Why do People Shop?

Before discussing the subject of why consumers’ shop where they do, more basic question might be asked — why do people shop? The obvious answer that they have to purchase something may not reflect the consumer’s actual motivation in each circumstance. It has been suggested that both personal and social motives, influence consumer shopping activities. The list of table has been suggested from exploratory research by means of individual in depth interviews with men and women. The strength of consumers’ motives also appears to be an important positively related element in their pleasure and arousal in the marketplace and with satisfaction in terms of retail preferences. ‘


Why do people shop?

Personal motives>>>

Role playing: Shopping activities are learned behavior and are expected or accepted as a part of one’s position or role such as mother or housewife.

Diversion: Shopping can offer a diversion from the routine of daily life and is a form of recreation.

Self gratification: Shopping may be motivated not by the expected utility of consuming but by the utility of the buying process itself. Thus, emotional states or moods may explain why (and when) someone goes shopping.

Learning about new trends: Shopping provides consumers with information about trends and movements and product symbols reflecting attitudes and lifestyles physical activity. Shopping can provide a considerable amount of exercise.
Sensory stimulation: Shopping can provide sensory benefits such as looking at and handling merchandise listening to the sounds (e.g. noise, silence, soft background music) and smelling the scents.

Social motives>>>

Social experience outside the home: Shopping can provide opportunities for seeking new acquaintances encounters with friends or just people watching.

Communication with others having a similar interest:

Shopping often affords an opportunity to interact with customers or salespeople having similar interests. Peer group attraction. Certain stores provide a meeting place where members of a peer group may gather.

Status and authority: Shopping may provide an opportunity to attain a feeling of status and power by being waited on.

Pleasure of bargaining: Shopping may offer the enjoyment of gaining a lower price through bargaining, companion shopping or visiting special sales.

The recreational or hedonic aspects of shopping are increasingly important to American consumers. Hedonic consumption involves those facts of consumer behavior that relate to the multi sensory fantasy, and emotive aspects of our experience with products. Shopper’s attention is focused on the fun, emotions, sensory stimulation fantasy, and amusement elements as well as on the goods they buy for consumption. And the shopping mall is one of the central elements of our society. Americans spend more time in malls than anywhere else besides work and home. We make 7 billion trips at and from malls, with entertainment a primary motive. The pervasive recreational shopping orientation of Americans is captured in the born to shop bumper sticker shown. Consumers shop for experiential and emotional reasons as well as for goods, services and information. In fact the purchase of goods may be incidental to the experience of a shopping. It could be argued that people buy so they can shop, not shop so they can buy.

Thus, consumer motives for shopping are functions of many variables, some of which are unrelated to the actual buying of products. Consequently retailers need to understand the variety of shopping motives that may be present and incorporate this information into retailing strategy.

We all like to think of ourselves as intelligent shoppers. But how do consumers actually make store choice decisions? Basically the consumers have a certain evaluative store criteria established in their mind and compare these with the perception of a tire’s characteristics. As a result of this process, stores are categorized as either acceptable or unacceptable and hence will be patronized on that basis. If the resulting shopping experience is favorable the consumer is reinforced in their learning experience and the mater of store choice will become largely routine over a period of time.

  • Nataraja

    It is indeed a nice article.