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Impact of Shopper, Store and Situational Factors on Store
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| Words: 11748 | Submitted: 09-Aug-2011
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Retailing consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as
a department store ,shopping mall etc .The retailer buys goods or products in large
quantities from manufacturers either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells
smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores.
Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Manufacturing marketers see the process of
retailing as a necessary part of their overall distribution strategy.
In the retail outlet various type of good and service are provide to the customer but all
the goods and services are generally homogenous in nature through all the other retail
outlets . Product and services of every company are available in every retail outlet. It is
also find that many customer only used to shopping in own decided outlet rather from
every outlets even there is homogenous among the product and service offer by the
every retail outlet .So This put the question in the mind of the every retailer that is there
is any gap between what customer expected from retailers and what retailer provides to
customer during shopping.
No two customers have the identical likes and preferences. Delivery value and
narrowing down the zone of tolerance is a tightrope walk for marketer in organized
retail sector. Especially in market like India the challenges is formidable because
organizations need to cater to a wide and diverse group of customers .Thus building
equity and generating volumes in such complex market tapers down to the function of
managing customer expectation.
Customers take their time to first sketch their needs and then arrive at a specific
decision. At the end of the day the question is what does the customer expect? How to
fulfill the glaring gap between need and expectations? The answers to this question are
“by delivering the value “
But in many case retailers are not aware of what their customer expect. Hence they are
unable to deliver the right value to the right customer and satisfy them .Especially in
this competitive scenario where the customer are well informed, commanding and
demanding at the same time it has become imperative for the organization to be updated
on the “WHAT”,”WHY”and “HOW” of each and every customer. This calls for
empathizing with the customer by indulging into their priorities and decision making.
Even in the case of a product as simple as beauty soap, customer have versatile
expectations like, good packaging fragrance, herbal or medical benefit, glowing skin
etc. and all this at an affordable price. A daunting task but companies have no option but
to offer the expected value, that too by keeping the operating costs low.
Following general expectations of a typical customer
??Value of Money
??Availability and location
??Quality in Product
??Need based solution
So in other to deliver the value, Retail outlets in addition to providing products and
services, need to cater for a wide range of motives. The various determinants of retail
outlet preference include cleanliness, well-stocked shelves, and range of products,
helpful staff, disabled access, wide aisles, car parking, multiple billing points and
environmentally friendly goods. These differing motives arise as retailers cater to
different types of shoppers who include economic consumers (concern with value),
personalized consumers (concern with relationships), recreational shoppers (shopping
as a leisure activity) and apathetic consumers (who dislike shopping). Retailers have to
satisfy budding customers, older consumers as well as time crunched individuals whose
motives all tend to be conflicting as well as different. Retailers need to establish a good
image to prevent customers from shopping around. They must cater to shoppers need
for pleasure and practicality.
If expressed as a calculation, customer satisfaction might look something like this:
Customer expectations = Companies Performance/ Companies Satisfaction
Satisfaction is a consumer’s post-purchase evaluation of the overall service experience.
It is an affective reaction (Menon and Dubé, 2000) in which the consumer’s needs,
desires and expectations during the course of the service experience have been met or
exceeded (Lovelock, 2001). Satisfaction in this sense could mean that a supermarket
has just barely met the customer’s expectations, not exceeded nor disappointed those
expectations. The benefits of taking the customer’s response beyond satisfaction at this
level by exceeding expectations, is a competitive strategy many retailers aspire to
achieve. There is a recurrent struggle for existence and survival in the wake of deep
competition, drastically changing customer attitudes and expectation levels.
The study would enable us to understand the impact of various factors that influence a
consumer’s shopping behavior in a departmental store. It would also help in knowing
the magnitude and direction of movement of these factors amongst each other. These
factors have been divided into three heads- Store, Situation and Shopper factors.
The concept of store loyalty is derived from the concept of brand loyalty which refers to
the tendency to make repeat purchases of products of the same brand. Store loyalty
refers to the tendency to repeatedly shop at the same store for similar or other products.
A loyal customer would give preference to a specific store and would tend to be far
more forgiving of errors of the store.
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