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Int. J. Services, Economics and Management, Vol. X, No.


Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers: study of a Tier II city Piyali Ghosh* and Vibhuti Tripathi
School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (Deemed University), Allahabad, India Fax: +91-532 2545677 Email: Email: * Corresponding author

Smit Saini
NEI Industries, Jaipur, India Fax: +91-532 2545677 Email:

Swati Agrawal
GLA Institute of Technology & Management, Mathura, India Fax: +91-532 2545677 Email:
Abstract: Retail industry in India is acknowledged as a sunshine sector, and is driven by factors like strong income growth, changing lifestyles and favourable demographic patterns. Having cemented its presence in metros and Tier I cities, retailers are allured by opportunities in Tier II and III cities like low-cost real estate and shifting consumption patterns of consumers who are graduating to affluence and lifestyle purchases. This study is an attempt to explore shopping and purchase behaviour patterns of consumers within organised retail outlets of Allahabad, a Tier II city in India. Variables identified for shopping orientation were treated with Factor Analysis; motivating factors for store selection and purchase patterns on each shopping trip have also been analysed. The findings may offer an opportunity for retailers to formulate effective retail strategies for Tier II and III cities. Keywords: shopping orientation; Tier II city; behavioural patterns; organised retail. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Ghosh, P., Tripathi, V., Saini, S. and Agrawal, S. (200X) Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers: study of a Tier II city, Int. J. Services, Economics and Management, Vol. X, No. Y, pp.xxxx.

Copyright 200X Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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Biographical notes: Piyali Ghosh is a Lecturer with School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India. She has earned her PhD from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India, and MBA from University of Allahabad. She has been associated as member of faculty with Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani, and Institute of Management & Technology, Ghaziabad, and has been teaching courses on human resource management, business ethics and economics. Her research interest lies in human resource and entrepreneurship. She has co-authored a book on managerial economics, besides having to her credit 14 research papers published in national and international journals and 10 research papers in various conferences. Vibhuti Tripathi is a Lecturer in School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad. She has earned her PhD from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, and MBA degree from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore. Her research interest areas are brand management, retail management and consumer behaviour. Out of her 11 years of experience, she has over five years of industrial experience in the areas of sales and retail operations, three years of core research and three years of teaching. She has 12 research papers to her credit, published in national and international journals. She has presented several papers and attended national and international conferences. She has co-authored three management development programmes on Financial Aspects of Mega Retail Outlets, Survival Strategy for Indian Retailers with Inflationary Era and Knowledge Economy: The Cutting Edge. Smit Saini is presently working as Management Trainee in NEI Industries, Jaipur, India. He has earned his MBA degree from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, and is a BTech in Mechanical Engineering. He has presented a research paper on Manufacturing Competitiveness for Indian Manufacturing Industry at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 2008. His research interest is marketing management. Swati Agrawal is a Lecturer in GLA Institute of Technology & Management, Mathura, India. She has earned her MBA degree from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, and is a BTech in Information Technology. She is teaching courses on systems management and management information systems. Her research interest is systems management.


Retail industry in India is driven by strong income growth, changing lifestyles and favourable demographic patterns. At US$ 511 billion in 2008, it is drawing both global and local retailers. Indias overall retail sector is expected to rise to US$ 833 billion by 2013 and to US$ 1.3 trillion by 2018, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10%. Organised retail, which accounts for almost 5% of the market, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% from US$ 20 billion in 2007 to US$ 107 billion by 2013. In a bid to tap the large organised retailing opportunity in the country, corporate houses such as Tata, Aditya Birla and Reliance Industries have entered the retail sector and opened hundreds of stores across the country in the last few years.

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers The retail boom has come as a boon to consumers who now have a wide range of products, brands, packages and prices. Consumers have become increasingly more sophisticated and demanding, with the availability and abundance of products, services, information and technology, as well as a plentitude of retail stores and channels (Terblanche and Boshoff, 2004). They are now exposed to a wide variety of advertising, news articles and direct mailings that provide an abundance of information, much of it with mixed messages (Patel, 2008). Moreover, increase in the number and variety of goods, stores and shopping malls has broadened the sphere for consumer choice and has further complicated purchase decision making (Hafstrom et al., 2001). Such changes in the retail scenario are exposing Indian shoppers to a new environment of shopping, with retailers trying out new formats to lure more and more customers. While Foodworld (of RPG Enterprises) is designed to deliver a good shopping ambience, Subhiksha is offering economies of buying; discount stores like Subhiksha are gaining popularity, and so are lifestyle stores like Barista (of Tata Group) (Sinha, 2003). Another development that has come up in the Indian retail scenario is the shift of the retail revolution to Tier II and III cities, mainly triggered out of congestion in realty structures in metros on the one hand and available properties at affordable prices in Tier II and III cities on the other (see Smaller cities promise better infrastructure, state-of-the-art office spaces and also skilled manpower. In fact, Tier II cities have made business opportunities and infrastructural development like never before. While the top metros growing at 3540% are the biggest contributors to total retail sales, retailers are of the opinion that the format in the smaller cities is more profitable, owing to lower investments in land and manpower. Retailers further reveal that consumers in smaller cities are making more aspirational purchases in clothes, jewellery, accessories and footwear, among other things (see The Economic Times of 6 March 2006). All these factors, and more, are compelling Indian retailers not only to extend their customer base, but also to hold on to their existing customers. And for both, they must find alternative ways to understand shoppers. This paper is an attempt to understand Indian shoppers, and segment them on the basis of their shopping orientation, especially in the context of a Tier II city.

Shopping orientation

Shopping as an activity has a long history, and is being transformed every day with advancements in the way we live. Shopping is what we do to create value in our lives (Schor, 2005); shopping has remade our culture, and it defines the way we understand our world. As a routine activity, shopping is undergoing a paradigm shift, with changes in the retail environment. Further, as consumerism takes the driving seat, retailers are responding by way of innovations in the practice of shopping. Such innovations are resulting in the emergence of different store formats (such as departmental stores or online stores), and different types of shoppers on the basis of their socio-economic status (such as suburban shoppers and middle class shoppers), etc. (Sinha, 2003). Shopping orientation is a complex and multi-dimensional concept, affected by numerous inter-related variables. Reasons why individuals go for shopping extend miles beyond simply acquiring a product, to non-purchase reasons like diversion from routine activities, exercise, sensory stimulation, social interaction, learning about new trends and

P. Ghosh et al. even acquiring interpersonal power (Wakefield and Baker, 1998; McDonald et al., 2000; Jin and Kim, 2001; Nicholls et al., 2001). Summing these up, shopping orientation can be defined as a shoppers style that places particular emphasis on a shopping-specific lifestyle encompassing shopping activities, interests and opinions, and reflecting a view of shopping as a complex, social, recreational and economic phenomenon (Visser and Preez, 2001). Stated in simple terms, it indicates the way shoppers perform their task of shopping.

Literature review

The earliest contribution in this area was by Stone (1954), who had introduced the concept of shopping orientation (Visser and Prez, 2001). He interviewed women departmental store shoppers and identified the following four kinds of shoppers: Economic shoppers (who would evaluate the store on its offerings in terms of merchandise and prices); Personalising shoppers (who would develop relations with the salespersons); Ethical shoppers (who shopped to help the little guy) and Apathetic shoppers (who showed lack of interest in shopping).

Darden and Reynolds (1971) interviewed female heads of households and classified them on the basis of product usage. Gillett (1973) studied in-home shoppers and found that their attitude towards shopping was no different from other shoppers. Darden and Ashton (1975) interviewed middle-class, suburban housewives and classified them into seven types (Sinha, 2003). Moschis (1976) studied cosmetic buyers and found that besides being store loyal, shoppers were also loyal to the brands that they bought. Further, these shoppers showed a problem-solving approach to shopping. Bellenger and Korgaonkar (1980) differentiated consumers as recreational shoppers (who shop for enjoyment) and functional shoppers (who treat shopping as a task). Westbrook and Black (1985) classified women shoppers based on their involvement with shopping. They found that more than 60% of the shoppers would like to economise, and were apathetic to shopping. Hassay and Smith (1996) used an interesting projection of an animal as an appropriate metaphor to describe how college students approach shopping. They uncovered the following six shopping orientations: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Chameleons (who have situation-specific styles), Collectors (who purchase in large quantities), Foragers (who purchase only desired items), Hibernants (who are indifferent towards shopping), Predators (who are purposive and speed oriented in shopping) and Scavengers (who enjoy shopping both to make purchases and as an activity).

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers Lesser and Hughes (1986) found 11 types of shoppers, like shoppers who wanted service, active shoppers and inactive shoppers. Sproles and Kendall (1986) developed a comprehensive instrument called Consumer Style Inventory (CSI) to measure decisionmaking styles of consumers. This instrument was eventually used by numerous researchers (Hafstrom et al., 1992; Dursavala et al., 1993; Canabal, 2002; Wesley et al., 2005). Other studies reveal a further diversity of consumers identified as convenience shoppers, price-oriented shoppers, brand-loyal shoppers, name-conscious shoppers, problem-solving shoppers, quality shoppers, fashion shoppers, brand-conscious shoppers and impulse shoppers (Stephenson and Willett, 1969; Williams et al., 1978; Lumpkin, 1985) (cf. Hiu et al., 2001). Visser and Preez (2001) have identified three types of shoppers: highly involved apparel shoppers, apathetic apparel shoppers and convenience-oriented catalogue shoppers. They have categorised apparel shopping orientations as shopping self-confidence and enjoyment, credit-prone or brand conscious and fashion innovating and local store patronage. Canabal (2002) investigated the decision-making styles of South Indian consumers by utilising CSI. On the basis of data collected from 173 college students in the Tier II city of Coimbatore, he identified five decision-making styles: brand-conscious style, high-quality conscious/perfectionist style, confused by over-choice style, impulsive/ brand indifferent style and recreational style. Sinha (2003) has broadly classified Indian shoppers as fun and work shoppers and has showed that they seek emotional value more than the functional value of shopping. His study also showed that Indian shoppers like to bargain in any store, and during this process, they collect considerable information about the store as well as its merchandise. He suggests that, in order to be successful, retailers need to experiment with a format that attracts both fun and work shoppers. Goswami (2007) analysed the shopping orientation of urban Indians with the help of a study on Kolkata (Tier I city) and divided Indian shoppers into four categories: utilitarian shoppers, conservative shoppers, hedonic shoppers and socialising shoppers. The results of her study showed that brand-loyal consumers prefer stores near their homes and workplaces; they realise the importance of paying higher price to get better quality, and they look for more variety and quality in stores while purchasing apparel. Rajagopal (2009) has explored the influence of geo-demographic settings of commercial centres, customer attractions in shopping malls and route to shopping of urban shoppers. He has analysed retailing patterns in urban areas in reference to customer orientation strategies, product search behaviour and enhancing customer value. His study makes contributions to the existing research in urban retailing towards factors determining shopping attractions, routes to shopping and establishing the customer-centric strategies of the firms. A UK-based firm conducted a survey on 15 Tier II cities of India to determine the emerging growth centres of India. The parameters studied were investment scenario, physical and social infrastructure, business environment, real estate, decadal growth, purchasing power and literacy. Chandigarh got the number one spot, while Nagpur came the second; the third spot was shared by Goa and Kochi. Ludhiana and Guwahati shared the lowest ranks (see

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Objectives of the study

This study is conducted in Allahabad, a Tier II city. The economic prosperity of the residents of the city, coupled with fewer spending options is attracting a number of organised retailers. Allahabad has recently witnessed entry of three organised retailers of national presence: Big Bazaar, Vishal Mega Mart and Salasar. Big Bazaar is the retail arm of Future Group. Incepted in the year 2008 with six million square feet of retail space, and with stores in 51 cities across the country, the retailer opened 25 stores in 2008, besides opening stores simultaneously across all the formats, thus carrying the total store count to 104. Further, the company has seen a 52% increase in its total income from Rs 33.29 billion in FY 20062007 to Rs 50.53 billion in FY 20072008 (see With a humble beginning in 1986 at Kolkata, the conglomerate Vishal Mega Mart currently operates 178 retail stores across the country, catering to almost all price ranges and offering over 70,000 product categories. Indias premiere discount retailer Vishal Mega Mart is hailed as one of the fastest growing retail groups in India (see Salasar Retail Ltd. is a highly successful chain of mega stores in India. Incepted in 2002, it has subsequently added a chain of 12 stores. Salasar showrooms stand as distinct destinations, combining professionally organised retail centres that provide for large storage space to stock a large quantity and wide range of products from various brands (see The objectives of this study are to analyse shopping orientation of consumers in Allahabad, and to track the behavioural patterns of shoppers towards retail outlets in terms of selection of a particular store, efforts taken towards visit to an outlet, and purchase patterns. The outcomes of the study can help retailers in identifying shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of consumers in the city of Allahabad, with the help of which they can offer the right mix of merchandise and services.

Research methodology

In order to gain insight into orientation of shoppers at Allahabad, an exploratory research was conducted. A store intercept survey was planned to collect responses on a structured questionnaire to capture experiences still fresh in the mind of the customers. The questionnaire had three broad sections: the first composed of demographic questions, the second section contained questions on consumers behavioural patterns towards store selection and purchase patterns; and the third section included statements on orientation towards shopping from organised retail outlets, as generated from previous research. Data were collected at different days of the week and different times of the day to improve randomness. A five-point Likert scale was incorporated in these statements (where 1 stands for Strongly Disagree and 5 stands for Strongly Agree). Total sample size was 120; however, on ignoring non-response, the final sample size stood at 100. The data were analysed using cross-tabulation and factor analysis on SPSS version 11.5.

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers

Data analysis

6.1 Demographic details 6.1.1 Age group

Total sample size was 100, of which 67% respondents are male and 68% are unmarried. Table 1 shows that 31% respondents are in the age group of less then 24, 41% are between 2534, 25% are between 3544 years and the remaining 3% are in the age group of 45 and above. Less number of consumers in age group of 45 and above can be attributed to the fact that this group is still averse to visiting organised retail outlets.

6.1.2 Profession and income profile

Table 2 shows that 34% of respondents are in government service, 38% are in private service, 5% are self-employed and the remaining 23% are in other category. Further, 57% of the respondents were having monthly income less than Rs 20,000, while 39% of the respondents earn in the range of Rs 20,00030,000 (refer to Table 3). Only 4% of the respondents are earning more than Rs 30,000 per month.
Table 1 Age group Less than 24 2534 3544 45 and above Total Table 2 Occupation Govt. service Private service Self-employed Any other Total Table 3 Income profile Respondents (%) 57 39 4 100 Occupation profile Respondents (%) 34 38 5 23 100 Age profile Respondents (%) 31 41 25 3 100

Income (in thousand Rs per month) Less than 20 2030 3040 Total

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6.2 Behavioural patterns towards organised retail stores 6.2.1 Frequency of visiting an outlet
Table 4 shows that 38% respondents visit an outlet more than once a week, 18% visit a retail outlet once in a week, 34% visit once in 2 weeks and only 10% visit once in a month. Findings show the acceptance of organised retail in Allahabad.
Table 4 Frequency of visiting a retail outlet Respondents (%) 38 18 34 10 100

Frequency of visiting a retail outlet More than once in a week Once in a week Once in 2 weeks Once in a month Total

6.2.2 Average time spent in an outlet and average amount of purchase in a single visit
Previous researches suggest that amount spent in a store has a direct relation with time spent within the outlet. On administering the questions on time and amount spent in the store, it was found that only 3% of the respondents spent an amount of Rs 20005000 and stayed longer in the store, i.e. more than 4 hours (refer to Table 5). None of the respondents in this category spent a lesser amount. 9% of the respondents, who have stayed at a store for 34 hours on an average, have spent Rs 5001000 per visit. Respondents who had stayed at an outlet for less than an hour (13%) and between 12 hours (26%) have spent an amount less than Rs 500 on a single visit. Such findings can be attributed to the fact that those who spend less time within the store come on a purposeful visit of purchasing predetermined products, and remain averse to any kind of visual cues used by retailers for triggering further purchases.
Table 5 Average time spent in an outlet and average value of purchase in single visit (cross tabulation) What is the average value of your purchase from this outlet in a single visit? Percent On an average Less than 1 hr how much time do you spent in 12 hrs a retail outlet? 34 hrs More than 4 hrs Total Less than Rs 500 Rs 5001000 Rs 10002000 Rs 20005000 Total 13 26 1 0 40 12 21 9 0 42 8 3 2 0 13 0 2 0 3 5 33 52 12 3 100

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers

6.2.3 Travel time to the preferred outlet and duration of association

Efforts a customer would take to visit a particular outlet may have linkage to the patronage of an outlet. A customer would not travel longer distances or spend more time in reaching a store in case if he/she does not have any likings towards a store. On asking questions regarding travel time in reaching a store and the duration of association with the store, it was found that in spite of taking a long time (between 30 minutes and 60 minutes) to travel, 8% respondents have association with their preferred retail outlet for more than a year, and those who took more than 1 hour to travel (3%) are associated with the store of their choice since 48 months (Table 6). It is also revealed that 25% of the respondents, who have travelled for less than 15 minutes to reach an outlet, had an association with that outlet for 48 months; 16% respondents took 1530 minutes to travel and had an association for less than a month. The findings can be ascribed to the fact that people who took less than half an hour to reach a store were looking for locational convenience, and comprised the majoriy of the shoppers surveyed.
Table 6 Travel time to outlet and association with outlet (cross tabulation) How long have you been associated with this outlet? Percent What was your Less than travel time to 15 mins this outlet? 1530 mins 3060 mins More than 1 hr Total Less than More than a month 24 months 48 months 812 months a year Total 3 16 2 2 23 3 9 1 0 13 25 2 3 3 33 3 4 0 0 7 1 15 8 0 24 35 46 14 5 100

6.2.4 Time spent within store and average number of items purchased on a single visit
Cross tabulation of responses on time spent within the store and average number of items purchased on a single visit, it was revealed that 17% and 16% respondents respectively remained in the store for less than an hour, and purchased 110 items on a single visit (Table 7). 23% respondents remained in the store for 12 hours, and on an average purchased 110 items. A small fraction of respondents (nearly 6%) in the same category purchased 1020 items. Surprisingly, those who remained in the store for 34 hours and for more than 4 hours purchased fewer items (between 110). This particular finding can be attributed to two facts: one, high involvement products require more time spent on acquiring knowledge and other related matters; and two, such people have a leisure orientation towards shopping.

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Table 7 Time spent in a store and average number of items purchased (cross tabulation) Average number of items purchased Percentage Time spent in a retail outlet Less than 1 hr 12 hrs 34 hrs More than 4 hrs Total Less than 5 17 23 10 0 50 510 16 23 0 3 42 1015 0 4 0 0 4 More than 20 0 2 2 0 4 Total 33 52 12 3 100

6.2.5 Store-switching behaviour and underlying reasons

An attempt was made to identify store-switching behaviour of shoppers, and to determine the reasons for switching from a previous outlet. The reasons for switching from previous to new one when plotted in Figure 1, showed Location, Discounts and Merchandise offered to be the most important factors for switchover. Displays, Prompt Staff and Size of the Store are the next important factors for switching. The findings reveal that consumers in Allahabad evaluate a store on a wide range of parameters ranging from Convenience, Services, Ambience and Merchandise offered; though certain factors like Floor Management, Lighting, Temperature, Light, Odour, Music and Technology remain dormant.
Figure 1 Reasons behind switchover from outlet

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers

6.3 Shopping orientation of consumers of Allahabad city

As stated in the previous sections, shopping orientation is a complex and multidimensional concept. An attempt has been made in this study to identify interrelated variables that influence shopping orientation of consumers of Allahabad city. 13 variables were identified through a brainstorming session and also on the basis of evidence from past research, prior to the construction of the questionnaire. Responses were further treated with factor analysis using principal component analysis to identify closely related variables. Bartletts test of sphericity and Kaiser-Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy were used to examine the appropriateness of factor analysis. The approximate chi-square statistic is 468.399 with 78 degrees of freedom, which is significant at 0.05 level. The KMO statistic (0.534) is also significant (greater than 0.5). Hence sample is adequate and fit for factor analysis. In order to classify the attitude statements, we had applied a cut-off of 0.51 on the factor loadings. In the process, two statements have been dropped from the final interpretation. Factor analysis generated six factors, arrived at after a varimax rotation, which explained 79.79% of the total variance, shown in Table 8. These six orientations towards shopping have been shown in Table 9 with factor loadings.
Table 8 Component Total variance explained Initial eigenvalues Extraction sums of squared loadings Rotation sums of squared loadings

% of Cumulative % of Cumulative % of Cumulative Total variance % Total variance % Total variance % 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 2.885 22.195 2.335 17.959 1.586 12.200 1.410 10.848 1.117 1.040 .693 .536 .462 .322 .295 .201 .119 8.595 7.998 5.327 4.124 3.551 2.477 2.271 1.544 .913 22.195 40.154 52.353 63.201 71.796 79.793 85.121 89.244 92.795 95.272 97.543 99.087 100.000 2.885 22.195 2.335 17.959 1.586 12.200 1.410 10.848 1.117 1.040 8.595 7.998 22.195 40.154 52.353 63.201 71.796 79.793 2.578 19.828 1.791 13.777 1.701 13.083 1.667 12.824 1.336 10.278 1.300 10.003 19.828 33.606 46.688 59.512 69.791 79.793

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Table 9 Factor Value orientation Factor loadings Variables Loadings .808 .819 .816 .851 .833 .694 .785 .894 .920 .520 .532

I check the price of the merchandise before buying Discounts on merchandise attract me I shop with a list Purpose orientation I go for shopping to release my stress I shop because I get to know about new products Purchase convenience Shopping takes a lot of effort orientation I would shop from the store nearest to my home/work Economic orientation Bargaining can save a lot in shopping Dissonance avoidance I would discuss with other shoppers before deciding orientation on the purchase Consultation orientation Sales persons help in selecting a product I make unplanned visits to stores Notes: Extraction method: principal component analysis. Rotation method: varimax with Kaiser normalisation. a Rotation converged in eight iterations.

Value orientation (Factor 1): Factor analysis reveals that Indian shoppers exhibit value orientation; they seem to be attracted to a store which offers discounts, and check the price of the merchandise before purchasing. They also shop with a list. Such shoppers are pragmatic by nature. Purpose orientation (Factor 2): Indian shoppers show a tendency to shop with a purpose. They also go for shopping to release stress and gather information about new products. Purchase convenience orientation (Factor 3): Indian shoppers tend to shop from any outlet near to their home/workplace. To them, convenience is the foremost priority in shopping. These shoppers also perceive shopping to involve a lot of effort. Economic orientation (Factor 4): Traditionally Indian society is well known for being savings oriented, be it in large investments, or in day-to-day shopping. The survey revalidates this fact by showing that Indian shoppers prefer to bargain as they think bargaining can save a lot in shopping. Dissonance avoidance orientation (Factor 5): Conflicts between behaviour and beliefs create a sense of discomfort, or cognitive dissonance, that an individual subconsciously attempts to eliminate by modifying his/her beliefs. Individuals often seek reassurance from external sources that their behaviour is not in conflict with their beliefs. Our study reveals dissonance avoidance orientation in Indian shoppers, as they tend to discuss with other shoppers before deciding on a purchase. Consultation orientation (Factor 6): Indian shoppers have been exposed to traditional retail formats, where they are helped by sales personnel in selecting products. Organised retail formats, though make it convenient for consumers to choose the products from self-help displays, Indian shoppers still seem to enjoy the personal attention given to them by salespersons. On an unplanned visit to a store, it is useful to take a ready help available in the outlet.

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers


If we generalise our findings across Tier II cities in India, we may infer from our study that shoppers in these cities are still less exposed to organized retail outlets and seem to be nascent in their store choice and orientation. Proving the fact wrong that small town consumers remain averse to visiting large retail stores, shoppers of a Tier II city like Allahabad are graduating towards frequent visits to organised retail outlets and have shown clear indication of Location Convenience, Discounts and Merchandise variety while choosing a store. The survey reveals that shoppers in this city are pragmatic and their expectations too match with this behaviour. Consumers of Tier II cities do not evaluate a store on the basis of store atmospherics elements like music, displays, temperature, odour, etc. These can be associated to being hygiene factors which a customer expects anyways, even without overtly looking for them. Interesting corroboration of factor analysis on shopping orientation also collates to the pragmatic shopping behaviour displayed. The factors emerge as Value, Purpose, Purchase Convenience, Economic, Dissonance Avoidance and Consultation Orientations.


With smaller cities poised to become the cities of future India, organised retailers may face challenges ranging from educating the newly exposed consumers of Tier II cities about unfamiliar product and service mixes for creating awareness and offering tailor-made service and support towards these new customers particular needs. At the same time, however, these new consumers will present an opportunity as their patterns and tastes are not yet established and they have few store loyalties. Indian consumers pride themselves on being individualistic and unique and require a format and product specifically targeted to them. Retailers may adopt strategies as: Location is a crucial factor that influences the customers choice of retail outlet. While there are at least a handful of convenience grocery stores in each residential area in the country, organised retail stores are still few and far between. Though it may not be possible for a retailer to change the present location or to place itself in the most convenient locations due to lack of space in cluttered business districts, it can provide other conveniences like parking, free flow of crowds within the store, and good atmospherics, as a trade off, which can ensure enhanced store patronage. Addressing the economic and value-driven shopping orientations as relevant from the study, retailers may drive price points down. They may face the consequent pressure on margins but will be able to tap into the volume that these emerging Tier II cities offer. Retailers can encash such opportunities by modifying product and services mix to adapt to the local market conditions and consumers. Shopping orientation reflects a shift from taking shopping as a mundane activity to more towards considering it as a stress releaser and fun. For this, it is necessary for retailers to work on store atmospherics. Effective atmospherics communicate a stores identity and would help utilise every opportunity to promote its products through visuals such as focal displays and attractive presentations that take into account human physiological needs and tendencies. It also engages the customers

P. Ghosh et al. supporting sensitivities, i.e. the sense of hearing, touch, smell and taste. Store atmospherics bring fun and excitement in the shop. More importantly, it makes the job of selling and delivering exceptional services much easier. Indian shoppers have a tendency to talk about their shopping experience (Sinha, 2003); this may have implications for building the reputation of the store. Brand per se is becoming important at retail store level, via customer experience. Retail brands are more multi-sensory in nature than product brands. A customer is exposed to multiple contact points in retail on account of inseparability of products and services. It is suggested that retailers may go beyond atmospherics, and combine the retail mix with themes and entertainment. Customer satisfaction is the focal point for store loyalty. Providing customers with outstanding value may be the only reliable way to achieve sustained customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer Loyalty Programmes mobilise customers to recommend their friends for the store and deter them not to switch to competitors; they may prove a pivotal role in offering value by way of special offers, redeemable points and special events organised for the members. Indian shoppers are habitual of bargaining in the open market, which is not feasible in organised retail stores. In order to address this habit, retailers may collaborate with vendors to formulate exclusive promotional schemes so as to offer a good bargain over other retailers. Our survey revealed that those who stayed longer in the store tend to spend more amount of money and purchased more number of items. It is suggested that retailers should stock the right mix of merchandise variety along with elements of fun, comfort and entertainment to retain customers for longer time in the store. Well-trained and customer-oriented staff can prove to be a differentiating attribute for a store. Securing buy-in from all employees concerned for offering good services by involving them in formulating the programme strategy and implementation plan should be a primary agenda for retailers. Salespersons at the store need to possess good communication and negotiation skills, and must have suffieicnt knowledge of the products offered. They should also be capable of handling complaints. Besides, retail outlets must ensure courteous behaviour of sales personnel.

Limitations of the study

In spite of the best of our efforts, there have been some limitations of the study, stated as follows: The sampling frame composed of residents of the city of Allahabad, which has only three retail outlets. A comparison across Tier II cities would have yielded more interesting implications. A sample of size greater than 100 could have given a better picture of shopping orientation of consumers.

Any or all of the above limitations taken care of in a further study can surely open doors to further interesting research.

Shopping orientation and behavioural patterns of Indian consumers

We would like to thank the Editorial Board of IJSEM to have given us this honour to be associated with this journal. We would extend our heartfelt gratitude to the reviewers for their valuable insight and appreciation of our paper, which would surely encourage us to take up further research work with full vigour. We would also like to thank all the respondents we have surveyed as a part of this project. They have been patient enough to be a part of the survey, in spite of their busy schedule.

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