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  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT (IJM) Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) ISSN 0976-6502 (Print) ISSN 0976-6510 (Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013), pp. 21-35 © IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijm.asp Journal Impact Factor (2013): 6.9071 (Calculated by GISI) www.jifactor.com IJM ©IAEME ANTECEDENTS OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN A RETAIL STORE ENVIRONMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON TIME SPENT AND IMPULSE BUYING Dr. Bidyut Jyoti Gogoi HOD (Department of Marketing; Research & FDP), Indira School of Business Studies, Wakad, Pune ABSTRACT Changing customer needs and demands has made the retail environment highly competitive. The growing number of organized retail outlets has even made the competition tougher than ever. The various options available for the customers to shop have made them less loyal to any particular retailer. At this point of time it becomes mandatory for the retailer to focus more on the Customer Satisfaction to increase the sales revenue and also to make them loyal. In this paper the researcher talks about the antecedents of Customer Satisfaction and its impact on Time Spent by the customer in the retail outlet and Impulse Buying. Thus the author intends to say that components of crowding viz. Human Crowding and Spatial Crowding may each have an impact on Customer Emotions like Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance. These emotions Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance may have a positive or a negative impact on the Customer Satisfaction. The Customer Satisfaction may in turn have a positive or negative impact on the Time Spent on the retail outlet and Impulse Buying. Keywords: Arousal, Customer Satisfaction, Dominance, Human Crowding, Impulse Buying, Pleasure, Spatial Crowding, and Time Spent. INTRODUCTION Retailers work on very small margins. The more the sales revenue the more will be the profit margin. In order to increase the revenue the retailers have to pull in more crowds to the retail outlets. More crowds will be pulled to the retail outlet if the customer likes the place, is accessible, convenient, stores the products of customer’s choice and has a wide assortment of products.It is very important to the retailer to increase the value of the elements in the retail value chain to pull in more customers. The more the total satisfaction offered by the retailer the more will be the customer loyalty. In short the customer will shop again in the retail outlet if he/she is totally satisfied. 21
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) In this paper the researcher intends to find out the impact of antecedents of Human behaviour viz. crowding, emotional responses, and customer satisfaction on the time spent and impulse purchase made by the customer. Crowding is the presence of a high density of people per unit of space.However, in a supermarket high density may impede mobility and decrease shop efficiency. The degree to which time effectiveness is altered becomes important to the shopper. Desor (1972, p. 79) has stressed the interpersonal determinantsof crowding by defining "being crowded'' as"receiving excessive stimulation from social sources."The amount of total stimulation from boththe physical and the social environment affect the individual's perception of a situation. The "richness of environmental resources" (Zlutnick and Altman, 1972) is definitely a factor. Crowding can be of two natures, human crowding and spatial crowding. Emotional responses are pleasure, arousal and dominance. Crowding effects the emotions of the customer by having a positive or negative effect on pleasure and arousal and dominance. The emotions may in turn positively or negatively impact the customer satisfaction level. The outcome of customer satisfaction is the amount of time spent and impulse purchase made by the customer. LITERATURE REVIEW Customer satisfaction is dependent on several factors like crowding and emotional responses of the customers. Crowding is a psychological perception which involves several environmental variablesand individualistic variables with space constraints. Research findings suggest that crowding is a functionof the situation including the difficulty of the task (Stokols, 1972); the amount of interpersonal stimulation and interaction (Desor, 1970) (Ziutnlck and Altman, 1972); the individual's personal characteristics such as aggressiveness (Stokois, et al., 1973); and the individual'sprevious experience and expectations in the situation (Zlutnick and Aitman, 1972). Moreover, thepresence of these conditions results in informationoverload, confusion, and frustrated goal seeking (Proshansky, et al., 1972). This gives rise to a situation which may motivate or demotivate the customer shopping in the store. Several studies (Stokols, 1976; Stokols, Rau, Pinner, &Schopler, 1973; Zlutnik& Altman,1972) indicated that when the environments restrict or interfere with one’s activity, theindividual perceives crowding. Thus, crowding can be said to result from a combinationof the perceived physical, social, and personal factors and the interplay of these factorseven make the individual more sensitive to actual or potential problems that may arisefrom scarce space (Stokols, 1972). It means that crowding results from both the densitystimuli and personal perception to the environment (Stokols, 1972). Extending theconcept, the empirical studies (Harrell et al., 1980; Machleit et al., 1994) identified twodimensions of perception of crowding, human crowding and spatial crowding. Humancrowding refers to a closed, confined feeling experienced from high human density andspatial crowding refers to feelings of restricted physical body movement due to highspatial density. The physical environment is an important element to evoking feelings of crowding orcrowding stress (Eroglu& Harrell, 1986; Harrell et al., 1980). The physical environment, within the retailing context, refers to the store layout, which are the arrangement of theamount and the size of merchandise and fixtures within a given space (Berman &Evans, 1992). Appropriately allocating floor space for fixtures, product groupings,traffic flow, department locations, and the space for merchandise can contribute to anindividual’s sense of privacy, and was a major consideration for store managers inreducing shoppers’ perceptions of crowding (Greenbaum&Greenbaum, 1981). Themain purpose of the store layout design is to provide customers an adequate space tonavigate and shop easily (Levy &Weitz, 2001). Another purpose is to control trafficflow on the selling floor (Hasty & Reardon, 1996). The influence of these layoutpatterns on perceived store crowding depends on their density levels, height of fixtures,type of merchandise, and function of the displays.Since spatial crowding perceived by shoppers may result from the combined feeling ofcrowding experienced when one shops at different areas of the store plus the feelingevoked by the height of the ceiling and the lighting of the store, it is important toinclude the impact of spatial crowding that is measured at various locations of the storesuch as grid 22
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) layout area, free-flow area, aisle table area, and cash register area and bythe effect of ceiling height and lighting. In an environmental research study, Stokols (1972) suggested that perceived crowdingunder a dense setting can create tension as well as arousal.Pleasure is defined as the degree to which an individual feels happy and joyful in aplace. Arousal is the degree to which an individual feels excited and stimulated in thesituation.Dominance is the degree to which an individual feels free to act, or in controlof the environment. Donovan and Rossiter (1982) tested the model of Mehrabian and Russell (1974) in a retail setting and found that the pleasure and arousal dimension hada strong effect on customer behavior. However, others argued that the results maydepend on environmental stimuli and the type of retail setting (Turley & Milliman,2000; Yalch&Spangenberg, 1990). In marketing literature, these three emotions are consideredto be important emotions conducive to positive shopping behavioral outcomes.Empirical research in a service setting has shown that when the environment iscrowded, customers will experience feelings of stress (Hui& Bateson, 1991) or lessexcitement (Wakefield & Blodgett, 1994). Furthermore, the feeling of congestion maynot only evoke some emotional responses, but may also influence shoppers’ shoppingbehavior. All of these studies suggest that store environments, such as crowding, can havea strong influence on the emotion that shoppers may experience and then, the consumer’sapproach would become avoidance behavior. Stokols (1972) suggested that perceivedcrowding cannot only affect a pleasure response but also cause tension and affectarousal in dense settings. Hence, both perceived human crowding and perceived spatialcrowding may cause negative feelings for shoppers and hinder their shopping activities. Most research studies have used customer satisfaction as an evaluative judgment regardinga purchasing experience (Oliver, 1993; Oliver & Swan, 1989; Oliver & Westbrook, 1993; Westbrook & Oliver, 1991).Eroglu and Machleit (1990) and Eroglu and Harrell (1986) suggested that the perception of crowding is an important store attribute that may affectcustomer satisfaction with the retail environment. Hui and Bateson (1991) showed thatperceived crowding decreases feelings of pleasure in a service environment. Theseunpleasant emotions that resulted from a shopping experience may influence consumer satisfaction (Oliver, 1993; Machleit et al., 1994).The level of excitement experienced by customers has a direct effect on consumer satisfaction. Machleit and Mantel (2001) found that the effect of emotions on shoppingsatisfaction depends on the shopper’s perceived control over the shopping experience.In a study on leisure service settings, Wakefield and Blodgett (1994) found that the feelingsof crowding adversely affected the level of excitement experienced by shoppers. Machleit et al. (2000) argued that these emotions can partially mediate the perceptionof crowding–satisfaction relationships. Hence, it is expected that a positive relationshipexists between the level of the emotions of pleasure, arousal, and dominance and thatof the feelings of satisfaction that shoppers may experience at the store during shopping. In research on the urban experience, Milgram (1970) found that an individual mustreact to the excessive stimulus in order to function effectively in a given environment.This concept implies that several adaptive processes could occur in response to crowdedconditions. Harrell et al. (1980), Eroglu and Machleit (1990), and Machleit and Eroglu (2000) found that the level of store crowding perceived by consumers duringshopping affected their overall shopping activity. Therefore, how shoppers cope withcrowded retail environments depends on how perceived crowding is interpreted. The researcher studies two behavioral outcomes that may directly result from the perception of crowding: (a) time spent in the store, and (b) impulse buying. Many researchers have manipulated environmental variables and measured the time consumersspent in retail settings. Yalch and Spangenberg (1990) reported that the style ofmusic in the store influenced the time that shoppers spent in the store, but Herrington (1996) found no relationship between time and the music tempo. Besides music, studiesof other variables associated with time spent in a store include color (Bellizzi& Hite,1992) and lighting (Areni& Kim, 1994). Lighting was found to have no influence onthe time spent in the store. As for the research on the crowding variable, a focus group interview (Eroglu& Harrell, 1986) also indicated that in a crowded store customersspent less time on shopping. According to Milgram’s (1970) research on a city environment, one adaptive mechanism 23
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) activated by overload output in an environment was thatpeople allocate less time to each stimulus input. Thus, the attempt at reducing shoppingtime in a crowded place might be one of the shoppers’ behaviors resulting from thefeelings of restraint and stress caused by limited space in the store. An impulse purchase, by definition, is an unplanned purchase (Bellenger, Robertson, &Hirschman, 1978; Cobb & Hoyer, 1986). Rook (1987) addressed impulse buying as ashopping experience with a sudden urge to buy something immediately. Beatty andFerrell (1998) extended this concept of impulse buying to include buying with no pre-shoppingintentions to do so.The literature suggests that perceived crowding can affect consumer emotions in are tail setting (Hui& Bateson, 1991; Machleit et al., 2000), and consumer emotions influenceshopping behaviors in a number of different ways, including impulse purchasing (Gardner &Rook, 1988; Rook, 1987). The feeling of an urge to buy is reinforced in a crowded placewhere the atmosphere is exciting. Many impulse purchases are then made by shopperswith the feeling of joy and excitement. Donovan and Rossiter (1982) also found that pleasurewas positively associated with overspending in the shopping environment.In all these approaches it is recognized that a shopper’s perception of crowding and hisemotional response in a retail environment affect his desire to spend time in the store.Shoppers who try to shorten shopping time in crowded places tend to rely on shoppinglists, avoid delay by unnecessary purchases (Jarboe& McDaniel, 1987), avoid approachingthe aisle tables, or abandon impulse buying. In addition, it seems reasonable to assumethat emotional responses may mediate the relationships between crowding and thesebehavioral outcomes. Thus, it is anticipated that there is a positive relationship betweenthe level of satisfaction shoppers experienced at the store and their behavioral outcomesof time spent in the store, and impulse buying. The researcher in this study has taken reference for developing the concepts from the research done by LiJiunn-GerTony, Kim Jai-Ok Lee So Young in May 2009. THE CONCEPTUAL PROPOSED MODEL Pleasure Time Spent Human Crowding Arousal Satisfaction Spatial Crowding Impulse Buying Dominance Crowding Emotion Satisfaction 24 Outcomes
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) Hypotheses: H1: Human crowding and spatial crowding has a positive impact on pleasure, arousal and Dominance. H2: Pleasure, arousal and dominance has a positive impact on satisfaction. H3: Satisfaction has a positive impact on the time spent and impulse buying. Objectives 1. To find out if human crowding has an impact on the time spent and impulse buying 2. To find out if spatial crowding has an impact on the time spent and impulse buying Research Methodology Type of Research: Sampling Universe: Sampling Method: Sampling Unit: Sample Size: Measurement: Descriptive Research Consumers in Pune Non-probabilistic Judgmental Sampling Consumers 480 A structured questionnaire was used to capture the responses of the consumers. The responses were analyzed using SPSS. Correlation tests were used to test the hypotheses. VARIABLES AND MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES All the variables are measured using a five point likert’s scale, 1 denoting Strongly Disagree and 5 denoting Strongly Agree.The scales used in this study were taken from the research done by LiJiunn-GerTony, Kim Jai-Ok Lee So Young in May 2009. Human crowding (HC) is measured using three statements HC1, HC2 &HC3. (see Appendix Table A), Spatial crowding (SC) is measured using three statements SC1, SC2 &SC3(See Appendix Table A), Grid layout area (GLA)is measured using four statements GLA1, GLA2, GLA3&GLA4 (see Appendix Table A), Free-flow layout area (FLA) is measured using four statements FLA1, FLA2, FLA3& FLA4 (See Appendix Table A), Aisle table area (ATA) is measured using four statements ATA1, ATA2, ATA3&ATA4 (See Appendix Table A), Cash register area (CRA)is measured using four statements CRA1, CRA2, CRA3&CRA4 (see Appendix Table A), Ceiling and lighting (CL) is measured using three statements CL1, CL2& CL3 (See Appendix Table A). Pleasure is measured using two statements PL1 & PL2 (See Appendix Table A), Arousal (AR) is measured using one statement AR1 (see Appendix Table A), Dominance (DO) is measured using two statements DO1 & DO2 (See Appendix Table A). Satisfaction is measured using three statements SAT1,SAT2&SAT3 (See Appendix Table A). Time spent is measuredusing two statements TS1 &TS2 (See Appendix Table A), Impulse buying (IB) is measured using three statementsIB1, IB2& IB3 (see Appendix Table A). 25
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) DATA ANALYSIS Key Statistics Table 1 Age 18-29 yrs 30-49 yrs 50-59 yrs 60 yrs and above Total Fig. 1 Percent 56.7 40.0 3.3 0.0 100.0 56.7% of the respondents are in the age group 18 to 29 years, 40% of the respondents are in the age group 30 to 49 years and 3.3% of the respondents are in the age group 50 to 59 years. Table 2 Gender Male Female Total Fig. 2 Percent 67.5 32.5 100.0 67.5% of the respondents are male and 32.5% of the respondents are female. Table 3 Annual Income < 1 LPA 1-3 LPA 3-6 LPA 6-9 LPA 9 LPA and above Total Fig. 3 Percent 25.0 18.3 45.0 10.0 1.7 100.0 25% of the respondents have an annual income of less than 1 LPA, 18.3% of the respondents have an annual income of 1 to 3 LPA, 45% of the respondents have an annual income of 3 to 6 LPA, 10% of the respondents have an annual income of 6 to 9 LPA, 1.7% of the respondents have an annual income of above 9 LPA. 26
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) Table 4 Fig.4 Percent Marital Status Married 53.3 Unmarried 46.7 Total 100.0 53.3% of the respondents are married and 46.7% are unmarried. Table 5 Profession Student Part-time Full-time Retired Self-Employed Total Fig 5 Percent 18.3 13.3 46.7 11.7 10.0 100.0 Occupation wise, 18.3% of the respondents are student, 13.3% are part-time, 46.7% are Fulltime, 11.7% are retired, and 10% are self-employed. Table 6 Fig 6 Purpose of Visit Percent Avail Discounts 23.3 Bulk Shopping 18.3 Family Outing 21.7 Purchase 28.3 Window Shopping 8.3 Total 100.0 23.3% of the respondents said purpose of visit were to avail discounts, 18.3% for bulk shopping, 21.7% for family outing, 28.3% for purchase and 8.3% for window shopping. 27
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) Table 7 Average Purchase Size (Rs.) < 500 500-999 1000-1999 2000-2999 > = 3000 Total Fig. 7 Percent 3.3 16.7 26.7 35.0 18.3 100.0 3.3% of the respondents said the average purchase size is less than Rs. 500, 16.7% said Rs.500 to Rs.999, 26.7% said Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1999, 35% said Rs. 2000 to Rs 2999, 18.3% said more than Rs. 3000. RELIABILITY TEST Test of reliability for the data used is as follows: Table 8. Reliability Statistics Parameters Cronbach's Alpha No. of Items Overall Reliability 0.896 38 HC 0.578 3 SC 0.820 22 PL 0.615 2 DO 0.761 2 SAT 0.690 3 0.696 2 0.652 3 TS IB From the table 8, it is seen that the value of Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.896 of overall reliability of the scales used shows that the data is reliable. The individual value of Cronbach’s Alpha for all the parameters HC (0.578), SC (0.820), PL (0.615), DO (0.761), SAT (0.690), TS (0.696) and IB (0.652) also are greater than 0.50 which shows that the data used is reliable. 28
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) RELATIONSHIP TESTING Table 9. Test of Correlation Correlations HC Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) SCN HC 1 SCN .248** PL .015 AR1 .114* DO -.023 SAT .034 TS .077 IB .154** .000 .748 .012 .621 .456 .094 .001 1 .490** .214** .568** .630** .571** .520** .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 1 ** ** ** ** .424** Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) PL Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) AR .000 .000 .223** .403** .368** .181** .000 .000 .000 ** ** .271** .000 .000 1 .448** .322** .000 .000 1 Pearson Correlation .000 .000 Pearson Correlation .000 1 Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) IB .304 .000 Sig. (2-tailed) TS .314 1 Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) SAT .475 .000 Sig. (2-tailed) DO .355 .376** .517 .438 .000 Pearson Correlation 1 Sig. (2-tailed) **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). The test of correlation from table 9 shows that, • • • • HC is statistically significant with only AR with a significant value of 0.012, whereas HC is not statistically significant with PL and DO with a significant value of 0.748 and 0.621 respectively. SC is statistically significant with PL, AR and DO with a significant value of 0.0001 respectively. PL, AR and DO are statistically significant with SATwith a significant value of 0.0001 each. SAT is statistically significant with TS and IB with a significant value of 0.0001 each. 29
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) THE FINAL MODEL IS AS FOLLOWS Pleasure Time Spent Human Crowding Arousal Satisfaction Spatial Crowding Impulse Buying Dominance Crowding Emotion Satisfaction Outcomes CONCLUSION Human Crowding has a positive effect on Arousal. This shows that shoppers will be more influenced to come to a retail outlet if there is a pleasant crowd in the Retail outlet. Whereas Spatial Crowding has a positive on all the three factors of emotions viz. pleasure, arousal and dominance. This shows that shoppers feel happy and joyful and excited and are stimulated to buy products of their choice in a pleasant spatial environment.Shoppers may also be dominated and driven by the positive store environment. Pleasure, arousal and dominance have a positive impact on the customer satisfaction. A shopper will be more satisfied if the store environment excites him and gives him pleasure to browse through the aisles and buy his product. Satisfaction has a positive impact on the time spent and impulse buying. This shows that a satisfied customer will eventually spend more time on the outlet. The more the time a shopper spends on a retail outlet, the more he is prone to make an impulse purchase. Overall, it shows that human crowding and spatial crowding if controlled by the retailed in the positive manner will bring more satisfied customers to the retail outlet and also increase the impulsive buying. 30
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  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) ANNEXURE Table A Code HC1 HC2 HC3 Code SC1 SC2 SC3 Human crowding (HC) Parameters The store was too busy during my shopping trip There was much traffic in the store There were a lot of shoppers in the store Spatial crowding (SC) Parameters The store had a closed, uneasy feeling to it The store feels very congested when I shop in the store I felt confined when shopping in the store Code ATA1 ATA2 ATA3 ATA4 Grid layout area (GLA) Parameters The store feels very congested when I shop in the shelving section for packaged products I felt confined when shopping in the shelving section for packaged products It is inconvenient to move around in the aisle of the shelving section for packaged products The shelving section for packaged products had a closed, uneasy feeling to it Free-flow layout area (FLA) Parameters The store feels very congested when I shop in the frozen food/meats/dairy product and vegetable section I felt confined when shopping in the frozen food/meats/dairy product and vegetable section It is not convenient to move around in the aisle of the frozen food/meats/dairy product and vegetable section The frozen food/meats/dairy product and vegetable section had a closed, uneasy feeling to it Aisle table area(ATA) Parameters The store feels very congested when I shop near aisle table areas I felt confined when shopping near aisle table areas It is inconvenient to move around near aisle table areas The aisle table areas had a closed, uneasy feeling to it Code CRA1 CRA2 CRA3 Cash register area (CRA) Parameters The store feels very congested when waiting near cash register areas I usually felt confined when waiting near cash register areas It is inconvenient to move around near cash register areas CRA4 The cash register areas had a closed, uneasy feeling to it Code GLA1 GLA2 GLA3 GLA4 Code FLA1 FLA2 FLA3 FLA4 Ceiling and lighting (CL) Code CL1 CL2 Parameters The store feels very congested since the ceilings seems low and the light is dull I felt confined when shopping in the store since the ceiling is low and light is dim CL3 The ceilings and light in this store gives a closed, uneasy feeling to it 34
  • International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 6, November - December (2013) Code PL1 PL2 Code AR1 Pleasure (PL) Parameters I felt pleasant when shopping in the store I felt good when shopping in the store Arousal (AR) Parameters I felt aroused when shopping in the store Code SAT1 SAT2 SAT3 Dominance (DO) Parameters I felt controlled when shopping in the store I felt dominated when shopping in the store Satisfaction (SAT) Parameters I was satisfied with my shopping experience at the store Given a choice, I would probably come back to the store This is my choice of store in which I regularly like to come to shop Code TS1 TS2 Time spent (TS) Parameters I spent more time than I expected at the store The amount of time I spent was fairly high Code IB1 IB2 IB3 Impulse buying (IB) Parameters When I saw people gathered, I bought things that I had not intended to purchase When the store is crowded, I often end up purchasing more When the store is crowded, I feel like buying things Code DO1 DO2 35