News • 12.03.2020

Weather influences shopping behaviour

Consumers value products more on sunny and snowy days but not when it rains

Weather is an ever-present force in consumers' daily lives, yet there is little marketing research on how it affects consumers and businesses. A new UBC Sauder School of Business study reveals that sunny and snowy conditions trigger consumers to mentally visualize using products associated with the respective weather, which leads to consumers placing a higher value on them. Researchers also found the link between weather and higher product valuation only works for products that are related to being outside.

A young woman enjoying the sun
Source: Bildagentur PantherMedia / TarasMalyarevich

For example, if the product is a beach towel, and the sun is out - a customer is not just looking at the beach towel, they are likely imagining themselves lying on the beach towel in the sun, increasing the value of the product in the customer's mind. "We think the mental simulation only works in sunshine and snow because these weather conditions have a positive association with outside activities," said JoAndrea Hoegg, study co-author and UBC Sauder associate professor. "There are not many activities that are enabled by rain. Most products associated with the rain, such as rain coats and umbrellas, are just to protect oneself against the rain and not to enable activities."

About the study

For the study, the researchers analyzed sales data over a one-year period from a large online auction site and the coinciding weather conditions of when and where those purchases took place. The researchers also analyzed the number of images displayed to consumers for each product to measure the degree of mental simulation ¬- the more images that were shown, the easier it was for customers to mentally simulate themselves using the products. The researchers also conducted online surveys where participants were asked about the weather outside, and then were shown products that were either for indoor or outdoor use to determine how the participants value the products.

Suggestions for retailers

Hoegg suggests that companies that sell a wide range of products online can benefit most from the insights that this research provides. Online sellers often use algorithms to determine what products to feature and how those products are priced. These algorithms will take different seasons into account, but not the daily weather in the locations where their customers are. Incorporating the constantly updated data from a weather-tracking website into an online seller's algorithms would allow them to take advantage of the effects of mental simulation and increased product valuation. It's also important for companies to note that if a product is poorly designed or unattractive, the positive weather effect will backfire, because if a customer imagines an activity using a poor-quality product, they're less likely to purchase it.

Source: University of British Columbia

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Event: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2021
28.08.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Event: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2021

E-commerce Berlin Expo is the biggest pure-play e-commerce event in the (tech) capital city of Germany. Over 9,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors are expected every year.

E-commerce Expo views itself as a community and a meeting point for all major decision-makers in the e-commerce sector. We bring together leaders in the e-commerce industry to offer online sellers and retailers the opportunity to develop their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Video marketing in times of Corona
09.07.2020   #digital marketing #online marketing

Video marketing in times of Corona

The potential of video content for retailers

The spread of the coronavirus has had a particularly severe impact on the stationary retail industry. Many companies are now increasingly focusing on their online presence to cushion declining in-store sales and to virtually stay in touch with their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Virtual pop-up stores
29.06.2020   #virtual reality #pop-up store

Virtual pop-up stores

Here today, change Up tomorrow

They spring up like mushrooms, only to vanish again shortly thereafter – pop-up stores are trendy and now they also increasingly “pop up” online. We spoke with Mohamed Haouache, CEO and Founder of Storefront, about the magical ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 4 tips on how to handle customer complaints
13.08.2020   #consulting #customer satisfaction

4 tips on how to handle customer complaints

How you can effectively respond to negative reviews and use them to be a benefit to your company

Most retailers don’t like customer complaints. Plus, they also mean extra work. Yet ignoring complaints is not a great long-term strategy because any bad customer experience can haunt your brand if it becomes public. That’s why retailers ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Please give us shopping, events, and emotions!...
15.09.2020   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Please give us shopping, events, and emotions!

What should cities do to attract more visitors?

Online retail, coronavirus pandemic, monotony – city centers are fighting many battles these days. But although times might be tough for brick-and-mortar businesses, all is not lost when it comes to pedestrian zones.However, retailers should ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sustainability is surviving COVID-19
27.07.2020   #sustainability #coronavirus

Sustainability is surviving COVID-19

Trends and consumer demographics for sustainable products and brands

The NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business and IRI® published the results of new research examining consumer purchases of sustainability-marketed consumer packaged goods in the US and taking a closer look at the top 10 states in terms of per ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retailers say credit insurance plan could increase liquidity during...
15.07.2020   #retail #coronavirus

Retailers say credit insurance plan could increase liquidity during pandemic downturn

Backstop for trade credit insurance

The National Retail Federation welcomed a report released this week calling for a federal backstop for trade credit insurance, saying the proposal could help provide liquidity badly needed by retailers as they recover from the recession brought on ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Merchants can build their own businesses by choosing the right daily...
10.08.2020   #e-commerce #online platform

Merchants can build their own businesses by choosing the right daily deal platforms

Bargaining and the three-way transaction that defines the daily deal market

Researchers from the University of Maryland and Harvard University analyzed the bargaining process between the daily deal platforms Groupon as well as LivingSocial and merchants to identify the trade-offs made by both parties during the transaction ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)...
06.07.2020   #digital marketing #marketing research

The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)

The spotlight is on the emerging trends in the retail industry at The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020, set to take place on 6th August 2020

The event is scheduled to begin from 0900 EAT till 1400 EAT. This exhibition is the first annual event which is dedicated to discussing the following:How do retailers keep up as the world tries to deal with the enormous pressure to adapt to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: AfterPay: Survey on the shopping behaviour of Germans...
20.07.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

AfterPay: Survey on the shopping behaviour of Germans

German consumers will make a larger share of their purchases online in July

AfterPay Insights’ end of June research – now covering more 7.400 interviews with German online shoppers – indicates that German consumers will reduce their overall purchases in July. But at the same time, German consumers say ...