Weather is a constant force in our lives, but there is little marketing research on how it affects businesses.
Now, a new study reveals how sunny and snowy conditions influence consumer behavior.
Those weather conditions trigger consumers to mentally visualize using products associated with the respective weather.
This leads to consumers placing a higher value on those products.
That is, they 're willing to pay more money for them.
But the correlation is only found with products related to being outside.
How does this work? Researchers give the example of a beach towel.
On a sunny day, consumers who see that product are not just looking at the towel itself, they are likely imagining themselves lying on the towel in the sun.
This mental picture of using the towel increases the value of the product in the consumers' mind.
Researchers put forward the following hypothesis to explain their findings.
They think the mental picture works in sunshine and snow because these weather conditions have a positive association with outside activities.
The effect is not seen with rainy weather.
Researchers assert this is because there aren't many activities that are enabled by rain.
Most products associated with rain, like umbrellas, are only used for protection from the weather, and not for any activities.
Researchers believe that companies that sell a wide array of products online can benefit most from the insights this study provides.
Online sellers often use complex mathematical formulas to determine what products to feature and how to price these products.
Incorporating more data about weather would allow them to make better decisions.
This could bolster sales.
Questions 9 to 11 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 9: What do we learn about the findings of the new study?
Question 10: What does the passage say may increase the value of products for consumers?
Question 11: How can the findings of the new study benefit online sellers according to the researchers?