Store Ambience and Consumer Choice of Retail Store Format
The Retail sector of India is changing at a fast pace as consumers are getting more knowledgeable and demanding. The availability and accessibility of vast options of products, service and knowledge are changing consumer preferences and perceptions. Added to that is the cut-throat competition in the retail format space. And to sustain in the market, the retailer has no other option than adapting to the changes occurring in the market.
The mere presence of product and services is no longer enough to give an unforgettable experience to consumers. The retailer must provide additional values to influence the consumer to visit their respective stores. It has been observed through various studies that consumer behavior is influenced by hedonic values in addition to the utilitarian values. Thus, the need is to have a deeper understanding of the consumer behavior, particularly their preference and perceptions about the modern stores. The need is to understand the differentiating factors between the store formats.
This study is done to understand firstly the factors influencing the consumer’s desire to shift from traditional store to the modern store formats. Linear multiple regression analysis is used to find the relative weight of the price, quality, store ambience and product availability on influencing consumers for shifting to modern retail stores. The associations between the demographic variables and the desire to shift from traditional stores were also further studied. Store ambience was then further investigated to see its association with the demographic variables. 18 constituents of store ambience were also ranked according to the relative importance assigned by the consumers. The result revealed that store ambience is an important consideration for preferring modern store format. The relationship between the effect of store ambience and the demographic variables is significant. The study was conducted with 177 respondents in the city of Guwahati, Assam.
Keywords: Store Ambience, Consumer Behavior, Store Format Choice, Retail
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