• Results indicate that customers responded equally to print versus online promotional communication, such that print and online flyers elicited the same customer response in terms of purchase behavior and memory.
  • Results suggest that retail and brand investment in print and online advertising can be based on cost and reach considerations only. Print and online advertisements can be complementary as long as they are employed to target different audiences.
  • The current investment in print flyers could be reduced, because online flyers have more flexibility, lower costs, and richer insight for the negotiation of promotional investments between brands and retailers.


Brands and retailers have more opportunities for promotion and communication as consumers spend more time online. As a result, global spending on online advertising has increased (Kirk, Chiagouris, Lala, and Thomas, 2015); it reached $200 billion at the end of 2015 (Juniper Research, 2015). Despite this growth, few studies have compared customers' purchase behavior with traditional offline media versus digital online media in the context of promotional communication. The gap in research is surprising, because this is a pressing marketing issue (Danaher and Dagger, 2013; Kapner, 2015) at the center of managerial debate, as highlighted by articles in the business press.1