Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Shoppers' Typologies and Diversities in Their Store Choice Behavior

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Shoppers' Typologies and Diversities in Their Store Choice Behavior

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Consumers are diverse in terms of their needs, preferences and choice patterns. It has become a great challenge for the retailers to match their product/services to customers' desire. Understanding the market diversity is very essential for the retailers to cater the needs of customers. Moreover, new facet of Indian retail industry is very complex. Big bang entry of gigantic players in the retail business has made this sector very competitive. Mass targeting is not appropriate in this competitive and dynamic environment. Retailers are required to pursue target marketing to survive and thrive in such a scenario. For that matter, retailers need to portray their customers more precisely in light of deep understanding of consumers' behavior and frame their marketing strategies accordingly.

Market segmentation is essential and critical for the retailers to understand the type of consumers and develop the effective marketing strategies. Various studies have suggested the use of psychographic factors to segment the consumers. Psychographics are related with mental (Psycho) profiles (Graphics), or the profiling of consumers' psychological processes. It involves the measurement of consumer life style and patterns of behavior (Baines et al., 2009).

The present study explores the relationship between psychographic profile of consumers and their store choice behavior with reference to Food and Grocery sector. Food and grocery sector is the most dominating sector which covers around 60% of total retail sales in India (Deloitte, 2013). Many national and international players have taken their steps into this sector which has leaded to intense competition. For getting themselves successfully placed in this competitive sector, retailers are required to understand roots of this market, which is an Indian consumer. As per statement given by Mr. Biyani (founder of giant future group), Indian consumers are unique and they need unique solution (The Hindu Business Line, November 30, 2011). To provide them with the unique solution it is necessary to understand behavior patterns. This study of consumer store choice behavior would help the retailers in understanding their customer better. This particular research will enrich the literature related to consumer behavior and more specifically retail segmentation and store choice behavior. Presently in retail literature, studies available are generally related to store attribute preferences, store format choice and their relationship with demographic factors. Although demographic factor plays an important role but these factor can't explain the behavior and actions of the people entirely. People in the same gender, age, income and education groups do not exhibit the same buying behavior. Therefore, the study of psychographics is required to provide detailed explanations of buyer behavior beyond which cannot be achieved by analyzing the demographic characteristics alone (Blankenship et al., 1998). As far as psychographic/shopping orientation factors are concerned there is very limited literature available on it especially in Indian context. No such research has been found in context of food and grocery sector that revealed the relationship between the psychographic profile and attribute preferences of Indian consumers. The study conducted by Narang (2011) on psychographics and store choice criteria of Indian consumers, was also with regard to apparel sector. Thus the topic seems quite under explored. The current study seeks to address this gap. This particular research would provide an in-depth insight about consumer behavior and the recent patterns in consumer store choice behavior. Therefore, the study will be very useful for both academicians and marketers.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The present study seeks to examine the psychographic characteristics of consumers and their impact on store choice behavior. The specific objectives of the study are:

* To segment grocery store consumers on the basis of psychographic characteristics. …

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