Retail atmospherics are quite well studied but are poorly explained - Essay Example

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The topic of retail atmospherics calls for promoting scientific research on customer behaviour patterns and strategies used by retailers by effectively managing retail atmosphere design…
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Retail atmospherics are quite well studied but are poorly explained
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Download file to see previous pages Before examining the claim that retail atmospherics are thoroughly studied but not stated well, we need to define what is meant by retail atmospherics. According to Kotler (1974), it is the effort to design buying environments to produce specific emotional effects in the buyer that enhances his purchase probability. A renewed interest was created in retail atmospherics through the caricature reporting by the Wall Street Journal showing a bank manager asking a customer’s opinion on the background music, which the manager has boasted of selecting himself. Such complex decisions as presenting background music are made irrationally in retail ambience. It gives the impression that no serious thought is given on creating retail atmospherics to provide a memorable experience to customers in the retail industry. Such decisions if taken rationally and thoughtfully can create a positive impact on customer perceptions of service quality, purchase, and consumption behaviour (Chebat & Dube, 2000). Developing of a customer experience has become very crucial with the importance given to the purchase of commodities. Expectations from retail managers have increased to create an environment of understanding in creating the atmospheric resources for providing the desired customer experience. Challenges in the retail atmospheric research lie in understanding the psychology of consumer reactions on the one hand and the functional requirements and planning at the firm level to provide that experience to the customers on the other hand (Chebat & Dube, 2000). Babin and Attaway (2000) have specifically worked on developing a reliable mechanism tool to innovatively measure the customers’ behavioural outcomes. Customer spending is directly impressed by a store’s capacity to create value that benefits the customer. It was found that environmentally inspired emotions affect relative spending by the customer. Their research indicates that customer behaviour can be induced by developing the right retail atmosphere. The value of shopping through the relationship of the customer behaviour with the retail environment provided by the retailer is justified. Research has been done on the relation between shopping behaviour and environmental factors via transformations in emotional feelings. Shoppers’ behaviour was examined through fixed time and changing time during a simulated shopping test. It included listening experience of different but familiar music provided to the shoppers. Later on shoppers’ outlook on shopping time, their mental state and product appraisal were recorded, which indicated that shoppers spent long hours while listening to favourite music, which was their perception but actually they spent long hours shopping when listening to not-popular music. Limited actual shopping times in the known music scenario were associated with increased awareness. Longer assumed shopping hours by the shoppers in popular music listening experience were associated to unmeasured cognitive factors. Mental states of the shoppers played a part in taking a purchase decision on a product but these impressions were not directly associated to the playing of music (Yalch and Spangenberg, 2000). Research by Turley and Milliman (2000)) also shows that impact of music is not positive and good always. Their review shows weakness of the theoretical base. Majority of customer emotion measures depend on store type. Functional and job-oriented environments are related with lower levels of pleasure and arousal-related emotions, which provides an alternative to Mehrabian and Russel (1974)) model on environmental psychology. By changing the store design and settings, emotional shopping results can be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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