Can uncertainty improve promotions?

Kelly Goldsmith*, On Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Many consumer promotions involve uncertainty (e.g., purchase incentives offering the chance to receive one of several rewards). Despite retailers' heavy reliance on such promotions, much academic research on uncertainty has demonstrated examples of consumers avoiding and/or disliking uncertainty, implying that promotions involving uncertainty may not be as effective for retailers as promotions offering certain rewards. In an effort to reconcile the prevalence of uncertain promotions with the existing research, this article explores the conditions under which uncertain promotions may be effective for retailers. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications for these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1077
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Incentives
  • Optimism
  • Promotions
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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