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Time-of-day model can be the welcome boost retailers need

With Christmas fast approaching, retailers can do with new ideas to help boost sales. Time-of-day marketing looks to bring a personal touch back to shops by creating different experiences for every type of shopper.

What's the idea all about? Associate marketing professor at Warwick Business School in England Dr Scott Dacko has the lowdown.

Dr Dacko says shops should change their lighting, music, in-store promotions and offers during the day to target various shoppers. Based on his consumer studies, he can predict when different types of shoppers are around. By merging the data, he has come up with a time-based formula to attract people into shops.


One tactic is to place breakfast-to-go foods like Kellogg's cereal bars (inset) alongside copies of the Herald. Retailers need to build up a detailed picture of all their customers. By doing so, they can fashion their in-store services and promotions to target consumers better.

Music and smells can be used to lure various shoppers. Matching staff of a certain age with shoppers can get the tills ringing. The most knowledgeable staff should be on the shop floor when the most discerning and older customers are around. While some shops use clever tactics, Dr Dacko says no one employs his entire time-of-day marketing model.

His study shows older age groups, unemployed, 'non-time pressured' people, variety-seekers and families with small kids shop in the morning. Women tend to shop early in the day.

Teenagers, people who search out new experiences and those without young kids mostly shop in the afternoon. Busy, time-poor people usually do their shopping late in the day.