Multi-Ethnic Groups Shopping Trip Frequency: Scoping Research on Malaysian Shoppers

By Ahmed, Sohel; Johl, Satirenjit Kaur | Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal, January 2017 | Go to article overview

Multi-Ethnic Groups Shopping Trip Frequency: Scoping Research on Malaysian Shoppers


Ahmed, Sohel, Johl, Satirenjit Kaur, Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal


INTRODUCTION

Despite the growing of online shopping, shopping for most purposes means physical travel to a shopping site (Magrath and McCormick, 2013); (Ahmed, Kaur Johl, et al., 2015). The site most frequently visited is either a hyper or supermarket or a shopping mall or in other word retail establishment. In fact, shopping trip is a major source of recreation as well as a household chore. Researchers (Reimers and Chao, 2014) had noted that shopping is one of the activities with the most positive attribute of being able to meet with others. Studies show that there are frequent and infrequent shoppers (Martin, Mortimer, and Andrews, 2015). Considering high shopping frequency as the vital metric for their successful operation, retailers have been interested in identifying frequent shoppers and would like to formulate strategies to increase retail crowding (Mehta, 2013).

However, according to a recent study (Gilbride, Inman, and Stilley, 2015) consumers have changed their shopping trip frequency. In 2008 Nelson first notice that shoppers lowered the shopping trip frequency. At first researchers assume that this infrequent shopping trip tendency is just because of the economic crisis. But this trend seems to become a normal part of the consumer habits. Even though signs of economic recovery emerged, 72% of the consumers surveyed in the world feel like they are still in a recession. The average number of shopping trips per household dropped from 158 per year across 2008 and 2009 to 144 in 2014. A decrease of 0.8% in developed countries and 1.1% in emerging markets.

The shopper's behavior has changed. Other research shows that this change is because, on a personal level, a large mainstream shoppers mainly want to expend quality time with their family or friends (Xu-Priour, Truong, and Klink, 2014); (Ahmed, Ting, and Johl, 2015). Which is more related with shopper's ethnicity or cultural values. That's why to increase shopping trip frequency in a multi-ethnic society, retailers should identify each ethnic variant on shopping trip frequency and maximize opportunities to draw shopper's interest and engage them.

A multi-ethnic society refers to a society that consists of peoples from more than one culture, ethnic group. The success of a multi-ethnic society often hinge on the sharing of a single language. This can be seen in the Malaysia with the Bahasa Melayu language. While Bahasa Melayu may not be the primary language of all the people living in Malaysia, it is the primary language used for daily business purposes.

Another important component of a successful multi-ethnic society is an understanding and tolerance towards all ethnic people. Without the approval of the differences between cultures and ethnic groups, a multi-ethnic society will be separated and prone to unrest.

Despite the widespread research that can increase shopping trip frequency, such as the effects of time pressure and impulse buying tendency (Lin and Chen, 2013), The Effects of Demographic Variables on Measuring Perceived Risk (Mitchell and Boustani, 2015), The influence of gender, age, education on shopping responsibilities (Flagg, Sen, Kilgore, and Locher, 2014), Evaluating the performance of demographic targeting using gender (Jansen, Moore, and Carman, 2013) There is none of the research on multi-ethnic group variation in shopping trip frequency especially in a collectivist society. This is unfortunate because without knowing such, retailers may not apply similar strategies to both (Individualistic-Collectivist) society in order to retain high store crowding.

This study examines the variation in shopping trip frequency across multi-ethnic groups in Malaysia. For this purpose this study separated Malaysian shoppers into three ethnic groups (1) Malay verses Chinese (2) Malay versus Indians, and (3) Chinese versus Indians. Shopping trip frequency variance was chosen as dependent variable because as per the literature review, Blaylock (Blaylock, 1989) found ethnicity is the most statistically significant variable in his shopping trip frequency model. …

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