Price Promotions of E-Liquid Products Sold in Online Stores

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jul 21;19(14):8870. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19148870.


Background: Retailer price promotions are an important marketing strategy to attract consumers. However, there is scarce evidence on how retail price promotions are being implemented by e-cigarette online stores, particularly for e-liquid products that are not often found in brick-and-mortar stores and sold in lower prices compared to other types of e-cigarettes.

Objectives: We collect data on e-liquid price-promotion activities from online stores using web scraping. From February to May 2021, we scraped the price promotion data of over 14,000 e-liquid products, from five popular online vape shops that sell nationwide in the US. We present descriptive analyses of price promotion on those products, assess price promotion practices in online stores, and discuss components of the final purchase price paid by online customers.

Findings: Of the 14,000 e-liquid products and over, 13,326 (92.36%) were on sale, and each online store on average offered discounts from 9.20% to 47.53% for these products. The distribution of the after-discount price was largely similar across the five stores, and there is evidence that each store had adopted different price-promotion strategies.

Conclusion: Despite low prices, price promotions are common for e-liquid products, which may undermine the effect of e-cigarette pricing policies such as excise tax that are designed to raise e-cigarette prices.

Keywords: ENDS; e-cigarette; e-juice; e-liquid; electronic cigarettes; online store; price promotion; tobacco control; tobacco marketing; vaping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Commerce
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Marketing
  • Tobacco Products*