Situational Influences

27/10/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Situational influences are temporary conditions that affect how buyers behave whether they actually buy your product, buy additional products, or buy nothing at all from you. They include things like physical factors, social factors, time factors, the reason for the buyer’s purchase, and the buyer’s mood. You have undoubtedly been affected by all these factors at one time or another. Because businesses very much want to try to control these factors, let’s now look at them in more detail.

The Consumer’s Physical Situation

Have you ever been in a department story and couldn’t find your way out? No, you aren’t necessarily directionally challenged. Marketing professionals take physical factors such as a store’s design and layout into account when they are designing their facilities. Presumably, the longer you wander around a facility, the more you will spend. Grocery stores frequently place bread and milk products on the opposite ends of the stores because people often need both types of products. To buy both, they have to walk around an entire store, which of course, is loaded with other items they might see and purchase.

Environmental Implications of Products

Environmental factors such as lighting, music, noise and aroma can either encourage or discourage the purchase of a product. A study by North, Hargreaves and McKendrick is a perfect example of how the choice of music affects purchase behavior. When French music was played in a store, the retailer saw a spike in the sale of French wine. Switching to German music saw sales increase for German wine. But atmospheric elements in the retail environment aren’t the only environmental influencers. Spatial factors also play a role. For example, the way in which a product is displayed can make it more desirable, while a crowded store or a long line at checkout can suddenly make that same product less compelling.

Purpose for Shopping Trip

The goal of a shopping trip is yet another theory involving situational influencers. A consumer searching for a birthday present, for instance, is in a store for a different purpose than someone casually shopping for a new outfit. The reason for shopping dictates the types of products customers are willing to interact with at that time and may cause them to bypass certain products they would normally interact with on another shopping trip. The same can be said for a trip to the grocery store. A customer out of milk will interact with different products than someone on her weekly shopping trip.

Social Aspects of Shopping

The social aspect of a purchase also involves situational influencers. Consumers unconsciously adjust their behavior to conform to the behavior of those in their company, and marketers have no way of changing this situation. A consumer is more apt stop to look at certain products when in the company of a friend as opposed to a parent, thereby influencing the potential of a purchase. Social aspects also can alter price point. A consumer may be persuaded to purchase a more expensive product when in the company of a colleague or potential partner than he would when with a friend or spouse.

Timing of Purchases

Much like the purpose of a purchase, timing also can influence consumer behavior. Someone in a rush will inevitably interact with fewer products than a consumer with hours to shop. Even if the two people are looking for the same type of product, the one in a hurry may end up with the most accessible product, while the leisurely shopper has time to interact with more products, giving her time to weigh the price and quality of the offerings.

State of Mind at Time of Interaction

Another situational factor known to influence behavior is state of mind. Someone feeling sad interacts differently with products than a shopper feeling happy. The interaction inevitably affects the opinion on a product and, in turn, the purchase behavior. But state of mind goes beyond mood or emotion and can entail personal conditions. Someone who’s sick interacts with different products than someone who’s healthy. The same can be said for someone who’s fatigued versus someone’s who’s full of energy.

There are two main correlations to remember here:

  • Situations can influence an individual’s personality.
  • An individual’s personality paired with the situation can help to predict behavior.

Companies can use these correlations to create stronger and more efficient teams. While unique circumstances may arise, understanding personality traits is the first step in developing a strong organization.