adv-06 adv-06

Effect of Store Music and Aroma on Older and Younger Shoppers’ Behavior

adv-07

Ahmad Saquib Sina, Graduate Researcher, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Associate Editor, Textile Focus

Shopping in the big malls has become the craze of modern times. Bangladesh, though still a least developed country the number of big shopping malls and chain shops are not very few. Shoppers especially from the elite and upper middle class people prefers shopping in malls and big chain shops. People from all age groups are seen to choose and buy their products from malls every day. One good reason behind it may be the availability of all goods in one premises and no hassle of bargaining. But the environment in the shopping malls may be another strong reason why people are preferring malls. Whatever, shopping malls and chain shops are becoming more significant in the retail business of the country especially in the clothing market. This is an interesting article compiled by one of our technical editors of Textile Focus on the environment of big chain shops. It’s a snapshot of his research done in world famous clothing chain shops: Walmart and Target.

Introduction

untitled01

Shopping Malls are always Crowded with Shoppers and Visitors

The primary purpose of the research is to observe the effect of store music and aroma on older and younger shoppers’ behavior. An observational method was conducted in this research.  In this research, the nonverbal behavior, spatial behavior, linguistic behavior and extra linguistic behavior were observed on both the younger and older shoppers with the presence of store music and aroma. This study helped to analyze the shoppers’ body movements such as facial expressions, their formal aspects of speech, such as the tendency to interrupt, the content of speech and the structural characteristics of talking and shoppers positive and negative reactions and their interactions with each other. In this study the older and younger shoppers’ behavior were observed in two stores: Walmart and Target. The observation will be conducted in two conditions. In Walmart, the older and younger shoppers were observed with the presence of store music and aroma whether in Target, the older and younger shoppers’ behavior were observed without the presence of store music and aroma. From that two analysis, the comparisons among the observations were determined.

Effect of store music and aroma on consumers

Store music and aroma have a significant impact on the consumers’ behavior. Morrison et al. (2011) demonstrated that store music and aroma significantly influenced shoppers’ behavior and approach. They mentioned that the overall satisfaction levels of the shoppers are high with the presence of store music and aroma (Morrison et al., 2011).

Yalch & Spangenberg (1993) suggested that store music is directly involved with the age rather than gender. The younger and older shoppers spend more pleasant time when the style of music is according to them (Yalch & Spangenberg, 1993).

untitled

The importance of shopping malls are increasing in the fashion and RMG retail market

Areni & Kim (1993) found that younger and older shoppers preferred a different type of music and their purchase depend on their preferred music. There has also been researching the effects of Christmas music ad Christmas aroma on consumer’s evaluations of a store, its environment and offered merchandise (Spangenberg et al., 2005). The results showed that that consumers evaluations are more favorable with the presence of Christmas music and Christmas aroma. Another study established a relationship between scent and consumers’’ social interactions (Mattila & Wirtz, 2005). The results found that scent has a positive impact on shopper’s social interaction in case of the strangers most. However, another study found no significant impact of the effects of on shopper’s perception, emotions, and behavior (Teller & Dennis, 2011). Spangenberg et al. (2006) mentioned that some scents are for the masculine and some scents are for the feminine. They suggested that gender congruence ambient scents have significant on approach and avoidance behaviors.

Besides, there is also a very important research on the effects of familiar/ unfamiliar music on consumer’s actual and perceived time (Yalch & Spangenberg, 2011). Shoppers spent much time in the store when they heard the familiar music, and they spent less time when they heard strange. The analysis demonstrated that there was a significant difference between actual time and perceived time of the shoppers with the presence of familiar and unfamiliar music.

Older shoppers and younger shoppers

Underhill (2000) demonstrated a significant difference between the older and younger buyers. He explained that older shoppers cannot observe the signs clearly because their visible power may degrade with their age (Underhill, 2000). Gale (2011) demonstrated that older shoppers show different characteristics than younger customers during the shopping. The article explained that older customer is less receptive than the younger customers (Gale, 2011).

The Economist (2000) published an article about the effects of the changes in relative prices on older and younger shoppers’ behavior. Younger shoppers prefer innovative products and older customers prefer older version products. One study described the effect of ambient scent on consumer response (Chebat et al., 2009). The study showed that pleasant scent has a significant positive impact on the younger buyers shopping experience whereas older customers can not perceive any effects of scents on them. Another study explained a reasonable difference between younger and older buyers about the brand (Lambert & Laurent, 2011). The results showed that when younger buyers are innovative during choosing the name and older shoppers always preferred old brands.

One study interpreted the effects of mall atmosphere on mall evaluation with respect to older and younger shoppers (Massicotte et al., 2011). Older consumers feel more comfort than younger buyer’s in all lighting conditions (Massicotte et al., 2011). Older consumers reported greater usage than the younger shoppers for the manual in general, and readership of specific sections (Lust et al., 1992).

Types of behavior

There are four types of behavior in case of observation methods – nonverbal behavior, spatial behavior, linguistic behavior, and extra-linguistic behavior (Frankfort et al., 1996). Body  movement such as facial expression is defined as nonverbal behavior, the attempts to control the  amount of interpersonal space is called spatial behavior, the content of speech and the structural  characteristics of talking are called linguistic behavior and the formal aspects of speech, such as the rate, pitch, and tendency to interrupt are called extra-linguistic behavior. One study explained that age differences are a major factor in learning environmental layout (Kirasic, 2000). Barrick et al. (1993) made a comparison between older and younger shoppers with respect to their spatial behavior. The results showed that there is a tendency to increase the personal space with age and age is a factor that negatively affects the tonal inflections.

Research Design

 The research design is observational. In this study, the independent variables are store music and aroma. The dependent variables are spatial behavior, nonverbal behavior, linguistic behavior and extra-linguistic behavior. A comparative study was conducted by dividing the data into two age groups (younger vs. older). Data was collected in two different stores. One was Target and the other one was Walmart. In Walmart, older and younger shoppers’ behavior was observed with the presence of store music and aroma. On the other hand, in Target, older and younger shoppers’ behavior was observed with the absence of store music and aroma. After the observation, a comparison between older and younger shoppers’ behavior was analyzed.

 Participants

To conduct the study, at Walmart, thirty older and thirty younger shoppers’ behavior was observed with the presence of store music and aroma. Also, at Target, another thirty older and thirty younger shoppers were observed without the presence of store music and aroma. The age range of older shoppers was between fifty to sixty-five years and the age range of younger shoppers were between fifteen to twenty-five years.

Data collection

Data was collected on two stores: Target and Walmart. At Walmart, sixty younger shoppers were observed with the presence of store music in two different days. On one morning (9 AM), thirty younger shoppers were observed and on another morning the remaining shoppers were observed. They were observed in the morning (9 AM). The observation was taken place from a room at Walmart. Each shopper was observed for five minutes. That is in one
session, the total time for observation was two hours and thirty minutes. At that time, the shoppers’ behavior was counted. That is the occurrences were counted on a person basis. Similarly, sixty older shoppers were observed with the presence of store music. This observation was taken place on two consecutive morning (9 AM). Each shopper was observed for five minutes and the occurrences were counted. Similarly, the older and younger shoppers were screenshot-205observed at Walmart with the presence of store aroma. They were observed at two different mornings. In the similar way, the same number of older and younger shoppers were also being observed at Target, but without the presence of store music and aroma. After the observation, the data was collected and analyzed. A behavioral checklist was used to record each instance of a listed behavior during the two hours and thirty minutes’ period.

Data analysis

After observing the behavior, the data was collected. The data was collected by counting the behaviors. For example, in case of nonverbal behavior, happy, smiling, disgust and anger were measured. Consumers’ behavior was observed first and if someone showed the behaviors, then it was counted. If the behaviors were not demonstrated with in specific time, then it was not counted. Through the count, the behaviors were measured and the graphs are produced.

Pilot study  

To assess the feasibility of the research design, a pilot study was conducted at Walmart and Target. To better assess the impact of store music and aroma on shoppers’ behavior, two conditions. Firstly, the older and younger shoppers were observed with the presence of store music and aroma in one store and secondly the older and younger shoppers were observed without the presence of store music and aroma. Ten older and ten younger shoppers were selected. First, they were observed at Walmart with the presence of store music. Each shopper was observed for five minutes and recorded their nonverbal behavior, spatial behavior, linguistic behavior and extra-linguistic behavior.

In this study the number of occurrences were counted for each shopper. To conduct a comparative study, the older and younger shoppers were also observed at Target without the presence of store music. Similarly, the older and younger shoppers’ behaviors were observed at Walmart (presence of store music) and Target (absence of store music).

Results

The study showed that store music and aroma had a significant impact on shoppers’ behavior. The pilot study found that store music and aroma had a better effect on younger shoppers’ non-verbal behavior, linguistic behavior, extra linguistic behavior compared to older shoppers’ non-verbal behavior, linguistic behavior, and extra linguistic behavior. However, older shoppers always tried to maintain their interpersonal space compared to younger shopper in these two conditions. The result showed that with the presence of store aroma all factors are higher for the younger shopper except interpersonal space, loudness, and tendency to interrupt.  The total participants were sixty younger shoppers and sixty older shoppers. The results for the store aroma are similar to the presence of store aroma (Walmart), but the percentages are comparatively lower. The results for the presence of store music are like the presence of store aroma, but the percentages are comparatively high in case of the presence of store music. The results for the absence of store music (Target) are similar to the presence of store music (Walmart), however, the differences are in the percentages.

screenshot-206

Figure 1

screenshot-207

Figure-02

screenshot-210

Figure-03

screenshot-209

Figure-04

Conclusion

The results of this study support that younger shoppers are more responsive to store music and store aroma. This results are very important for the retail environment, because the behaviors of older and younger shoppers are analysed here. It can be easily implementable in a retail environment. With the number and popularity of shopping malls rising on the high the competition to attract and retain customers are immense. Visual and audio merchandising comes to play in this regard. The article is a research done in USA which’ result may be of use for the chain shop retailers. Similar survey research can be done in our retail shops to investigate how virtual, audio-visual and behavioral environment has impact on customers of different age groups and classes.

References:

Chebat, J., Chebat, C., & Vaillant, D. (2001). Environmental background music and instore   selling. Journal of Business Research, 54,115-123.

Yalch, R., & Spangenberg, E. (2000). The effects of music in a retail setting on real and perceived shopping times. Journal of Business Research, 49, 139-147.

Morrison, M., Gan, S., Dubelaar, C., & Oppewal, H. (2011). In-store music and aroma influences on shopper behavior and satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, 64, 558-564.

Teller, C., & Dennis, C. (2012). The effect of ambient scent on consumers’ perception, emotions and behavior: A critical review. Journal of Marketing Management, 28(1-2), 14-36

Areni, C., & Kim, D. (1993). The Influence of Background Music on Shopping Behavior: Classical Versus Top-Forty Music in a Wine Store. Advances in Consumer Research, 20(20), 336-340.

Yalch, R., & Spangenberg, E. (2000). The effects of music in a retail setting on real and perceived shopping times. Journal of Business Research, 49, 139-147.

Spangenberg, E. R., Sprott, D., Grohmann, B. & Tracy, D. L. (2006). Gender-congruent ambient scent influences on approach and avoidance behaviors in a retail store. Journal of Business Research, 59(12), 1281-1287.

Mattila, A., & Wirtz, J. (2005). Scent across a crowded room: Exploring the effect of ambient  scent on social interactions. Journal of Business Research, 77(2), 273-289.

Underhill, P.A.C.O. (2000). Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. USA: Simon & Schuster.O’Neill, M., & Jasper, C. (1992). An evaluation of models of consumer spatial behavior using the environment-behavior paradigm. Environment and Behavior, 24, 411 – 440.

Fiore, A. & Kim, J. (2007). An integrative framework capturing experiential and utilitarian    shopping experience. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 35(6), 421-442.

Michon, R., Chebat, J., and Turley, L. W. (2005). Mall atmospherics: the interaction effects of the mall environment on shopping behavior. Journal of Business Research, 58(5), 576-583.

Pan, Y., & Zinkhan, G. (2006). Determinants of retail patronage: A meta-analytical perspective. Journal of Retailing, 82(3), 229-243.

Donovan, R., Rossiter, J., Marcoolyn, G., & Nesdale, A. (1994). Store atmosphere and purchasing behavior. Journal of Retailing, 70(3), 283-294.

Kotler, P. (1974). Atmospherics as a marketing tool. Journal of Retailing, 49, 48-64.

Turley, L.W., & Milliman, R. (2000). Atmospheric effects on shopping behavior: A review of the experimental evidence. Journal of Business Research, 49(2), 193-211.

Ogle, J. P., Hyllegard, K. H., & Dunbar, B. H. (2004). Predicting patronage behaviors in a sustainable retail environment: Adding retail characteristics and consumer lifestyle  orientation to the belief-attitude-behavior intention model. Environment and Behavior, 36(5), 717-741.

Puccinelli, N.M., Goodstein, R., Grewal, D., Price, R., Raghubir, P., & Stewart, D. (2009). Customer experience management in retailing: Understanding the buying process. Journal of Retailing, 85(1), 15-30.

Pan, Y., & Zinkhan, G. (2006). Determinants of retail patronage: A meta-analytical perspective. Journal of Retailing, 82(3), 229-243.

Yoo, C., Park, J., & MacInnis, D. J., (1998). Effects of Store Characteristics and In-Store Emotional Experiences on Store Attitude. Journal of Business Research, 42, 253-263.

failed