The Retail Industry in India has come forth as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries with several players entering the market. Indian retail industry is the fifth largest in the world with both organized and unorganized sectors. Indian retail industry is in transition phase at present unorganized sector is declining and organized sector is growing due to the change of taste and preferences of the consumers.
Organized retailing refers to activities undertaken by licensed retailers like supermarkets and hypermarkets. Unorganized retailing refers to low cost retailing like mom and pop stores
The India Retail Industry is the largest among all the industries, accounting for over 10 per cent of countries GDP. Hence apparel retail outlets have lot of demand. As demand is high competition is also high in retail sector. Therefore retailer has to differentiate himself from other retailers from their store maintenance, display of clothes, availability of merchandise, sales personnel etc. These are the main factors which affects the buying behavior of customers.
India has topped AT Kearney's annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) for the third year in a row as the most attractive market for retail investment
The retailer should also have a clear idea on consumer’s behavior regarding what they buy, why they buy, how they buy, when they buy, from where they buy and how often they buy. The retailers should clearly have an idea on their outlet and have to understand the shopping behavior of customers to make the customers satisfy. This make the firm serves its target market, minimize dissatisfaction and stay ahead of competitors.
Hence a study has been carried forward to know the overall shopping experience of the customer’s and the factors which affects the buying decision of customers. This study also aims to understand the relationship between various demographic variables like gender, age, income, marital status and overall quality of shopping experience provided by the store.
Eric (2010) has written an article on factors that influence consumer buying behavior. According to him how complex our technology has become and no matter how much we evolve there are some basic Needs and Wants that don’t change. The Needs and Wants are that they may make us feel complete, happy, fulfilled, and comfortable or any combination of feeling. He also says the basic reason behind any purchase of consumer is to fulfill either his Need or Want. Need and Want although similar are quite different he adds. Need is something usually indicates a “desire” or more than a desire . Want is something usually indicates a “non-need” but makes their life happier. He also explains Need and Want with a simple example: a consumer has to buy a new tire because his current tire has gone flat this indicates a Need because the care will not properly without the tire. If a consumer wishes to add heated seats to his car, then this indicates his Want although car will run properly without heated seats he is buying heated seats so he can make his driving more enjoyable and comfortable. He also mentioned few drivers written by Schwab’s in 1956 which he thinks consumers mainly concentrate.
Fiona (2010) has written an article on consumer buying decision. Consumer buying decision is affected by many reasons as there are more and more choices available in the market while purchasing an item. Buying decision is a daily action performed by an individual we perform these actions to get our daily needs satisfied. Before directly jumping into conclusion that to buy a product consumer first follows a series of steps, evaluates each step and then finally purchases the product. The buying decision starts when consumer realizes a product need or want. The consumer will get to know the product details through advertisements, news papers or magazines and later he searches information about alternate product and compares both the products after evaluating the consumer decides which product to buy, uses and checks whether the product performance has reached his expectations or not. The consumer’s level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction determines the future of the product. The firm should always try to reduce the buyer’s doubts and problems regarding the products through follow-up because buyer sometimes feel that they have brought the wrong brand when they purchase something expensive. Purchase decision of consumer is effected by several factors during the time of purchase that might be social factors, psychological factors etc. If a buyer is not satisfied with the products offered by a firm then the firm loses its value in the market so the firm has to effectively deal with the buyers and supply what they need at the right time.
Verena (2006) has studies and written an article on factors which affects the buying decision of consumers. According to her buying decision is the process that consumer exhibits while purchasing goods and services for personal consumption. There are four different views related to consumer decision making process. They are Economic View, Passive View, Emotional View and Cognitive View. Economic View states that consumers are always expected to make rational decision on assuming that they are aware of all the product alternatives rank them and select the best alternative. Passive View states that the consumers are mainly influenced by marketing tools and are completely irrational which is completely opposite to Economic View. Similarly, third is the Emotional View this states that consumer makes the buying decision based on his emotional association which he has with the products. In this buying process consumer will not evaluate any alternatives for the products or neither get influenced by the marketers. Last is the Cognitive View here consumers are considered as the “problem solver” because the consumer buys the product and service that will and can fulfill their need. In the Cognitive View consumer decision making includes; problem identification (feeling need of laptop), information search (on websites, outlets), evaluation of alternatives (comparing brands), outlet selection and purchase (purchasing selected item) and post-purchase action (satisfaction or dissatisfaction).
Moses (2009) has written an article on buying decision of consumers. Firstly marketers must have a clear idea on consumer’s interest and identify who makes the buying decision. Roles of consumers differs for different products, marketer should identify the role played by consumer in purchasing of particular product. He says people plays five different roles in making a decision to buy a product. The roles are; Initiator, Influencer, Decider, Buyer, User. He also states 4 kinds of buying behavior explained by Henry Assael they are, complex buying behavior, reducing buying behavior, habitual buying behavior and variety seeking buying behavior. Complex buying behavior is that in which buying is done in three step process. First, buyer develops beliefs about the product. Second, buyer develops attitudes about the product finally he makes a useful choice. This buying behavior is exhibited when buyer is aware of all the product alternatives and when consumer is buying highly expensive product. Second, in reducing buying behavior customer is highly involved and checks little difference in brands. Customer is highly involved because the products might be highly expensive and customer checks all around and if quality difference is found he will go for higher price or else will stick on the same price or convenience. After the purchase, the consumer might experience dissatisfaction because of the product failure or else might hear some additional feature about another brand. Therefore, marketing communications should supply beliefs and evaluations that help the consumer feel good about his or her brand choice. Third is habitual buying behavior in this buying customer involvement is very low they don’t evaluate the alternatives customer directly goes to the shop and buys the product this is due to the habit not because of brand loyalty. Final one is variety seeking buying decision in this customer often does brand switching because they seek variety in the products. Brand switching mostly occurs for the sake of variety rather than dissatisfaction.
Kenrick (2010) has written an article on physical factors that affect consumers buying behavior. A firm can get maximum sales and become the market leader only when it understands the factors that influence consumers buying behavior. Generally there are four factors which influence consumer buying behavior they are cultural, social, personal and psychological factors. Psychological factors are further divided into motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes. Motivation is that feeling which drives consumer to buy the product if the motivation is high then the perception of need is high this leads consumer to buy the product. Perception is the “process by which people select, organize, and interpret information to form a meaningful picture of the world” according to the definition given by MBA notes. So that the company should position their brand very carefully or else consumers may go for negative consumer perception. Learning is something that consumer experiences after using a particular product once. The experience may be bad or good if the experience is bad then the consumer will not buy the product again if the experience is good then consumer will go and directly buy the same product without evaluating alternatives because he know the product has all the qualities he need. So that companies concentrate on the consumer experience often to get repeat business without loss. Finally, beliefs and attitudes, belief is the way people think about a particular product and attitude is the feeling that consumer has towards a particular product. It’s difficult to alter the beliefs and attitude of a consumer because they are inbuilt in their lifestyle and personality.
Laura (2010) has written an article on consumer buying decision process. According to him any consumer before purchasing a product follows series of steps they are problem recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post-purchase behavior. Problem recognition is the situation where consumer gets to know that he needs a new product. For example, when a customer recognizes that his Lapy charger is damaged and he needs to purchase a new one. Information search is the stage where customers search for the information regarding the product they are about to purchase. They will search for the solution regarding the problem and remembers what type of purchases solved their previous problem; in addition they will take advice from their relatives in case if they are planning for any expensive purchase. Third step is to evaluate alternatives consumer will evaluate alternate products and compares product attributes, prices and brands, and purchases the best product according to him. Purchase decision includes the consumer decision to purchase i.e. where to buy, when to buy, why to buy, whether to buy the product. Final step is post purchase behavior, after purchasing the product if the consumer is satisfied with the performance of the product then the criteria is high that the consumer will become loyalty customer or else he will never think of purchasing the product again in the same store.
Jennifer Beese (2011) has written an article on social networking sites influencing buying decision of consumers according to him 74% of consumers depends on social networks to guide purchase decisions because of easy access. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have allowed to market brands effectively. Facebook with 86%, followed by Twitter at 65%, blogs and reviews are tied at 55%, and videos come in last with 50% helped consumers to monitor brands effectively. He believes that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales will be affected by the web. Thos indicates that social networking sites play a major role in consumer buying decision.
Kokemuller (2010) has written an article on consumer decision making process according to him: The more companies understand about their customers, the more they can serve them and attract their target customers. Consumer buying behavior is the systematic approached used by buyers engaged in the purchase or buyer decision-making process. Different stages recognized in consumer buying process are stages of buyer behavior, decision making models, and external influences. Stages of buying behavior includes different steps consumer follows during buying process it includes different steps like problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase behavior. Consumers enter the buying process when a need recognition trigger occurs. This includes function needs and emotional needs, or wants. Once a need is recognized, the buyer seeks information internally through recalling past experiences and externally through other people, information researched and advertising messages. A purchase decision is made based on evaluation alternatives to fill the need using preferred criteria. Following the purchase, a post-purchase evaluation determines whether a customer is generally satisfied or disappointed with a buying experience. Second comes decision making step this step mainly explains that the decision making mode depends on level of importance, experience and researches he does. The levels of importance and experience of a given buyer affect his decision-making mode and the amount of research he will do.
- High involvement and low experience leads to extended problem solving, or typically more research and information-gathering.
- High involvement and high experience typically describes brand loyal consumers.
- Low involvement and high experience depicts habitual buying situations in which consumers routinely purchase the same brand or product.
- Low involvement and low experience is referred to as limited problem solving as the consumer's interest in seeking out information is limited.
Final one is external influences this describes that consumer buying decisions are also influenced by external factors like social and cultural factors. If a marketer understands all the factors then he can place his firms in the highest place and become a market leader.
David Zielenziger (2012) has written an article stating that consumers refers online site for purchasing a new product. He explained what all factors effects buying decision of consumers, according to him consumers mostly prefers social networking sites for purchasing a new product but still goes to store to feel the product. In his survey he found that 24% use more than three techchnologies to evaluate any product. He also stated that young people get more influenced by Facebook or Google to get information about new products he also stated that 45% people get influenced by friends and family. He also stated that when a customer creates relationship with particular store he doesn’t change often i.e. they don’t switch all the time.
Paul Tunde (2006) has written an article on consumer behavior buying secret according to him understanding consumer behavior plays a major role in any organization to achieve their objectives. Consumer tastes and preferences were changing rapidly because of availability of wide variety of products organization must be in a position to understand the requirements of the customers and offer them the required products at the right time. A lot of involvement is involved by the customer before purchasing a product he goes through different kinds of stages before purchasing a product. For a marketer to get succeeded he should understands the needs and requirements of a customer and react accordingly to them.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The Objective of Summer Internship Program is to ensure that I as a management student develop in real life experience for handling the specific project and also to develop all understanding of the various management activities related to the area of my specialization. This training gives us a substantial corporate exposure.
- To study the customer satisfaction level
- To study the factors affecting the buying decision of customers
N EED FOR THE STUDY
Many factors are responsible for customer’s to select a particular store and in addition overall shopping experience is also considered. Customer attitude towards the store is also depended on various factors and the store offerings like products and services offered. Hence an attempt has been made to study the factors affecting the buying decision of customers at shoppers stop.