Situational Influences and Time
Time is something that customers give up in order to shop and this is a very valuable thing! It is necessary to give up time for consumption to occur, but time can affect consumption in three forms:
i. Time Pressure— When customers don’t have a lot of time they tend to process less information because time is important for thorough problem solving. Customers in a hurry may choose the well- known (and usually higher priced) brand because they don’t have time to consider the alternatives. Or they may choose the least expensive product and risk buyer’s remorse (cognitive dissonance).
ii. Time of Year—Consumers are affected by the changing seasons, but not just according to the product needs such as coats in winter and sunscreen in summer, they are also affected by the amount of daylight. Due to daylight savings time and the increased amount of darkness in winter, consumers shop earlier in the day, and they tend to purchase more comfort products. Overall consumers tend to spend more money in the summer. Food items vary with the season and holidays.
iii. Time of Day—Everyone has a circadian rhythm, which helps regulate our sleeping and awake times. Most people are naturally sleeping (or tired) during midnight to 6am and from 1pm to 3pm. People who shop during these hours may have less energy and may not make informed purchases. In order to counteract this many people turn to energy drinks and caffeine in the morning hours. Danes, Italians, French and Americans drink coffee, while those in the UK, and some Asian countries drink tea.