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Chapter 1: Introduction

During the last few years organized retail has gained significant importance in India. After the
infotech phenomena, India is witnessing retailing revolution. (N.Rao 2002).Retail business in
India is rapidly evolving with the spending capacity of Indian consumers growing at
unprecedented rates. Modern retail has seen the emergence of sprawling shopping centers
offering exclusive shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof. Families across
different socio economic classes in India are lured by global and local retailers to buy
products and services. The new rules of marketing are redefining business strategies in
connecting with consumers. Cut throat competition forcing retailers to come up with most
marketable product innovations which are acceptable at consumer level. With growing
number of retailers selling similar products, customers expect unmatchable shopping
experience and unique product from each retailer. Customer service environment forms the
heart of any retail operations. For retailers customer service elements are those associated
with store environment and delivery systems, including role of employees. It starts with every
step of retailing, how consumers buy, where they buy, what they buy, when they buy and why
they buy. A retailer has to be proactive in serving the consumer before consumer arrive at the
store. Thus planning for setting customer service standards and elements starts well before
consumer comes for shopping. How effectively the product is offered to the consumer is very
important in retailing. The efficiency of entire service environment not only deals with service
provided at the time of shopping but it starts before consumer enters the retail outlet and it
continues even after final purchases made.Serving with accountability has become critical
success factor in consumer driven markets.Business of retailing is greatly affected by the
patronage behavioral orientations of shoppers. Understanding these orientations can help
retailers to implement service environment catering to needs and wants of customers.
Customer focused retail servicescape is a critical touch point driving positive shopping
experience. If a consumer wants to buy cosmetics he /she has the option to purchase it from
specialty store, department store, supermarket, hypermarket, beauty service providers and
traditional retailers engaged in selling cosmetics. Considering all these retailers they differ in
terms of offering shopping experience and product specifications.

The purpose of this research is to determine the influence of store servicescape or customer
service environment on buying behavior of women cosmetics consumers in organized retail
stores. More specifically, an attempt has been made to understand impact of various

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The study focuses only on women cosmetics usersand not men. The scope of this study is limited to in-store buying behavior of women consumer at select organized retail outlets of the city. this study covers women cosmetics consumers of Pune city. The study will explore impact of servicescape variants on buying behavior. giving total retail experience by elevating service standards Pune retailers are bringing world class products into the market. The study is also helpful for the retailers from the point of view as it can be applied in formulating sales and customer service strategy and informing individuals about cosmetics consumption. Functional ScopeThe study is restricted to the analysis of only buying behavior outcomes or responseswith respect to servicescape dimensions (service environment) of a store .supermarkets located in different parts of the city. This research will examine how women consumers respond to different servicescape attributes. Furthermore. Identified sites to conduct this study are specialty stores.servicescape dimensions towards overall shopping experience and resulting buying behavior outcomes at select department stores. Also. whether servicescape affects their shopping experience or not. B. In the effort to attract more consumers and create excitement. and specialty stores selling cosmetics in Pune city.1 Significance of the study: A study of consumer buying behavior is important for several reasons as different mindsets and distinct consumer behavioral pattern in Pune city of India will be significantly helpful in understanding of business scenario. This throws the great opportunity for the researcher to study women consumer behavior towards cosmetics. department stores. and provide basis for further study. The relative influence of service environment on shopping experience of urban females would be interesting to know for the researcher to understand consumer behavior.Thus this study would be helpful from academic as well as industry point of view. Research on the above topic will give in-depth analysis into urban female consumers’ decision making process towards cosmetics. since the beauty and personal care industry is 13 . hypermarkets.2 Scope of the study: A .Geographical Scope – Geographically. 1. This research will contribute for better understanding of service environment. 1. the research results might guide marketers in designing effective and balanced retail servicescape to encourage desirable shopping experience.

Amanora shopping center. interacting and engaging consumers has become very important. Launching point for each retail process is service delivery. Kumar pacific. The shift from transaction marketing to experiential marketing has been the effect of changing consumer behavior. of retail outlets. 1. so streamlining retail operations for attracting. 14 . Women in IT city Pune are shopping for cosmetics in these stores are an explanation of increasing number of retailers popping up everywhere. The focus of this project is to study the cosmetics purchase behavior of women consumers and the shopping experience influencers. design.3 Rationales of the study: Changing consumer needs. hypermarkets.4 Key research issues: The researcher attempts to understand “what are the key servicescape factors involved in influencing women consumers’ buying behavior of cosmetics?” The focus of the study will remain on• Understanding servicescape dimensions such as store ambience. Hygiene cosmetics like dental care. supermarkets and specialty stores selling cosmetics. • The buying behavior of women consumers while shopping cosmetics. Inorbit mall. advancement in technology and intensifying market competition are factors forcing retailers to improve service standards while selling products and services. and in store sales promotion and convenience. bath soaps and salts and baby care and beauty services are not included in this study. sales consultants. 1.the aggregation of a wide range of product categories of cosmetics. Major retail hubs such as Nucleus mall. for this project only make up cosmetics. The successful store service environment focuses on understanding the needs and desires of the customers. 1.5Research objectives: To determine the relative influence of service environment cues on shopping experience and resulting purchasing intent following objectives were designed. Advent of modern retail formats in Pune has changed the way people shop. and Phoenix market city and many more are housing different department stores. changes in social and economic factors. merchandise. skin care cosmetics and hair care cosmetics and fragrances categories are taken into consideration.

6Assumptions: Attempt has been made in this study to include stores selling cosmetics (department stores and specialty stores. Kharadi are the hub for new shopping malls. For example in department stores cosmetics company specific counters are handled by specially trained beauty consultants. Hinjewadi. However with changing lifestyles. higher disposable incomes coupled with greater affordability have been 15 . F. Pune’s software and BPO industry have propelled investment in retail infrastructure including the development of shopping malls.Nagar road. supermarkets and hypermarkets) located in malls which offer different services.road.Warje in the southwest. 1. Kalyani Nagar. J. 1. Boat Club road are house to many unorganized retailers as well as new organized retail formats.M. SenapatiBapatMarg and Bund Garden road –central locations have witnessed considerable organized retail developments. conservative and price-conscious buyers who would shop at convenient locations like Laxmi Road. newer residential pockets like Baner.7 Pune City In the past 4-5 years Pune city has undergone complete makeover of its retail sector.1. But in reality it is not possible that all the stores are alike in terms of selling products and offering associated services. Medium to large format malls have forayed in the Pune market. Puneites were considered as very traditional. Yerwada.C. However with Pune’s growth in a real estate sector in all directions of the city. To know whether demographic characteristics have significant difference for perceived servicescape dimensions.G.World class quality products offered with elevated service standards are in high demand in Pune market. Magarpatta city. Previously. The servicescape variables identified for this study are common across different store formats. Economic growth of population and infrastructure improvements in Pune is reflecting the current and future attractiveness of the target market for sellers. Bavdhan. The traditional shopping destinations such as Laxmi road. Suburban locations of Pune city like Yerwada –Kalyani Nagar in the northeast . M.road. To know the influence of total store servicescape on buying behavior. Aundh in northwest. 2.road. Whereas in specialty stores trained beauty consultants handle different product categories of same brand.

8 Organization of the thesis: First chapter begins with introduction of research study. 1. and finally. Chapter 4 discusses research methodology followed for this study. The summary of results and conclusions that can be drawn from this research is presented in chapter 6. Chapter 3. A conceptual framework of store servicescape developed by Mary Jo Bitner was adapted for this research. showing appetite for big brands. shopping experience and consumer buying behavior.2012). relevant and specific introductions of retail industry and cosmetics industry. the review of literature includes an overview of existent literature on servicescape. In Chapter 2 the review of retail industry and cosmetics industry give insights about importance and need to study these sectors.instrumental in bringing about a drastic change in Pune’s consumer behavior pattern. Today’s Puneites are more cosmopolitan. merchandise attributes and promotional attributes were added to study consumers buying responses. 16 . Chapter 5 presents in analyses and detail findings from the study. (Malla R. limitations and future scope for research is discussed in chapter 7. progressive and willing to experiment. To that additional element of service environment such as convenience attributes.