Group-buying sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial offer daily deals at large discounts of typically 50% or more. Such deals are also characterized by two temporal features. First, these deals involve lead time before they are available for redemption. Second, such deals are available for a limited time only. This study examines how the two temporal features (lead time and deal time) of group-buying deals affect consumer evaluations by drawing on construal level theory (CLT). This research also determines how such effects can be moderated by the level of zooming on product images. In two experiments, we show that (1) increasing product image zooming mitigates the negative effects of lead time on consumer evaluations, thus limiting the unattractiveness of deals with long lead time; and (2) increasing product image zooming as deal time decreases improves consumer evaluations, thereby enhancing the attractiveness of such deals as the expiration date nears. These findings can be explained by the psychological distance that is associated with the temporal features of group-buying and with product image zooming. These findings also provide practical implications for group-buying websites regarding the effective use of product images to present deals.
Ho, Candy Ka Yan; Kuan, Kevin K.Y.; and Chau, Patrick Y. K., "Temporal Features and Consumer Evaluations of Group-Buying: The Effects of Product Image Zooming" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 122.