Purpose: The aim of the study is to discuss the problems related to consumer time valuation and its implications. This domain remains relatively unexplored in marketing literature.
Methodology: The author approached the time valuation problem in a synthetic and interdisciplinary way. To facilitate the analysis of time characteristics as a consumer resource and temporal decisions, the comparison with money was applied, which is an approach well established in the literature.
Findings: Time can be a source of value only to selected consumers, as not all perceive time as scarce. Mental accounting for time is diffi cult; hence consumers tend to use heuristics to arrive at their temporal decisions and prefer immediate discounting of temporal benefits. Contrary to a popular adage, time is not money, at least in the context of the majority of consumers’ decisions.
Research limitations/implications: Despite growth in the number of publications, knowledge of temporal aspects in consumer behavior is limited and fragmented. Less is known about how to turn the perceived value of time into customer value. Further investigation is needed to identify consumer groups that truly value time.
Practical implications: The knowledge of temporal aspects of consumer behavior, and how consumers value time, would be of particular use in the service industry, where the “when” of customer value is usually provided in the form of “convenience”.
Originality: This study sheds light on research gaps in the literature in an under-investigated subject, examining the link between the perceived value of time and possibilities to generate value based on temporal benefits.