In a digital and globalizing world, hunger marketing is becoming more frequently used in the online marketplace as a strategy to attract audience’s attention. The hunger marketing strategy makes use of the so-called scarcity effect, which takes advantage of consumers’ emotional desire to purchase scarce products over abundant ones. However, there is limited research about the emerging cross-cultural and online dimension of consumers’ purchase intention when subject to scarcity effects, particularly with regards to so-called low involvement products. This study aims to analyze the cross-cultural impacts of how hunger marketing plays a role in affecting consumers’ purchase intention for low involvement products in well-known online marketplaces, with participants from the Netherlands and Taiwan as the subjects. The study builds on the by theory proposed in Lynn’s Scarcity- Expensiveness-Desirability (SED) model by examining two mediating effects (perceived value and conformity) and considering two cultural values: individualism and uncertainty avoidance. Specifically, Western consumers are thought of as more individualistic, so they may prefer to buy things to distinguish themselves from others. On the other hand, in terms of uncertainty avoidance, Asians are demonstrated to feel safer when following what others have bought. Moreover, mediating effects of perceived value and conformity are examined. The theory behind the SED model states that scarcity leads to assumed expensiveness and thus increases people’s desire for a good or service. Accordingly, a 2 (online product offering with and without hunger marketing) by 2 (Dutch and Taiwanese consumers) online experiment was conducted to determine the purchase intention of consumers. To investigate the proposed hypotheses, 167 participants from both of the sample countries participated in an online experiment. Regression analysis was used to analyze the collected data. The finding shows that hunger marketing for low involvement products has little effect on consumers’ purchase intention on online marketplaces. Neither perceived value nor conformity has mediating effects. However, compared to Asian countries, hunger marketing has a more positive influence on consumers' purchasing intentions in Western countries. The work concludes by considering that marketing practitioners should re-examine the scarcity effect on online marketplaces in Asian countries and further examine the scarcity effect for more product categories in Western countries.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, Hunger marketing, Scarcity, Culture difference, Product involvement, Purchase, Intention
Thesis Advisor S. Opree
Persistent URL
Series Media & Business
Y.H. Wu. (2019, June 24). A cross-cultural comparison of the effectiveness of hunger marketing between the Netherlands and Taiwan: Do scarcity appeals on online e-commerce platforms increase consumers’ purchase intentions?. Media & Business. Retrieved from