Consumers tend to visualize using products related to being outdoors during sunny and snowy days, according to a study by the UBC Sauder School of Business. In other words, people are likely to buy products that can be used outdoors on sunny or snowy days if they are appropriately stimulated by images of those products during days that are sunny or snowy. In effect, the daily weather can affect people’s buying behavior.
For example, if it’s sunny outside and a consumer sees a product picture of a backpack, she’s more likely to visualize herself using the backpack on a hike out on a sunny day. Likewise, if someone sees a product photo of a heavy coat during a snowy day, he may likely to see himself wearing that heavy coat outside. Thus daily weather can affect consumers desire to buy products.
Only During Sunny or Snowy Days
The researchers find that this correlation does not work for rainy days.
“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 said in their news release.
“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,” she said.
The researchers used data from a large online auction site. They matched the weather conditions with the purchases that occurred on during those times. They also found that the more photos that were shown to the consumers, the more the photos stimulated them to visualize using the products.
There was also an online survey done where consumers were asked about the weather outside. They were then shown products related to the outdoors or indoors. The participants were then evaluated on how much they valued the products.
Using Daily Weather to Help Sales
These results open up possibilities for retailers to stimulate their sales by taking into account the daily weather. For example, retail websites can incorporate daily weather information to show products to consumers for maximum mental stimulation and product valuation.
The researchers did make one note – a poor-quality or unattractive product is less likely to work. Consumers are less likely to buy a poor or unattractive product after they visualize themselves using such products.