separate study sought reasons for the phenomenon by conducting an experiment with 96 consumers where each analyzed ten prices of different products for a total of 952 observations. These results revealed that when customers are faced with a price and different cents, they have randomly distributed perceptions between the full upper and lower price. Although the anchoring described has not been proven, random distribution of responses is coherent with the systematic practice of prices with a larger number of cents since the perception of consumers would not be affected by the cents.

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Published
2010-12-01
How to Cite
Paixão, R., Carvalho Júnior, C., & Bruni, A. (2010). Heuristics and anchorages in the formation of prices in supermarkets . REGE Revista De Gestão, 17(4), 437-450. https://doi.org/10.5700/issn.2177-8736.rege.2010.36718
Section
Marketing