2001478 in keeping with the preceding example the

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Unformatted text preview: nt) characteristics. These influences have been grouped into four categories, namely communication situations, purchase situations, usage situations and disposition situations. Communication situations take place when a consumer is exposed to either personal (conversations a consumer has with friends for example) or non-personal (advertisements and publications for example) communications [Engel et al., 1995:794]. The purchase situation involves the settings in which consumers acquire products and the usage situation refers to the settings of where and how consumption takes place. Consider a child going on a school tour. He / she might need a cold drink that is not in a glass container (due to regulations) and might need one that can close. The child will then most likely be looking for a cold drink sold in a plastic bottle. The fourth situation, that is, the disposition situation, deals with issues of consumers disposing products they have used [Hawkins et al., 2001:478]. In keeping with the preceding example, the child may dispose of his / her cold drink bottle in various ways such as putting it in a recycling container or giving it to someone else to throw away. The previously discussed categories of situational influences comprise of five characteristics that have varying degrees of influence, depending on the consumer and the current activities. The five characteristics include physical features, task definition, social surroundings, antecedent states, temporal perspectives and the information environment. i. Physical features This includes an array of aspects that are able to influence consumers and is synonymous with retail stores. For example, things like aromas, layout, lighting, sound, store location, weather and décor are all able to play a role. The term atmospherics has 93 subsequently been used to refer to the previous examples and is examined in chapter four [Levy & Weitz, 1998:562]. Some role-playing aspects are controllable whilst others are not (such as the weather), from a marketing point of view [Churchill & Peter, 1998:163]. Unforeseen events such as an economic recession, acts of God or war are capable of influencing the consumers in carrying out their intentions to buy. This is referred to changed circumstances [Kaufman & Barnes, 2001:C1 and Cateora & Graham, 1999:10]. A curfew placed on consumers during a declaration of martial law could influence consumers for instance. These consumers would have to shop during designated time periods and not whenever they choose to. The number of people that surround the consumer are also influential. There are times when large crowds are appreciated and other times not by consumers [Engel et al., 1995:802]. A consumer, for instance, may enjoy being surrounded by people at a party but would prefer less people when having to wait in line at a cashier checkout point. ii. Task definition This refers to whether purchases are intended for personal use or to be given (or used) to others. Consumers behave differently when they have to shop for others as both givers and receivers experience anxieties...
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