The aim of this research was to understand better consumer reactions to donation requests when making point of purchase decisions. A between-subjects full factorial design manipulated product type (goods/services), consumption experience (frivolous/practical), and product/cause fit (strong/weak). In line with prior research (e.g., Chang, 2008; Savary et al, 2015; Strahilevitz & Myers, 1998), a scenario-based approach was employed to assess responses to the CRM manipulations. A total of 241 subjects participated in the study. Our results mirror extant research evidence on the positive effects of pairing frivolous products with donation requests. In that, positive donation behavior largely results as consumers compensate for increased feelings of guilt associated with the frivolous purchase by behaving altruistically toward a needy cause. Moreover, this research is the first to realize a three-way interaction effect based on product type, consumption experience, and product/cause fit. Specifically, we find that the fit between the product and linked cause is more important for practical services and frivolous products than for frivolous services and practical goods. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.
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