Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Key Drivers Influencing Shopping Behavior in Retail Store

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Key Drivers Influencing Shopping Behavior in Retail Store

Article excerpt

Introduction

Economists have viewed shopping as an activity that allows consumers to maximize their utility function (Michelle et al., 1995). But customers tend to exhibit 'economic' as well as 'recreational' shopping behavior (Bellenger and Korgaonkar, 1980). For some, it is an act of killing boredom, for others it leads to self-gratification and to another category of shoppers it gives a sense of emotional fulfillment (Tauber, 1972). Involvement has also been described as leisure behavior (Bloch and Bruce, 1984). The service industry, and in particular the retail sector, has faced tough competition following the recent economic crisis, therefore it is essential for retailers to use the strategies which focus on satisfying the current customers. New retail formats are growing at a rapid pace in India. There remains a need among Indian businesses to understand the changing behavior of customers towards shopping in organized retail outlets. The paradigm shift in consumer socioeconomic, demographic and geographical proportions are driving what was once a traditional small-scale retail outlets into an organized retail format aimed at catering to the evolving needs and tastes of discerning consumers. But the ever changing consumer's psychographic variables like values, activities, interests, opinions, motives and lifestyles have contributed immensely to the growth of store format typologies such as convenience stores, discount stores, super markets and hypermarkets.

People's motives for shopping are a function of numerous variables, many of which are unrelated to the actual buying of products. Shopping experience is a utilitarian effort aimed at obtaining needed goods and services as well as hedonic rewards. Literature in marketing and related behavioral sciences suggests a breadth of consumer motives for shopping. The idea that consumers are motivated by more than simply the utilitarian motive to obtain desired items has been acknowledged at least as far back as the 1960s by Howard and Sheth (1968). Their consumer behavior model, in addition to considering traditional explanator y variables such as needs, brand attitudes, and the impact of shopping behavior on promotions, also examined less explicitly utilitarian consumer motives such as arousal seeking and symbolic communication. Tauber (1972) advanced the idea that shoppers were often motivated by a number of personal and social factors unrelated to the actual need to buy products. He proposed that people shop not just to purchase goods, but to learn about new trends, to make themselves feel better, to gain acceptance among their peers, and simply to divert themselves from life's daily routine.

Providing an assortment of products and services is one of the basic features of retailer (Levy and Weitz, 2008). As a key component of the marketing mix, assortment represents a strategic positioning tool for customer acquisition and retention (Kahn et al., 1986; Grewal et al., 1998; Stassen and Snijder, 1999; and Oppewal and Koelemeijer, 2005). From the consumer's perspective, assortment plays a fundamental role in store choice (Kelly and Stephenson, 1967; Kahn et al ., 1986; Zimmer and Golden, 1988; and Briesch et al ., 2009). The decision about the quality, price levels, and variety of assortment determines the retailer's market position and image (Kunkel and Berry, 1968; Lindquist, 1974-1975; Mazursky and Jacoby, 1996; Ailawadi and Keller, 2004; and Mantrala et al., 2009). Assortment planning is one of the most challenging tasks in retailing. Especially the dynamics in consumer perceptions and preferences (e.g., desire of variety and flexibility, preference instability), retailer constraints (e.g., physical space, budget), and changing environmental factors (e.g., competition-related assortment trends, economic conditions) contribute to the huge difficulty of assortment planning (Mantrala et al., 2009). Regardless of any strategic and operational challenges, consumers expect retailers to offer the right mix of products, at the right price, with the right promotions, at the right time and at the right place. …

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