EFFECT OF STORE ATMOSPHERE ON CONSUMER PURCAHSING BEHAVIOR IN RETAIL STORE IN BAMENDA III SUB-DIVISION
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This study set out to establish the effects of store atmosphere on consumer purchasing behaviour in retail stores in Bamenda Nkwen. Markets are becoming more competitive and sophisticated and the old view does not necessarily hold true anymore. Consumers have more decisions to make and are more in touch with products worldwide. The research design used in this study was the descriptive design. The population of the study included store owners and consumers in Bamenda III sub-division. The research instrument used in this study to collect data was a questionnaire with closed Data which was analysed with the use of SPSS version 25 and MS excel 2010. This showed that the store interior has a positive and significant effect on consumers’ purchasing power and the store design has a positive and significant effect on consumers’ purchasing power. The study concludes that customers pay close attention to a store’s design, such as whether the layout and overall arrangement are appropriate, how the interior is decorated, whether the signs and marks are simple, whether the display of goods in corridor space, product details, and classification is complete and convenient, and so on. The study then recommends that; to increase consumer loyalty, retailers must emphasize product quality and the in-store environment, as well as pique consumers’ quality consciousness and curiosity and the study’s target population was retail stores that primarily served upper- and middle-class customers. The behaviour of less affluent customers could not be represented.
Keywords: Store Atmosphere and Consumer Purchasing Behaviour
The retail landscape is changing at a faster rate than it has ever before. It is marked by increased competition and more sophisticated and demanding customers with higher expectations for their shopping experiences. According to Yoon and Park (2018), customers’ evaluations of service quality are influenced by their shopping experiences, which include not only the act of purchasing desired products, but also the shopping experiences of customers before purchase. The success of retail business is influenced by its fast response to its customers and its ability to understand consumers’ behaviour.
Beforehand, shopping activity was all about buying a product based on the function and specification. However, in this day and age, with plenty of choices that available, consumers tend to seek something with added value in it which will give more than the other. In the retail industry, one of these added values can be found in the form of store atmosphere which is known as a phrase that determines the environment of the store which cannot always be spotted directly. Store atmosphere is expected to be the primary weapon to attract and influence consumer buying intention.
Atmosphere in marketing is a term used to describe the conscious design of an area in order to create the desired effects on customers. It is also an effort to design a shopping environment that produces emotional effects on the individual in order to increase their likelihood of buying (Kotler. 2005, p50). The retail store should establish a planned atmosphere that suits the target market and that can attract customers to buy. Bell and Termus (2006:p14) stated that atmospheric elements have the ability to influence consumers’ feelings about being in and staying in a store and that the longer customers stay in a store, the higher the chance that they will buy.
Store atmosphere is also believed to be one of the factors that determine the success or failures of the business. The satisfaction derived by customers comes from the pleasant feeling they get when they do shopping and so, store atmosphere has a significant impact on influencing customers to stay in the store thereby causing customers who did not intend to buy at first to end up buying. So, retail stores have to be careful and gradually manage their store atmosphere with the purpose of influencing consumer purchasing behaviour and increasing business turnover. Elements of store atmosphere such as visual merchandising and store layout and promotions are one of the major factors that attract customers into a store.
Giraldi, Spinelli and Merlo (2003:3) recall that, in earlier years the key decision to make when opening a store was to choose the location and display items on shelves; after that, the store looked after itself. In modern times, however, these aspects (location and displays) have changed. Markets are becoming more competitive and sophisticated and the old view does not necessarily hold true anymore (Giraldi et al., 2003:2). Consumers have more decisions to make and are more in touch with products worldwide. This implies that other factors can and will influence their buying decisions. This might mean that retail stores need to be aware of what else to offer consumers in order to create a pleasant and satisfied experience once they are in the store. One way to improve on the consumers experience is through the stores atmosphere. So retailers have to be aware of how to adjust their store atmosphere in order to satisfy their customers and in turn increase profitability. Thus, this study will look at the effects of store atmosphere on consumer purchasing behavior in retail stores in Bamenda iii.
What are the effects of store atmosphere on customer purchasing behavior in retail stores in Bamenda III Sub-division?
- What is the effect of store interior on customer purchasing behavior?
- What is the effect of design elements on consumer purchasing behavior?
To analyze the effects of store atmosphere on customer purchasing behavior in retail stores in Bamenda III Sub-division
- To evaluate the effects of store interior on consumer’s store choice decision (purchasing power).
- To analyze the effects of design element on consumer purchasing behavior.
Ho1: store interior has no effect on consumer purchasing behavior.
Ho2: design element has no effect on consumer’s attention, perceived value and purchase intention.
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