AN ASSIGNMENT ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF:

Mr. Kshitij Banerjee Sir IISE BUSINESS SCHOOL, LUCKNOW.

SUBMITTED BY

Kumar Sambhav Singh
PGDM ± I , THIRD TRIMESTER ENROLLMENT NO. 1104

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Successful completion of any assignment is the milestone in the life of every management student and the success of this assignment has enhanced in me a great confidence. A successful and satisfactorily completion of any task is the outcome of the invaluable aggregate contribution of the different personal effort in all the direction, explicitly or implicitly.

The key to the acknowledgement of such a different task lies in the hands of Mr. Kshitij Banerjee Sir. Words are poor gratitude bearer but I give him opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to my teacher for his benevolent and expertise guidance without which this assignment would not have been completed.

I have also deep gratitude towards Mr. Kshitij Banerjee sir for the guidance he extended to me during the entire course of work and during my entire assignment.

His live examples in the form of Video clips proved very effective while making this assignment.

Last but not the least I would express sincere thanks to my college INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION (IISE),,
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Lucknow which has included these types of assignments in their curriculum with the help of which the students find themselves ready for the corporate life at the end of the training process.

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DECLARATION

I Kumar Sambhav Singh student of ³PGDM - I´ hereby developed this assignment of ³Consumer Behaviour´ by myself. This assignment is developed by me under the guidance of Mr.Kshitij Banerjee sir. I submit this assignment report for the fulfilment of the III trimester of the PGDM. This work has not been submitted in part or full to this any other university for the award of any degree to the best of my knowledge.

KUMAR SAMBHAV SINGH (PGDM.- 3rd Trimester) IISE Lucknow, (U.P.)

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ABSTRACT

This assignment basically deals with the consumer behavior. It would enable the reader to get an idea about consumer behavior.

How consumer reacts to different obstacles while purchasing any product etc.

Lastly, in this assignment six questions have been included to answer or to make the reader UNDERSTAND about the consumer behavior.

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CONTENTS
TOPICS PAGE NO.
Question 1) How a company applies consumer behaviour information in marketing their products and Services ?

Question 2) How did the consumer/customer sense plays an important role in their shopping experiences in the Retail store ?

Question 3) What are the various physical obstacles which affect the consumer/customer shopping experiences in the retail store ?

Question 4) How do you think that the experiences provided by the retail store support their self concept ?
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Question 5) What environmental cues created those Experiences ?

Question 6) what recommendations would you make to the retail store based on your experiences and why ?

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QUESTIONS ON WHICH THIS ASSIGNMENT IS BASED

Question 1) How a company applies consumer behaviour information in marketing their products and Services ?

Question 2) How did the consumer/customer senses plays an important role in their shopping experiences in the Retail store ?

Question 3) What are the various physical obstacles which affect the consumer/customer shopping experiences in the retail store ?

Question 4) How do you think that the experiences provided by the retail store support their self concept ?

Question 5) What environmental cues created those Experiences ?

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Question 6) what recommendations would you make to the retail store based on your experiences and why ?

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QUESTION 1) HOW A COMPANY APPLIES CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR INFORMATION IN MARKETING THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ?

ANSWER 1) Before answering this question, I would like to discuss what is
consumer behaviour and importance of consumer behaviour information.

The marketing concept starts with the identification of consumer needs and wants. It is very important if we talk about from the point view of a marketer.

The consumer behaviour is the result which is caused during the fulfilment of their needs and wants.

It is very important for a marketer to understand the various factors which makes the consumer to select a particular brand or reject a particular brand.

Consumer behaviour is the subset of human behaviour, which is concerned with the identification of acts of individuals and their relation towards their purchase decision.

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The human nature is considers to be complex in nature because it is difficult to understand and it is the human brain which directs the purchase decision.

It creates a ³consumer blackbox´. The consumer collects the information from various external sources which includes print media or electronic media or any other sources of information. This generates stimuli. This stimuli is further mentally processed and results in the purchase decision for sometime not to purchase decision- ³consumer blackbox´ example NECC.

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CONSUMER BLACKBOX MODEL

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

BUYER'S BLACK BOX BUYER'S RESPONSE

Marketing Stimuli

Environmental Stimuli

Buyer Decision Characteristics Process

Product Price Place Promotion

Economic Technological Political Cultural Demographic Natural

Attitudes Motivation Perceptions Personality Lifestyle Knowledge

Problem recognition Information search Alternative evaluation Purchase decision Postpurchase behaviour

Product choice Brand choice Dealer choice Purchase timing Purchase amount

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Consumer behaviour is not only related to the study of what, when,where, how but it is also concerned with the repercussion (after sale) which arises when the product is used by the consumers. Example Sharp.com.

³Consumer behaviour can be defined as the process of studying behaviour of the ultimate customers, individuals and households who uses products and services for personal consumption´

The consumer behaviour can easily be understood by the model of consumer behaviour on next page.

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MODEL OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

SOURCEPRINCIPLES OF MARKETING by Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong

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If we talk about organisations, the study of consumer behaviour information is applied on a daily basis. Consumer behaviour information provide managers with the proper and accurate deliverables to target consumers. This is useful in the marketing practice to influence consumer behaviour, which ideally influences the organisation or a company. Marketing strategies are based on explicit and/or implicit beliefs about consumer behaviour information. Explicit beliefs are assumptions based on the sound information and research completed and is more likely to be successful than those decisions based on intuition (implicit beliefs). Solid consumer behaviour information is thus seen as a competitive advantage when developing marketing strategies.

In order to survive in a competitive market, an organisation or company must provide their target consumer with more value than their competitions. Customer value is the difference between all the benefits derived from a total product and all the costs of acquiring those benefits. The difference between the total benefits and the total costs constitutes consumer behaviour.

Providing superior consumer values requires the organisation or company to do a better job of anticipating and reacting to consumer needs than the competition does. This is the essence of a great marketing strategy.

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An understanding of consumer behaviour information is the basis for marketing strategy formulation. Consumer¶s reactions to the marketing strategy determine the organisations (company¶s) success or failure. These reactions also determine the success of the consumers in meeting their needs.

Market segmentation plays an important role in developing a marketing strategy based on consumer behaviour information. A market segment has a unique need, organisations that focus solely on the needs of that segment will be able to meet that segments desires better than an organisation or a company whose products or services attempts to meet the needs of multiple segments.

Market segmentation takes into consideration identifying need sets that the organisation or company is capable, or become capable, of meeting.

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Identifying the various need sets typically involves consumer information research. These need sets are associated with consumers age, stage in their life cycle, gender, social class. Organisations that segment will ideally focus on these variables.

Grouping consumers with similar needs, allows for marketers to group these consumers into one segment as far as product features and product image by which they are concerned about.

Once consumers with similar needs have been identified, these needs should be described in terms of the consumers¶ demographics, lifestyle and media usage. A complete understanding of the potential consumers is necessary in order to design an effective marketing strategy. It is only with such complete understanding one can be sure to have correctly identified consumer needs. Company¶s cannot communicate effectively with their customers if they do not understand the context in which their product is purchased or consumed.

Only once an understanding of each segment has been considered, one is able to select an appropriate target market. This considers the segmentation of the larger market on which one must focus their marketing efforts on. This decision is based on the ability to provide the selected segment(s) with superior customer values at a profit.

By selecting a target market, one is thus able to develop a marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy is the answer to the question: How will our company provide superior customer value to our target market? Formulation of a consistent marketing mix is the foundation of an effective marketing strategy that focuses on the product, price, communication medium, distribution routes and service excellence

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Marketing strategies must thus be designed according to identifying the right product the consumer needs to satisfy their unmet needs.

This product must be delivered to the consumer at an acceptable price, assuring quality product for money. Marketing communication includes advertising, sales PR and any other signals that promote the product offering. These products must be available at the right places and at the right time to ensure product distribution. Service is the auxiliary or peripheral activity that is performed to enhance primary service of the product and support customer satisfaction.

When we talk about the importance of consumer behaviour we come to the following points: 1. Today these informations are very essential for a marketer because the entire marketing strategies revolves around the consumer behavior information. The selection of an accurate marketing strategy results in good customer response towards the product or company.

2. Consumer behaviour information also helps to identify how the customers to be treated in order to get a positive result from them.

3. Consumer behaviour information also helps in taking important and effective decisions while packaging, labelling, style and product features.

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4. Consumer behaviour information also helps in taking decisions related to selection of distribution channel or selection of method through which the product can be distributed to the ultimate customers. Examples are ebay and Chiragdin.

Consumer Information Processing

The consumer information-processing approach aids in understanding consumptive behavior by focusing on the sequence of mental activities that people use in interpreting and integrating their environment.

The sequence begins with human perception of external stimuli. Perception is the process of sensing, selecting, and interpreting stimuli in one's environment. We begin to perceive an external stimulus as it comes into contact with one of our sensory receptors²eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or skin. Perception of external stimuli influences our behavior even without our conscious knowledge that it is doing so.

Marketers and retailers understand this, and they create products and stores specifically designed to influence consumer behavior.

Fast-food chains paint their walls in "hot" colors, such as red, to speed up customer turnover. Supermarkets steer entering customers directly into the produce section, where they can smell and touch the food, stimulating hunger. A hungry shopper spends more money.

If we think for a moment about the hundreds of objects, noises, and smells surrounding us at this very moment. In order to function in this crowded environment, we choose to perceive certain stimuli while ignoring others. This process is called selectivity. Selectivity lets us focus our attention on the things
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that provide meaning for interpreting our environment or on the things that are relevant to us, while not wasting our limited information-processing resources on irrelevant items.

Did you even notice that after you decide on, say, Florida, for your vacation destination, there seems to be an abundance of ads for Florida resorts, airline promotions for Florida, and articles about Florida restaurants and attractions everywhere? Coincidence? Not really. There are just as many now as there were before, only now you are selectively attending to them, whereas you previously filtered them out. Marketers continuously struggle to break through the clutter and grab consumers' attention. Advertising and packaging is designed to grab our attention through a host of techniques, such as the use of contrast in colors and sound, repetition, and contextual placement.

If I ask you that did you watched television last night? You may have paid attention to many of the ads you saw during the commercial breaks; you may even have laughed out loud at a few of them. But how many can you recall today?

Consumers' ability to store, retain, and retrieve product information is critical to a brand's success. When information is processed, it is held for a very brief time (less than 1 minute) in working, or short-term, memory. If this information is rehearsed (mentally repeated), it is transferred to long-term memory; if not, the information is lost and forgotten. Once transferred to long-term memory, information is encoded or arranged in a way that provides meaning to the individual. Information in long-term memory is constantly reorganized, updated, and rearranged as new information comes in, or learning takes place.

Information-processing theorists represent the storage of information in long-term memory as a network consisting of nodes (word, idea, or concept) and links (relationships among them). Nodes are connected to each other depending on whether there is an association between concepts, with the length of the linkages representing the degree of the association.

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The complete network brought to mind when a product is activated is called the product schema. Knowing the set of associations that consumers retrieve from long-term memory about a particular product or category is critical to a successful marketing strategy. For new products or services, marketers must first select the set of associations they want consumers to have. This is called positioning the product, or selecting the brand image. For example Trice's unique positioning as a "wholesome junk food" was accomplished by establishing a link between the concepts healthful and decadent treat. The brand position is then translated into clever ads, reinforced on product packaging, and integrated into all promotion and communication strategies.

Over time, a brand's image can fade or become diluted and this can be easily analyzed with the consumer behavior information. Sometimes consumers associate concepts that are not favorable to a brand. When this occurs, marketers reposition the brand, using advertising and other marketing tools to help consumers create new links to positive association and discard links to the unfavorable ones.

For example, by rotating such catchy phrases as "Are your french fries lonely?" and "Your fish stick improvement system" on their ketchup labels, Heinz was able to reposition their ketchup as a more exciting, youth-oriented, and sparky brand.

Strategies for successful brand extensions also depend on the Consumer behaviour information. Generally speaking, a brand extension is more likely to be successful if the set of associations for the extension matches the set of associations of the core product. Would Lifesavers brand toothpaste sell? Probably not, because the associations for Lifesavers (sweet, candy, sugar, fruity) are not the same as those for toothpaste (mint, clean, noncandy). On the other hand, a Lifesavers brand sugared children's cereal with colorful, fruity rings has a much better match of associations

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As we know that today the study of consumer behaviour is very important for a marketer and it is also important for a marketer to collect the consumer behaviour information before marketing their products and services.

It is sometimes seen that companies market their products and services without collecting enough consumer behaviour information and analyzing the data prevalent in recent times as a result of which the product or services fails miserably.

One of the best examples of not understanding or analyzing consumer behaviour information was earlier exhibited by Amul company, when they introduced their packaged milk in Gulf countries under the ordinary packaging as in other parts of Asian countries. The result was that the packaged milk from Amul was not accepted in Gulf countries or Gulf people, after this failure Amul collected consumer behaviour information and came to the conclusion that their product failed in Gulf countries just because of it¶s packaging colour or colour of packet and later on they introduced again their product in green colour packaging and after this minor change their product got acceptance in Gulf countries also, because muslims consider green colour as a sacred colour and associated this packaging with their religion.

Sometimes consumer behaviour information, if used effectively and efficiently leads to an upper hand form their competitors. It is usually seen that smart
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companies learn a lesson from the mistakes from their competitors. Here I am trying to make you understand this concept with the help of an example.

Few years back µCoca-Cola´ introduced Coca-Cola in can and the price decided by the company for this can was Rs.25 in India and this ³Can´ concept failed miserably to attract customers towards itself.

After this failure ³Pepsi´ studied the consumer behaviour and also analyzed consumer behaviour information about the ³can´ concept of ³Coca-Cola´ and they came to the conclusion that the main reason for the failure of Coca-Cola was only their strategy. Then Pepsico India Limited studied consumer behaviour information and came to the conclusion that when people in India spends more than Rs. 20 on any cold drink they always expect a container that they can use further fir other purposes such as drinking water and the ³Can´ concept did not provide them with the container that they can use further after consuming cold drink. So Pepsi introduced their ³Can´ for just Rs.15 which got acceptance in India very easily.
To reap the maximum benefits from data analytics, firms have to invest in the right technology, hire the right people and develop standardised and robust processes of data collection, data retrieval, data analysis and strategy implementation.

By: Vineet Hemrajani. (Business Analytics Manager)

As consumer behaviour is the key to success in the marketplace. Companies are constantly looking at customer behavioural patterns to predict future trends. Among the many tools is data analytics. Broadly speaking, data analytics can be
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described as the process of collecting, analysing and using data (related to demographic information, past behaviour trends, etc) to better understand and predict the behaviour of existing and prospective customers for business decisionmaking.

The common tools used to conduct data analytics range from simple cross tabulations and segmentation analysis to more sophisticated statistical methods such as multivariate and logistic regression, discriminant analysis and cluster analysis. In the last few years, optimisation tools and machine learning algorithms such as neural networks and genetic algorithms have also been used to perform advanced data analysis.

The recent years have seen increased use of data analytics in driving business strategies across various industries. While the data analytics methods have been extensively used in FMCG, pharma and telecom companies, their mainstay has been the consumer finance industry.

The wide scale applications of predictive data analytics started almost four decades ago in the form of credit scoring models pioneered by Fair, Isaac & Company (FICO) in the United States. These credit scoring models or scorecards were used to predict customer default.

With the exponential increase in computing power and application of information technology in business processes, more and more data analytics techniques and statistical tools are now being applied for Marketing industry.

But why are businesses increasingly adopting the use of data analytics in their dayto-day working? Clearly because it allows these firms to predict the behaviour of existing and potential customers. Empowered with this information, firms are able to devise suitable strategies to better manage their respective businesses.

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On the marketing side, the use of data analytics in the form of response models helps companies design and execute cross sell, up sell, deep sell and retention strategies. In the long run, creative use of past customer data through predictive modelling helps companies in building powerful and effective analytical CRM (customer relationship management) platforms.

These analytical CRM platforms allow firms to make suitable offers to its customers and optimise campaigns through e-mail, direct mail, telemarketing and inbound call channels. Experts believe that to reap the maximum benefits from data analytics, firms have to invest in the right technology, hire the right people and last but not the least develop standardised and robust processes of data collection, data retrieval, data analysis and strategy implementation.

For example, a company may invest in a separate analytics data mart to capture the relevant customer data or information. This data are mainly of three types: demographic, behavioural and contact information. While demographic data refers to information about customer characteristics like age, income, etc., behavioural data includes information of customer's prior performance like transaction history and delinquency behaviour. Contact information includes history of prior offers and contacts made to the customer.

Once the data mart is ready, the company needs to build efficient and robust systems for extracting and analyzing data from the data mart. After the required data analysis is completed and a suitable strategy using data analytics has been devised, it is important to ensure that strategies are implemented efficiently and accurately.

The implementation of analytically driven marketing strategies has been rather `painful' process for most companies. However if the right IT infrastructure exists and process planning is rigorous then implementation can be accomplished with minimal disruption of business processes and limited impact on the company's resources.
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After a particular business strategy (a new marketing campaign) has been implemented, the companies need to measure the performance of the marketing strategy and make sure that the results can be tracked effectively for future use. The process of continuous designing, executing, and tracking and allows companies to `test and learn' and thereby helps them gain a competitive edge.

A team of systems specialists and data analysts is required to develop and maintain efficient data marts and robust implementation and analysis systems. To conduct data analytics and business analysts that can effectively perform strategic analysis and build predictive models need to be developed for marketing.

For example major financial services firms in India have built internal data analytics and business intelligence teams of data analysts and statistical modellers that support marketing activities. A significant number of independent third party data analytics companies that provide end-to-end data analytics solutions have also mushroomed in the last couple of years. From the above examples of Amul, CocaCola and many other companies it is clear that Consumer behaviour information is very much needed by the marketers today, in order to frame their marketing strategies regarding their products and services.

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QUESTION 2) HOW DID THE CONSUMER/CUSTOMER SENSES PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THEIR SHOPPING EXPERIENCES IN THE RETAIL STORE ?

Answer 2) Before expressing my views on the above question, I would like to throw some light on actual meaning of the retail store.

Retail shop (also called Retail Store) is the smallest unit of retail spectrum. Retail shops are run from residential or commercial streets or from shopping centres. Such a retailer buys goods or products in moderate quantity from local stockist, manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells individual items in small quantities to consumers who are general public or end user customers.

Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Marketers see retailing as part of their overall distribution strategy. A retail shop buys in small quantity, but in regular intervals. Small exporters, new entrants, small manufacturers find this sector very lucrative as they lack the ability to supply in large quantity because of financial and logistical constraints.

Though profit per sale may be less compared to larger order but that gets compensated by higher percentage of margin and lower risk.

If we talk about consumer senses, we find that consumer senses or customer senses plays an important role in their shopping experiences in the retail stores. Here I would like to make you understand what are consumer senses.

The concept µcustomer experience or senses¶ was formulated in 1982 by Holbrook and Hirschman as a new experiential approach to consumer behavior. Until then,
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the customer was considered to be a rational decision-taker, who tried to purchase the best product from an available selection of products at a reasonable price. Holbrook and Hirschman, however, stated that in contrast to this rational and utilitarian approach, some activities were better explained by experiential approach. A customer¶s interaction with a product, service (and / or shopping environment) can be intrinsically satisfying, without thinking about a product or service¶s utilitarian functionality. The publications of Holbrook and Hirschman brought attention to the importance of certain variables (more specifically, emotions) which were largely neglected until then.

Since economy and marketing are shifting from a goods to a service dominant logic, creating and directing memorable customer experiences in retail store environments has become a valuable differentiation strategy for retail stores. Competing in today¶s global market is becoming increasingly difficult. Since customers nowadays often perceive products and services as homogeneous, retail stores continuously need to look for different strategies.

Differentiating oneself from the competitor by creating memorable customer experiences is therefore becoming one of the central objectives of many retail store environments.

In the current experience economy, customers ask and expect more than just being satisfied with the purchased brand or product and the delivered service level. Instead, they look for personal, intuitive relationships with brands and retailers Directing the store¶s retail design towards the creation of memorable customer experiences by appealing to their senses can contribute to the creation of such companyclient relationships. Since customer experiences in retail settings appear to immerse customers at a cognitive, emotional and intuitive level, they can be considered as a new source for value creation. A retail experience which succeeds in delivering value to the customer can become the key to long-term retailer success. While µcustomer/consumer experiences¶ continually receive more attention, literature on how to create and direct these experiences often lacks definitions of central concepts and empirical support.

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The µcustomer/consumer experience¶ concept came to limelight with the publication in 1999 of Pine & Gilmore¶s book on the Experience Economy. Pine & Gilmore present experiences as a new offering, which emerges as the next phase after an economy of commodities, goods and services. According to their viewpoint, managers from now on need to focus on creating and directing memorable customer experiences.

Therefore, they describe six different features of an experience. - First of all, experiences need to be worth remembering. - Secondly, experiences need to be focused on an appropriate theme, which characterizes the retail store and appeals to customers. - Thirdly, negative elements which can divert customers¶ attention from the experience, need to be removed. - Fourthly, experiences need to appeal to as many customers¶ senses as possible. - Fifthly, since every experience is the consequence of an interaction between an organized µevent¶ and the (emotional, mental, physical) condition of the customer at the time of the interaction, every experience is personal. - Finally, Pine & Gilmore state that customers need to pay for experiences. According to their viewpoint, as long as a retail store does not ask a price for an experience, the experience cannot be considered as a proper economic offering. As already discussed consumer/customer senses plays an important role in their shopping experience in retail store, I would like to add some factors that give rise to consumer/customer senses: - Customer¶s past experiences in the retail store. - Consumers perception towards retail stores. - Positive or negative attitudes.
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The sensory organs like eyes, ears, nose,skin plays a very important role in consumer senses. With the help of their sensory organs a customer or consumer evaluates the qualities and services in the retail store.

If these sensory organs evaluates and gives customers the desired satisfaction then it results in positive experience about the retail stores however, dissatisfaction results in negative experience about the retail stores.

A customer when steps in a retail store, his eyes, ears, nose and skin give him an idea about the store and the product and services offered by the store. A customer¶s five senses play a role in their shopping decisions. A stereo ought to sound and look good; a piece of fish should look good and, well, not smell bad; a restaurant entrée must smell good and taste even better.

It¶s easy to understand how individual opinions about flavors, scents, sounds, and appearance would influence customers¶ buying preferences. But until recently, researchers didn¶t understand the importance of how something feels to a consumer. They believed that the persuasive role of touch was limited to providing information about a product¶s attributes.

³Touch can be an almost irresistible urge for children and adults.

There are several variables that only the sense of touch can properly assess like texture, softness, weight, and temperature. Not surprisingly, any product that can vary in these attributes is more likely to lead customers to touch before making a purchase decision. For example, a customer might pick up three different laptops to determine which one is lightest for travel, or press on a pillow to see how firm it is. In a wine shop you might pick the most-chilled bottle of beer if you plan to drink it right away.
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The first three types of touch fall into the category of ³instrumental,´ where the actions of the consumer are directed toward evaluating products and making purchase decisions. At the first level, a customer is simply touching the product to take it to the checkout area. At the next, the consumer may touch a product to obtain information that isn¶t readily visible, as when she turns over a box to read a nutrition label or looks inside a shirt to see what size it is. In both of these scenarios, obtaining information is not the goal, even though the hands are used in the act of learning about the product.

The third type of touch is geared toward determining product attributes, as described above. None of customer¶s senses can effectively assess weight, temperature, texture, or softness. The touch of the fingertips on the object is essential to evaluating the product along these criteria.

The fourth type of touch has nothing to do with information gathering at all²yet it is perhaps the most critical in terms of its impact on marketing. In this type of touch, the sensory experience of touching an object is an end unto itself.

Running your hand over a cashmere blanket or holding a smooth piece of pottery in your hand just for the sake of it is part of the shopping experience. It¶s also, we now know, closely tied to the purchasing patterns of certain kinds of consumers. Just as some products warrant more touching than others to determine quality or material properties, some consumers are more tempted than others to touch them.

Not surprisingly, individuals who rate themselves higher in product judgments when they are unable to have physical contact with the object.

Ears also play an important role towards shopping experience in retail stores, when a customer hears that somebody is responding to his call and timely give him the

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information regarding the product, customer feels very good that he has heard a good about the product from the store people itself.

At last I can say that if a retail store wants to progress it should have to take into considerations of consumer senses or customer senses.

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QUESTION 3) WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS PHYSICAL OBSTACLES WHICH AFFECT THE CONSUMER/CUSTOMER SHOPPING EXPERIENCES IN THE RETAIL STORE ? ANSWER 3) There are various physical obstacles present which affect the
consumer/customer shopping experience in the retail stores.

Today when so many retail stores are opening up, each one is competing hard for the customers' money. There are more choices available for consumers than ever before. In such situation retail stores must develop business strategies that focus on creating as well as maintaining customers, one by offering customers a differentiated shopping experience. Merchandising and display are important issues that need serious attention in enhancing customer shopping experience.

Such big retailers spends lot of money in getting high traffic location but if customers/consumers don¶t find anything systematic, unique and attractive, they may just pass away from the door or if visited will try some other place to retail store next time.

Merchandising is much more than simply the arrangement of products on the shelf, it is also about understanding the way customers shop.

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Hand written boards, posters covering the door and walls, lack of lighting, untidy displays convey that retail stores are not serious about their business. So retail stores need to create an environment that not only attract customers but also give feeling of comfort and satisfaction during shopping, which act as inducing factor for their next visit.

Following are the obstacles that greatly affect the customer shopping experience in the retail stores:

1 Store Front and Windows:

If the retail store has big front and windows, store should exploit it by putting creative displays and offers. It may include sale announcement, about any new product introduced, or about new season¶s collection. Any information to be put on front should be attractive and in accordance with cultural norms this should attract customer and will result in positive experience towards that specific retail store.

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2) Product placement in store:

A retail store must put the most popular and latest products in front. New products which are attractive and create interest in the mind of customers should be put in the most visible place. A retail store should not try to keep ever thing on display. Keep the display clutter free this will give customer a satisfaction and this will result in positive customer experience.

A retail store area can be classified into three types: - main merchandising - display - -cash.

The merchandising area is where customers are visually bombarded with products available for purchase. The cash area is where the final sale takes place and is an excellent area to place small accessory items that appeal to impulse buying.

Display spaces should be used to create visual excitement and draw attention of customers or consumers. It also gives opportunity to create awareness about the new products and varieties available.

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A retail store should take photos of the display and keep record of the product sales during this existing display. A retail store should store this information for future reference as it can help in evaluating different display styles.

A retail store should give a balance view with respect to color as well as size of item placed. Generally heavy looking items and darker items should be placed near the bottom of a display. Placing too many items, or heavy items on one side create unbalanced view and this results in negative customer experience.

3) Effective Signage:

Effective is one of the easiest ways to convey message to the customers. Information about store name, pricing, promotions and product information may all be conveyed through signage.

Do's for Retail store signage:

1. Visible and legible

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2. Emphasize on main message.

3. Place it where it will catch maximum customers' attention.

4. Right amount of information with clarity.

5. Attractive for customers.

6. Simple and contrasting color schemes to be easily read.

7. Use trendy and powerful colors.

8. Light should focus on interior as well as exterior signage.

9. Look it from customers of point of view to analyze it.

10 Look for consistency on all store signage.

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Don'ts for Retail store signage

1. Confusing and misleading messages.

2. Placing too high on store building.

3. Spelling errors.

4. Hand written signage.

5. Conveying too much.

4) Lighting:

Lighting is very important factor to be considered when it comes to customer shopping experience in retail stores. Proper lighting on display can catch attention of customer and even arouse interest for the product. Dull lighting can make customers yawn.

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Light should not be thrown directly from the top; also shadows that spoil the beauty of display should be avoided. Lighting should enhance the three dimensional image of the product. When display arrangement is changed, lighting should also be adjusted.

Track lighting can enhance colors. Track lighting can be used as accent lighting to show up specific merchandise and adding excitement. It can also be used in illuminating wall displays. Ambient lighting is the general lighting, which in many cases is fluorescent lighting. A retail store can upgrade lighting whenever it is essential. Retail Store windows can be a good source of lighting.

5) The Store's aroma:

A pleasing aroma can create a wonderful ambience which adds to the customers' shopping experience. Many of the stores are using scents to boost retail performance. It is observed that with a pleasant aroma flowing in the air, individual experiences a flow state which results in spending more time in the store, and thereby they buy more items from the store. A store must create scents that are consistent with its theme. In a female section the scent should produce a feminine smell.

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Scented candles can be used to give special effects to retail store. Which type of scent to use is a very sensitive issue? Two things need to be considered: - first, it is consistent with the product type.

- Second, it is as per the preferences and sensitivities of target consumers.

6) Background Music:

Music is another technique of pleasing the customers. The types of music to be played again depends on product and target customer, for e.g. a retail store selling trendy cloths and have a young target market, fast and funky music is suitable. In most other cases, music should just give a background effect. Slow music reduces the pace of human traffic and increases sales.

Music should be just loud enough to balance the noise created by customers, employees and machines.

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Some other that should be kept in mind are:

1. Racks should be placed far enough from each other to allow movements without touching the racks. 2. A retail store should change in store displays and windows at least every month during the holidays.

3. Use the colors that help to set mood and feelings.

4. Magazines can be the best source of ideas for displays.

5. A retail store owner should pretend him as a customer and take a look at his store.

6. Before placing the products, drawing a quick layout can help in visualizing the plan for retail store design and avoids unnecessary movement of goods.

7. A retail store should keep the things simple. The customer convenience should be the ultimate goal.

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These are some of the physical obstacles that affect customer or consumer¶s shopping experience in Retail Stores. If the do¶s and dont¶s are kept in mind a retail store can remove all the physical obstacles and can have an edge over their competitive retail stores.

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QUESTION 4) HOW DO YOU THINK THAT THE EXPERIENCES PROVIDE BY THE RETAIL STORE SUPPORT THEIR SELF CONCEPT ? ANSWER 4) Each and every individual has certain self-concepts, which means
that they have certain role models and they want to react and interact according to their role models. This effect can be seen in their purchase decision also. Their dressing sense, hair style, and table manners etc. are somewhat influenced by their role models. There can be contradiction between perceived image and actual image.

Many marketers are now using self concept related to personality- a person¶s self concept also called self image. The basic self concept premise is that people¶s possession contributes to and reflect their identities, that is, ³We Are What We Have´.

Thus in order to understand consumer behaviour, the marketer must first understand the relationship between consumer self concept and possessions .

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QUESTION 5) WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL CUES CREATED THOSE EXPERIENCES ?

ANSWER 5

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QUESTION 6) WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD YOU MAKE TO THE RETAIL STORE BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCES AND WHY ?

ANSWER 6) As far as my previous experiences were concerned regarding the
retail stores, they were a mixed one i.e. good and bad. I have visited Spencers, Vishal Mega Mart and Big Bazar earlier and had a good and bad experiences.

My good experiences include the availability of each and every thing at one place and also at a very cheaper rate form the market. As a coin has two faces a retail store has two faces of , which one is good and another is bad from the prospective of the customer.

As every Retail store is unique in its way, it is very important for a retail store to keep the customers attracted towards itself.

Here I am writing down some of the recommendations that should be kept in mind so that a Retail store can easily attract customers towards itself. - It is commonly found that many retail stores specially ³Big Bazar´ spends lot of money in getting high traffic location but it is very painful for the customers to reach that store by crossing such a high traffic. Customers don¶t find anything systematic, unique and attractive, they may just pass
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away from the door or if visited will try some other place to shop next time. So my personal recommendation for the retail stores is that not to try to locate their stores in such a traffic zone for which a customer has to think again and again before visiting the store.

- Once I visited Spencer and was shocked to see that merchandising was given more importance than the arrangement of products on the shelf. I have also found a toiletry soap on the beauty soap shelf. I was stunned to see that how a reputed store can make a blunder mistake like this. So I personally recommend Spencer store to keep an eye on such small things as these small things can lead to a great flop in the market.

- Many times when I had visited Vishal Mega Mart I found hand written boards, posters covering the door and walls creating a lack of lighting and also resulting in untidy So Vishal Mega Mart need to create an environment that not only attract customers but also give feeling of comfort and satisfaction, which act as inducing factor for their next visit.

Here I would like to give some general recommendations that will make the customer shopping experience positive about these stores and these are as follows:

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Store Front and Windows:

If the store has big front and windows, a retail store should exploit it by putting creative displays and offers. It may include sale announcement, about any new product introduced, or about new season¶s collection. Any information to be put on front should be attractive and in accordance with cultural norms in order to make customer aware about the schemes and discounts.

Product placement in the store:

A retail store must put the most popular and latest products in front. New products which are attractive and create interest in the mind of customers should be put in the most visible place. A store should not try to keep everything on display. Rather keep the display clutter free.

As a store area can be classified into three types: main merchandising, display and cash. The merchandising area is where customers are visually bombarded with products available for purchase. The cash area is where the final sale takes place and is an excellent area to place small accessory items that appeal to impulse buying. Display spaces are used to create visual excitement and draw attention of customers. It also gives opportunity to
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create awareness about the new products and varieties available.

Take photos of the display and keep record of the product sales during this existing display. Save this information for future reference. It can even help in evaluating different display styles.

A retail store should give a balance view with respect to color as well as size of item placed. Generally heavy looking items and darker items should be placed near the bottom of a display. Placing too many items, or heavy items on one side create unbalanced view.

Effective Signage:

It is one of the easiest ways to convey message to the customers. Information about store name, pricing, promotions and product information may all be conveyed through signage.

Do's for professional signage:

1. Visible and legible

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2. Emphasize on main message

3. Place it where it will catch maximum customers' attention.

4. Right amount of information with clarity.

5. Attractive for customers.

6. Simple and contrasting color schemes to be easily read.

7. Use trendy and powerful colors.

8. Light should focus on interior as well as exterior signage.

9. Look it from customers of point of view to analyze it.

10 Look for consistency on all store signage

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Lighting

As lighting is also very important factor to be considered. Proper lighting on display can catch attention of customer and even arouse interest for the product. Dull lighting can make customers yawn so a store must avoid using dull lights.

Light should not be thrown directly from the top; also shadows that spoil the beauty of display should be avoided. Lighting should enhance the three dimensional image of the product. When display arrangement is changed, lighting should also be adjusted.

Use of track lighting can enhance colors. Track lighting can be used as accent lighting to show up specific merchandise and adding excitement. It can also be used in illuminating wall displays. Ambient lighting is the general lighting, which in many cases is fluorescent lighting. Upgrade lighting whenever it is essential. Store windows can be a good source of lighting.

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The Store's aroma:

A pleasing aroma can create a wonderful ambience which adds to the customers' shopping experience for any retail store. Many of the stores are using scents to boost retail performance. It is observed that with a pleasant aroma flowing in the air, individual experiences a flow state which results in spending more time in the store, and thereby they buy more items from the store. A store must create scents that are consistent with its theme. In a female section the scent should produce a feminine smell.

Scented candles can be used to give special effects to store. Which type of scent to use is a very sensitive issue? Two things need to be considered: - first, it is consistent with the product type. -Second, it is as per the preferences and sensitivities of target consumers.

Music:

Music is another technique of pleasing the customers. The types of music to be played again depends on product and target customer, for e.g. store selling trendy cloths and have a young target market, fast and funky music is suitable.
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In most other cases, music should just give a background effect. Slow music reduces the pace of human traffic and increases sales.

Music should be just loud enough to balance the noise created by customers, employees and machines.

Some More General Tips:

1. Racks should be placed far enough from each other to allow movements without touching the racks.

2. Make changes in store displays and windows at least every month during the holidays.

3. Use the colors that help to set mood and feelings.

4. Magazines can be the best source of ideas for displays.

5. Pretend you are a customer and take a look at your store.

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6. Before placing the products, drawing a quick layout can help in visualizing the plan for your design and avoids unnecessary movement of goods.

7. Keep the things simple. The customer convenience should be the ultimate goal for a retail store.

These recommendations are the recommendations that have came to my mind from my past experiences of the different retail stores.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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