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The Use of Product Scarcity in Marketing

Shi, X., Li, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-6589-6392 & Chumnumpan, P. (2020). The Use of Product Scarcity in Marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 54(2), pp. 380-418. doi: 10.1108/ejm-04-2018-0285


Purpose: as a frequently observed business phenomenon, the use of product scarcity to improve a product’s market performance has received increasing attention from both academics and practitioners.The resulting literature has covered a wide variety of issues based on various theories, using different research methods, in a diverse range of settings. However, this diversity also makes it difficult to grasp the core themes and findings, and to see the outstanding knowledge gaps.This paper reviews previous studies on the use of product scarcity in marketing, and identifies new directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach: a systematic review was conducted to identify and analyse 66 research papers published in business and management journals between 1970 and 2017.

Findings:we examined the underlying theories of scarcity-based marketing, and developed a conceptual framework that describes the key factors of product scarcity and how they influence both consumers and the market. We also highlighted some key achievements in modelling the processes involved in using product scarcity in marketing.

Originality/value: our analysis of the identified papers suggests that there are substantial gaps in our knowledge of this field, which opens up new paths for future research. For future research, we identified three directions aimed at: addressing the practical needs of firms in understanding product scarcity; guiding the implementation of scarcity-based strategies; and measuring, monitoring, and predicting the level of product scarcity and its impacts during implementation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Emerald Publishing Limited
Publisher Keywords: product scarcity; supply shortage; limited edition; literature review.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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