Colder temperatures result in emotion-driven purchases
Can the air conditioning in your favorite store really impact what you decide to buy? Could it be that luxury stores intentionally keep temperatures colder to influence you to make a purchase?
Rhonda Hadi, an associate professor of marketing at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Lauren Block, the Lippert Professor of Marketing at Baruch College, City University of New York, studied how cold temperatures in retail environments affect consumers and their decision-making process.
According to their report, “Warm Hearts and Cool Heads: Uncomfortable Temperature Influences Reliance on Affect in Decision Making,” published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, when consumers are uncomfortably chilly, they rely more on their emotions rather than calculations when making retail-related decisions.
This might explain why stores like Bergdorf Goodman kept its stores at a low 68.3 degrees Fahrenheit and Hong Kong’s IFC mall is kept at a cool 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hadi and Block conducted a series of experiments in which consumers were exposed to cold temperatures before making sentimental decisions like purchasing insurance for a piece of family heirloom furniture or donating to an important cause.
The cool temperature influenced people to rely on their emotions in making decisions. According to the research, focusing in on how happy something will make them, rather than doing the math, warms a consumer and makes them feel more comfortable.