Others bought it too: the relevance of knowing purchase levels
Daily deal websites offer retail products for a limited time (a day), at discounted rates. A key distinction from online vouchers and online auctions, as well as more typical retail, is that they reveal to the shopper how many items have been purchased so far. Literature suggests that this information would inform those with a need for uniqueness or a need for conformity, and thus influence purchase decisions. We present an experiment with a revealed high purchase level, revealed low purchase level, or no information revealed, shown in a facsimile of a daily deal retail website. Shoppers are also measured using a nine-item scale on their need for uniqueness. Analysis of variance suggests that in the case of the daily deal website revealing the number of purchases does not influence purchase decisions, regardless of the need for uniqueness. We suggest that, unlike in other retail situations, the other distinction of daily deal websites - the urgency of decision making - over-rides the typical shopper's need for uniqueness/conformity. Future research is also suggested.