Discuss about the Research and Decision making of Leisure Shopping.
Evaluation of the business problem
Leisure retailing business is comparatively a new concept in marketing that is emerging rapidly with the expansion of the tourism industry. It is an effective way of developing the local economy and therefore, it has gained significant attention (Horner & Swarbrooke, 2016). Local people of an area can sell the special things of that region such as some special dishes, handicrafts, arts, paintings and so on. However, the leisure marketers fail to attract the tourists effectively due to a number of reasons (Falk & Dierking, 2016).
In order to attract the maximum number of tourists, the leisure retailers must gain information on their shopping behaviors and the factors that motivate their buying-decision. The marketers of leisure business mainly face problem for not knowing what the tourists want. Besides, the location of the retail outlets in small villages and towns may discourage the buying-behavior of the visitors, if not equipped with all the necessary facilities like accessibility, recreational activities, toilets and areas for car parking. However, lack of these facilities demotivates tourists to go to those locations for leisure shopping (Musa & Thirumoorthi, 2016).
Apart from that, lack of product differentiation strategy among the leisure retailers is another important problem. Tourists like to buy things that are unique and reflect the local specialties or culture, which cannot be found in any other part of the world. Therefore, failing to make the product packaging and displaying normal or less attractive may not acquire the desired result and enhance the shopping experience for the tourists (Choi, Heo, & Law, 2016).
Hence, the key research questions of the research are as follows:
- What are the factors that influence the buying behavior of leisure shoppers?
- What are the ways of enhancing the shopping experience of the leisure customers in small villages and towns?
- How is consumer shopping-behavior related with their leisure shopping decision-making?
What is already known about the problem
From the previous researches done by different researchers on the leisure shopping and its various aspects, some important factors can be known on this. Leisure shopping is relatively a new concept of shopping and the trend continues to grow in small villages and towns. Therefore, the marketers of leisure products must identify the perception of the customers, so that they can attract more customers by differentiating the products (Machleit, Meyer, & Eroglu, 2005).
Concept of leisure shopping
Leisure retails refers to the retail store that attracts touriststo spend some of their leisure time in shopping from the local stores. The trend of leisure shopping is rapidly growing at present time. The current flourishing of initiatives to build and promote spending as a tourist product offers a reason to analyse the product mix of leisure shopping, as this is perceived as a major activity in the future scenario of leisure shopping (Murphy, Moscardo, & Benckendorff, 2008). Shopping tourism is also considered as a mean to invigorate conventional urban centers, failing resorts, and even bucolic areas. The competition rate in the tourism market among the various situations for leisure shopping is a major problem (Turley & Milliman, 2000).
Concept of consumer leisure shopping behavior
Customers often receive benefits from the intense market completion in distinguished product setting throughout the season of leisure shopping. The wide variety of choices, convenience, sales people, location, atmosphere, refreshments, retailing policy, promotional activities is related at the time of leisureshopping (Henderson, 2016). The time spent by consumers in leisure shopping is increasing rapidly because the retailers and the developers of the shopping centers are focusing on processes to improve their shopping hubs with extra leisure quest. The consumer behavior during leisure shopping is highly influenced by the entertainingsubstructure as a competitive policy of retailers (Kleibert & Kippers, 2016).
Theories of consumer shopping behavior
Motivation-Need theoryput forward by Abraham Maslow states that consumer buying-behavior is driven by five-step priority method. These needs comprise physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualisation (Henderson, 2016). This theory helps the retailers to develop their marketing messages effectively for the leisure shoppers. In order to make a marketing campaign successful, it is not enough to bring awareness to merchandise, but also add some exciting features to it that helps to attract the tourists (Vertovec, 2015). It requires placing the product on the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Leisure shoppers are motivated to make the purchase to the base of the hierarchy. Therefore, the leisure marketers must develop a marketing message that inspires a sense of necessity or urgency in tourists. For example, highlighting the healthy nature of a food item and communicate the message effectively with the consumers (Kleibert & Kippers, 2016).
Hawkins Stern theory of impulse behavior focuses on the rational action of the consumer behavior. The theory stipulates the impulse behavior according to which, sudden purchasing impulses apt together with lucid buying decisions to dye a complete picture of the regular consumer (San, Omar, & Thurasamy, 2015). An impulse purchase is influenced essentially by external stimuli and has nearly no connection to customary decision-making. This theory provides the way of encouraging the shopping behavior of the leisure shoppers by making the each aspect of a product attracting. For example, packaging of a product displayed in the outlet has an effect on the impulsive behavior of a customer. This is one of the most effective ways of getting success by apprehending the impulsive thought of the tourists (Hsu & Lin, 2015).
Factors influencing shopping behavior of the tourists from local businesses in small towns and villages
There are a number of factors, which influence the buying behavior of the tourists in the small villages and towns are as follows (Liu, Qu, & Wang, 2015):
Well-managed quality facilities-It is important for a leisure shopping location to present itself positively and directly to the visitors. The shops of the local arts, crafts, foods, and beverages must be located in a place that has pleasing surroundings. Further, the place must include all the necessary services for the visitors such as toilets, parking areas, maintaining street-scraping, building better signage and providing information using a good visitor center etc (Shen, Song, & Jiang, 2015).
Visitor experience- In order to enhance the experience of the visitors, it is important for the marketers to be friendly and welcoming. Moreover, the products offered to the tourists must be unique and the marketers must maintain a strong diversity of the products. There must be some entertaining events and the opening and closing times of the shops must be consistent (Wu, Wall, & Pearce, 2014).
Integration and Accessibility- There must be a sufficient number of public transports within the small town or village so that the tourists do not have to face any kind accessibility issue. Therefore, there must be proper access to railway stations and bus stops for enhancing the accessibility to the shopping centers (Sinanan, Graham, & Zhong Jie, 2014).
Marketing presentation- The leisure marketers in the village and town must focus on marketing presentations. They must establish a specific brand name and promote it through the media to their prospective customers. Research and education are required for getting tourists to interact and develop their marketing presentation in a more harmonised manner.
Recreational infrastructure- This is another important factor that drives the buying decision of the leisure shoppers considerably. It is also helpful in increasing the store loyalty, high-perceived value for customers whereby people experience pleasure from shopping and innovative concern (Lu, Investigating factors that influence passengers' shopping intentions at airports–Evidence from Taiwan, 2014).
Gap in literature
Although a number of concepts and theories on leisure shopping is evaluated, however, due to lack of time the researcher could not go through more literature that could have provided more information on the topic.From the above analysis, significant knowledge has been gained over leisure shopping, but the relationship between consumer purchase decision-making and leisure shopping could not be depicted properly.
In this section, the researcher has gone through a number of journals and books regarding leisure shopping for gaining a better knowledge pertaining to it. The different aspects of the leisure shopping have been discussed critically from the viewpoint of different scholars. Moreover, theories related to consumer shopping behavior are also discussed for gaining in depth knowledge on the connection between consumer shopping behavior and leisure shopping. It is found that there are different factors, which influence the buying behavior of the tourists during their leisure shopping that must be considered by the leisure retailers.
The purpose of conducting the research is to identify the buying behavior of the tourists in terms of leisure shopping. Therefore, to fulfill the aim effectively, it is crucial to select suitable research designs from the available options. The researcher will use the positivism philosophy for authenticating the research data through logically explaining them. Further, the deductive approach will be used for analysing the existing theories related to the research topic.
This will be helpful in understating the research topic in a better manner and it is a time-effective technique. It is not required to develop any new theory on the research topic, as there are already a number of theories available on the topic (Brinkmann, 2014). The researcher will use the descriptive researchdesign, as it offers the chance of collecting both quantitative and qualitative data.It also facilitates to evaluate non-qualified issues and to observe the occurrences in a complete usual environment (Neuman, Neuman, & Robson, 2014).
The combination of quantitative and qualitative data provides better and in-depth information pertaining to the research topic (Panneerselvam, 2014). The quantitative data will help to analyse the response of a large number of population in an effective manner. On the other hand, qualitative data will help to examine the opinion, thoughts, and experience of the tourists about the leisure shopping in details (Brinkmann, 2014). For the collection of quantitative data, the researcher will conduct a survey with the tourists and for collecting, the qualitative data and aninterview will be conducted with the shopping zone managers of Singapore. Thus, all the necessary information on leisure shopping can be gathered.
The key variables and the way of measuring them
A number of variables have been identified related to the leisure shopping from the previous discussion in this study those needs to be measured for obtaining better outcome of the research. The first variable identified is the different factors, which influence the leisure shoppers to buy or not to buy from the leisure retailers in small towns and villages. The measurement for this variable is taking the opinions of the tourists by talking to them about the different aspects of leisure shopping. It will help to identify their positive and negative views regarding the leisure retailers (Castillo-Manzano, Lopez-Valpuesta, & Asencio-Flores, 2014).
Another variable is the initiatives that need to be undertaken by the leisure marketers for enhancing the shopping experience of the visitors. Here, the measurement is to identify the needs and expectations of the leisure shoppers including, recreational activities, proper accessibility, and integrity of the shopping locations, help centers, and other facilities (Henderson, 2016).
The third variable is the link between buying behavior of tourists and their leisure shopping, which can be measured through tracking their buying pattern, preferences, values and beliefs. Here, taking feedbacks of the customers is necessary for maintaining an effective communication with them. This helps the marketers to identify and satisfy their needs effectively (Castillo-Manzano, Lopez-Valpuesta, & Asencio-Flores, 2014).
The factors affecting buying behavior of the customers is related to their shopping behavior and buying decision-making, as they take purchase decision influencing by the factors. Similarly, both the variables denote the way of enhancing the shopping experience of the consumers. Thus, all the variables of the research are interrelated (Michalk?, R?tz, Hinek, & T?m?ri, 2014).
Sample needs and sampling options
Sampling is the technique of selecting respondents from a large population so that by examining the sample the researcher can equally simplify the results. The two major sampling techniques are probability and non-probability sampling (Neuman, Neuman, & Robson, 2014). Before selecting a sample size, it is required to select an appropriate sampling technique that will be used for selecting respondents for a survey or an interview. The sampling process includes 5 major steps are, recognising the population (about which the researcher wants to make supposition), specifying a sampling frame (the group of individuals, from which the sample size is to be selected), specifying a sampling method, determining the sample size and implementing the plan (Panneerselvam, 2014). Here, the population is the leisure shoppers and the sample frame is the leisure shoppers of the small villages and towns of Singapore.
In the present research, the researcher will use simple-random sampling technique for selecting 25 leisure shoppers and carrying out a survey with them.
The rationale behind using this sampling technique is, this technique is easy and does not require the high level of knowledge for using the technique. Moreover, it is convenient and free from mistakes in categorisation. Besides, this sampling technique is free from prejudice and it is quite easy to examine the sampling mistakes in this method. The sample size has been kept small, as it will be helpful to complete the research within the allocated time and the sample size is enough to gather important information and data on the leisure shopping (Brinkmann, 2014).
Further, for the interview, the researcher will use the non-probability sampling for selecting 4 managers of the leisure shopping industry. This is a cost-effective technique and the sample selection becomes faster by using the technique. The sample size is 4 that is enough for the present research. The 4 managers can give detail information on the leisure shopping behavior of the customers and their views regarding the matter. It will provide in-depth knowledge on the research topic and thus, will enhance the quality of the research (Neuman, Neuman, & Robson, 2014).
The researcher for avoiding any ethical issue must consider some ethical concerns during the research. In order to make the research work transparent and reliable to the respondents, the purpose of the research must be explained in simple language. This will enhance the trust between the researcher and the respondents. Further, the personal information and other sensitive information provided by the respondents must not be revealed and used for any other purpose apart from this academic research. Giving this assurance to the respondents make them comfortable and influence honest responses. The researcher must maintain the confidentiality of the data for avoiding legal or ethical issues (Panneerselvam, 2014).
Apart from that, the respondents should not be bribed, manipulated or forced into participating in the research and they must not be harmed mentally or physically. They should be provided with the right to withdraw from the research if they feel to do so. Moreover, they have the right to skip any question in the questionnaire if they do not want to answer any particular question. The researcher cannot be biased for any respondent and he cannot change the answer provided by the respondent himself. This is considered as unethical and can decrease the research quality (Brinkmann, 2014).
Therefore, ethical considerations are important for conducting a research honestly and generate the reliable result. It also helps to avoid further conflicts and improve the validity and reliability of the research. Thus, the data of the present research can be used for future researchers too, as secondary data.
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