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Temporally Designing the Consumer Experience: Three Essays Examining the Influence of Time Architecture on Consumer Behavior

Hmurovic, Jillian (2020) Temporally Designing the Consumer Experience: Three Essays Examining the Influence of Time Architecture on Consumer Behavior. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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How can the temporal aspects of the consumer experience be strategically constructed and communicated to improve consumer behavior and decision-making? This dissertation advocates for the explicit and systematic integration of time as a determining factor in consumer experiences, presenting three essays investigating different dimensions of time architecture, the temporal design of a consumer experience: temporal sequencing of planning prompt nudges (Essay 1), temporal partitioning of initial charitable contributions (Essay 2), and temporal duration of contemporary online promotions (Essay 3).

Essay 1 explores how the timing of planning nudge delivery impacts intervention effectiveness in tasks containing an optimal “early bird” deadline (i.e., after which benefits of task completion diminish). Results from three studies find that planning prompt nudge reminders delivered after the optimal deadline are significantly more effective than control reminders but offer little benefit when implemented before the optimal deadline. These findings call for 1) strategic temporal management of planning prompts and 2) increased research exploring the ideal timing of nudge delivery.

Essay 2 investigates how temporal aspects of giving perpetuate donor support. Consistent with an anchoring account, results from five studies demonstrate that prior donors who initially give a recurring time-dispersed gift (e.g., monthly $10 gift for 12 months) subsequently donate less than those who initially give a one-time lump-sum gift of the equivalent total amount (e.g., single $120 gift). Several approaches for offsetting recurring donors’ later reduced giving are tested and implications for charities are discussed.

Essay 3 questions the degree to which contemporary instantiations of online time scarcity promotions (e.g., one-hour flash sales with countdown timers) can be presumed to operate in ways theoretically and empirically consistent with foundational demonstrations of time scarcity marketing tactics, which largely predate modern online retailing and predominantly involve offline contexts (e.g., printed newspaper ad). Results from 26 new studies find that present-day online time scarcity promotions may not be as effective as generally assumed, consistent with the argument that these promotions represent a novel theoretical and empirical phenomenon.

Together, these essays demonstrate that the temporal design of a consumer experience can promote or undermine traditionally accepted marketing practices, thereby warranting systematic investigation and proactive management.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hmurovic, JillianJ.L.Hmurovic@pitt.eduJLH254
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairInman,
Committee CoChairLamberton,
Committee MemberWu,
Committee MemberLiu,
Committee MemberGoldsmith,
Date: 9 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 June 2020
Approval Date: 9 July 2020
Submission Date: 29 June 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 234
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Time, Planning, Donation Structure, Scarcity
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2020 22:51
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 13:54


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