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An Investigation on the effects of Shopping Atmospheric Variables on children aged between three to seven years during shopping activity within shopping environment

An Investigation on the effects of Shopping Atmospheric Variables on children aged between three to seven years during shopping activity within shopping environment
An Investigation on the effects of Shopping Atmospheric Variables on children aged between three to seven years during shopping activity within shopping environment
Shopping centres are no doubt one of the many modern-day necessities, providing everything one might need all under one roof. To encourage customer visits, prolong time spent, and potential purchases, the environment of a shopping centre is often designed in a specific way to affect customer’s shopping values, enticing both their emotional and physiological sensations. A well designed shopping centre is a combination of modern architecture, as well as the integration of the right shopping atmospheric variables such as wall decoration, lighting, sound effects, music as well as retail layout. In today’s society, parents and children visit shopping centres for multiple purposes including retail therapy, entertainment, socialising and many others. Most of the time, parents intend to complete a purchase and at the same time to enjoy the hedonic aspects of the shopping environment with their children.

In the shopping journey between a parent and their accompanying child, children play a significant role in determining the family’s shopping expenses, one that is as important as an adult. However, research within this area also found that having a child companion can reduce positive shopping values due to the child’s behaviour. As a result, this will lead parents into making hasteful
decisions such as shortening their shopping visit or even making a turning back home. Although numerous efforts have been made by scholars to understand the effects of shopping atmospheric variables on the customer, only a few research is conducted to understand how these variables affect small children’s emotional response and shopping behaviour during their shopping journey. Therefore, this research focuses on ‘how to improve children aged between three to seven years shopping experience through the shopping atmospheric variables when accompanying parents during shopping activities?’.

The qualitative methodology using ethnography studies is employed in this research to develop an in-depth understanding of children customer shopping experience. Research data is collected using ethnography cultural probes (children shopping experience diary), digital ethnography observations and face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Results from this study are used to help the researcher develop a theoretical framework to identify atmospheric variables that are salient to young children customers, which may later provide vital insights in improving their shopping journey. Based from the findings, this research found that children emotional response, shopping behaviour and experience are influenced by four key factors. Each key factor explained how children react towards shopping atmospherics variables they engaged with, including their self-role and characteristics as a young customer, in-store decorative elements and electronic devices, categories for merchandise and snacks and other human variables while shopping with parents. The findings help to clarify children’s attitude towards each shopping atmospherics variable, and factors that might potentially influence their response towards them. To continue, the findings also highlighted important insights that will be useful for the shopping centre’s managerial team, designer and retailer who aim to improve children’s shopping experience. The improvement made based on these insights may also potentially help businesses create a more pleasant shopping environment for children as well as increase store and brand loyalty. Moreover, the findings may also benefit parents, since a positive children’s shopping behaviour may contribute towards a more positive family’s shopping vibes.
University of Southampton
Bin Rusman, Mohd Shahril
53b3b645-bee3-4f21-93d5-1e1d1196ea72
Bin Rusman, Mohd Shahril
53b3b645-bee3-4f21-93d5-1e1d1196ea72
Yin, Yuanyuan
cdb7e6d5-a9d9-4ecc-bbaa-a10ea4350f39
Dhillon, Rapindar
c3cc6379-3913-4288-820d-3e26aac12e88

Bin Rusman, Mohd Shahril (2022) An Investigation on the effects of Shopping Atmospheric Variables on children aged between three to seven years during shopping activity within shopping environment. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 278pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Shopping centres are no doubt one of the many modern-day necessities, providing everything one might need all under one roof. To encourage customer visits, prolong time spent, and potential purchases, the environment of a shopping centre is often designed in a specific way to affect customer’s shopping values, enticing both their emotional and physiological sensations. A well designed shopping centre is a combination of modern architecture, as well as the integration of the right shopping atmospheric variables such as wall decoration, lighting, sound effects, music as well as retail layout. In today’s society, parents and children visit shopping centres for multiple purposes including retail therapy, entertainment, socialising and many others. Most of the time, parents intend to complete a purchase and at the same time to enjoy the hedonic aspects of the shopping environment with their children.

In the shopping journey between a parent and their accompanying child, children play a significant role in determining the family’s shopping expenses, one that is as important as an adult. However, research within this area also found that having a child companion can reduce positive shopping values due to the child’s behaviour. As a result, this will lead parents into making hasteful
decisions such as shortening their shopping visit or even making a turning back home. Although numerous efforts have been made by scholars to understand the effects of shopping atmospheric variables on the customer, only a few research is conducted to understand how these variables affect small children’s emotional response and shopping behaviour during their shopping journey. Therefore, this research focuses on ‘how to improve children aged between three to seven years shopping experience through the shopping atmospheric variables when accompanying parents during shopping activities?’.

The qualitative methodology using ethnography studies is employed in this research to develop an in-depth understanding of children customer shopping experience. Research data is collected using ethnography cultural probes (children shopping experience diary), digital ethnography observations and face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Results from this study are used to help the researcher develop a theoretical framework to identify atmospheric variables that are salient to young children customers, which may later provide vital insights in improving their shopping journey. Based from the findings, this research found that children emotional response, shopping behaviour and experience are influenced by four key factors. Each key factor explained how children react towards shopping atmospherics variables they engaged with, including their self-role and characteristics as a young customer, in-store decorative elements and electronic devices, categories for merchandise and snacks and other human variables while shopping with parents. The findings help to clarify children’s attitude towards each shopping atmospherics variable, and factors that might potentially influence their response towards them. To continue, the findings also highlighted important insights that will be useful for the shopping centre’s managerial team, designer and retailer who aim to improve children’s shopping experience. The improvement made based on these insights may also potentially help businesses create a more pleasant shopping environment for children as well as increase store and brand loyalty. Moreover, the findings may also benefit parents, since a positive children’s shopping behaviour may contribute towards a more positive family’s shopping vibes.

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Published date: January 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 453544
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/453544
PURE UUID: 174f4a49-0fab-424d-83bd-12b56a50aa0a
ORCID for Yuanyuan Yin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2109-0135

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Jan 2022 17:43
Last modified: 24 Nov 2022 02:43

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Contributors

Author: Mohd Shahril Bin Rusman
Thesis advisor: Yuanyuan Yin ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Rapindar Dhillon

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