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Situational Influences on Purchasing Behavior

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Running head: Situational Influences on Purchasing Behavior

Situational Influences on Purchasing Behavior


There was an investigation in an attempt to understand what situational influences affect purchasing behaviors of consumers. Fifty subjects were asked to complete a survey in determining what attributes affect the decision to purchase a product. The effect of purchase was based on three different times of day: morning, afternoon, and evening. The effect of purchase was also based on whether subjects preferred caffeinated or non-caffeinated soda depending on the time of day. The subjects were asked to rate their preferences on a 5 point rating scale, one being agree and five being disagreed. The results indicated there was a relationship between caffeination and usage situation.

Situational Influences on Purchasing Behavior

Why do people shop? How do situational factors influence the decision to purchase certain items? The act of purchase is affected by many factors: mood, time pressures, or even a person's disposition towards shopping. Time can be seen, as an important factor because it often determines how much effort and search a consumer will put into making a purchasing decision. A person's mood can be affected by the degree of pleasure or arousal that is present in the store's atmosphere. Most people tend to base a purchase decision towards a specific occasion; or even the way an individual may feel at a specific point in time can also play a big role in what we feel like purchasing. These factors may cause one to decide more carefully on a purchase. Marketers like to use segmentation strategies when advertising to let buyers know their product will meet a specific need one may be looking towards. Overall, many consumers' purchase decisions are greatly affected by groups or social settings. The presence of other people around often has a positive influence on one's purchasing behavior. Consumers look for different product attributes depending on they intend to use their purchase.

In an attempt to understand how situational influences affect purchasing behaviors, researchers looked at several different approaches to study consumer behavior. Monroe and Lee (1999) based their research on issues involving the buyers' processing of price information. Their assumption concerned how prices influence buyers' purchasing behaviors has been that a consumers already know the prices of products that they consider for purchase, but, they are not able to remember the prices of items they had recently purchased. Overall, what consumers can remember may not always be a good indicator of what they already know.

Hesse, Loesch, and Spies studied the effects of store characteristics on consumers' mood, their satisfaction, and purchasing behavior. This study indicates the atmosphere of the store directly affected the mood of the consumer, which became a big factor in their purchasing behavior. The results suggested customers in a pleasant store atmosphere are likely to spend more money on the products they liked. This effect was only due to the customer's mood during the time of purchase.

In an attempt to understand the impact of brand loyalty on consumers, Bhattacharya (1997) investigated the factors that relate to the deviations of brand loyalty in markets. He looked at measures of brand loyalty against category requirements used by consumers (i.e.: norms of a product and the appropriate location in the store). The study finds that on average, brands that cater to some appropriate place in a market are bought in higher quantities, have lower prices, promote to a lesser extent, and have shallower price- cuts and enjoy higher than expected loyalty levels.

In addition to earlier research, we prefer to take the position that situational influences on decision-making will affect purchasing behavior based on attributes such as caffeination? Since there are several different types of situations that could be used to determine consumer behavior, we will test the affects between product attributes of a soda on purchasing behavior. We will also determine taste preference for that particular soda during a particular time of day.

To summarize the main objectives of the present study, we will investigate an answer to the question of what impact situational influences on decision making have towards the purchase of a product. We will assess three different time periods; morning, afternoon, and evening based on the decision to drink a caffeinated or a non-caffeinated soda. In order to achieve results, we decided to develop a survey in which subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire based on their preference for the type of soda one drinks during a particular time of day to see if there are variations in taste attributes depending on the time of day the purchasing is taking place. We expect individuals to purchase more caffeinated products during the morning and the afternoon. , Whereas we expect them to purchase more non-caffeinated products.



Forty-nine subjects volunteered to participate in a survey designed to measure people's preferences for caffeine, diet, cola, non-cola flavored, or clear cola in three different usage situations; the morning, the afternoon, and at night. The subjects were asked to participate by the three members of the research group. The subjects were not discriminated based on particular demographics.


The survey used in the study contained fifteen total questions. The same five questions were asked for each of the different usage situations. The survey used a lickert scale that went from one to five, one being disagree, and five being agree. The subjects were asked to tell to what



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