Introduction idea was to attract people to the

Introduction

The history of shopping malls go as
far as 1922 when the first shopping mall was opened near Kansas City. Ever
since then, it has passed the test of time and has become a part of the economy
and modern day retail. In the early days the malls were more like shopping
centres with similar type of accessories and products being available all over.
It had a series of small specialty shops leading via a pathway towards a
departmental store. This store acted as the anchor to attract the crowd. The
idea was to attract people to the anchor store who would indulge in shopping in
the specialised store on their way. These centres were ideally situated near
the highway with free parking facilities. “The enclosed, climate-controlled
indoor mall was introduced by Victor Gruen, an Austrian refugee from the Nazis,
at the Southdale Shopping Center in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis,
in 1956”. The enclosed, indoor model with controlled temperature became famous
and after a time open air shopping centres were not preferred at all.

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The Indian
retail industry over the past decades has emerged as one of the most dynamic
and fast-paced industries due to the significant growth opportunities available
in India. It currently accounts for over 10 per cent of the country’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 8 per cent of the total employment
generated in the country .India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination
in the retail space. Indian Retail Industry has immense potential as India has
the second largest population with affluent and expanding middle class, rapid
urbanisation.

 

India’s retail market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth
Rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent to US$ 1.6 trillion by 2026 from the current US$ 641
billion in 2016. While the overall retail market is expected to grow at 12 per
cent per annum, modern trade would expand twice as fast at 20 per cent per
annum and traditional trade at 10 per cent. Indian retail market is divided
into “Organised Retail Market” which is valued at $60 billion which is only 9
per cent of the total sector and “Unorganised Retail Market constitutes the
rest 91 per cent of the sector.

 

Malls comprise the official retail sector. As per IBEF, Shopping malls are defined as “one or more buildings
forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnected
walkways enabling visitors to walk from unit to unit.” Unofficially, they
are the heart and soul of communities, the foundation of retail economies, and
a social sanctuary for teenagers everywhere. In recent decades, the concept of
the shopping mall, which has its origins in the U.S. and became a full-blown
modern retail trend across the world in the post-WWII Years, has proliferated
across the globe. The five largest malls in the world now reside in Asia.
China’s New South China Mall in Dongguan stands at the top of the heap with 2.9
million square meters of space.

Despite its ubiquity, the malls across the
world are at a critical inflection point. 
 A storm of global trends are
coming together at the same time to cause malls to change the role they play in
people’s lives. No longer are they primarily about shopping. Now, when
consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond
traditional shopping.

Malls need to move in a different direction,
staying away from commoditized shopping experiences and toward a broadened value
proposition for consumers. Innovative malls are incorporating value-added
elements that attempt to recast the mall as the new downtown, including
concerts, arts centres, spas, fitness clubs, and farmer’s markets. These
services provide a level of leisure and entertainment that can never be
satisfied online. The gen next mall features a ski slope, go karts, balloon
rides, bowling and billiards.

On the tenant mix front,
innovative malls are strategically rethinking the types of stores that
consumers will respond to. Anchor tenants that drive traffic are still key, but
we also see a new emphasis on a curated mix of smaller stores that add a sense
of novelty to the mall offering. Additionally, some malls are making optimised use
of temporary, flexible spaces that can accommodate different stores over time.
Pop up stores, showroom spaces and kiosks provide customers with a sense of the
unexpected and give them a great experience. Finally, malls are overcoming the
commoditization problem by focusing on specific consumer segments and/or
creating specific zones within the mall that allow consumers to find an area
that caters to them.

 

It is critical that these malls should be
more than stores. The mix of tenant/public space is currently moving from the
current 70/30 to 60/40, or even 50/50. When this transition in space
utilisation and tenant mix happens, these expanded public spaces will need to
be planned and programed over the year much like an exhibition. Mixed used
developments offer consumers an attractive, integrated community in which to
live, work and shop. They also serve to generate additional traffic for the
malls while maximizing returns on invested capital. Other commercial real
estate opportunities that can add alternative revenue streams are hotels,
office buildings and airports.

It was found that people preferred
going to malls either in large groups or single. This suggested that the reason
for this behaviour was because the mall supported social interaction. Studies
have shown that the social nature and atmosphere of the mall contributes to its
profitability and popularity. Consumers find a motive, be it social or
psychological, to go to malls and purchase beyond the necessary purchases.
These are mainly that type of consumers who view shopping as a social and
recreational outing rather than a necessity. “The retail trade centre has
historically been the setting for cultural and social events. In contemporary
society, the shopping mall is the retail trade centre. It is an arena which
fosters community interaction and exchange of information, a function
previously served by the farmers market, the church, or the pub”. The social
interaction in the shopping mall was more akin to that of the local farmers
market than the super market. This happened because the interactions that
happened within the people visiting the malls and amongst the buyers and shop
owners in the mall was of the similar intensity of that of the local farmers
market. In a typical farmers market, the sellers and buyers engage in conversations
thereby increasing the satisfaction level. However a typical supermarket does
not encourages customer engagement at that level, and without any additional
incentive to be there other than the purpose of buying things, people feel more
attracted towards a shopping mall compared to that. The image of a store
present inside a mall and the one situated in the downtown shopping district
was different as well. People tend to prefer the stores in the mall compared to
the store outside as it felt more sociable. This factor reinforces consumers
buying behaviour.

By 1970’s it was reported that
Americans were spending more time in the shopping mall that any other place,
other than work or home. The “mom and pop” stores, individual specialized shops
lost its charm. People of all age group started thronging the shopping malls.
They regarded it as a clean, convenient, safe and cheerful place compared to
other downtown stores. It had become a place where senior citizens could roam
around securely in comfort, where parents take their kids to see Santa Claus,
teenagers socialize and singles court. People preferred going there when there
was nothing better to do. Thus it lead to a study which felt that “there is
something social going on in the mall”. Part of the success of the retail mall
was attributed to the socially stimulating environment that it offered. People
felt more satisfied after visiting a shopping mall because of the level of
social interaction they had. This was found through a study where the composition
of people visiting a downtown shopping area and the local shopping mall was
compared, along with it social behaviour in the shopping mall and the stores in
mall were compared to that of stores that were situated in shopping centres or
downtown shopping district. This study gave a detailed insight into the
Psychology of the people visiting the shopping mall and the reason they prefer
to go there compared to other shopping areas.

The objective of this study is to understand
the various dimensions of customer relationship in shopping malls and how it
impacts customer satisfaction.

Literature review

In India, retailing is the largest private industry and second largest
employer after agriculture. This sector contributes around 10 per cent of the
GDP and almost 7 per cent of employment. India has the highest retail outlet
density in the world with over 15 million retail outlets. Retail industry
witnessed significant development in the past decade evolving from small
unorganized family-owned retail formats to organized retailing. Liberalization
of the economy, rise in per capita income and growing consumerism have
encouraged larger business houses and manufactures to set up retail formats.
Real estate conglomerates, venture capitalists investing in retail infrastructure
has only added to booming retail in India. Many foreign retailers have also
entered the market through different routes such as wholesale cash-and-carry,
local manufacturing, franchising, test marketing and many more. The growth in
organized retailing and unorganized retailers is fast changing their business
models and implementing new technologies and modern accounting practices to
face competition every day.

The Indian retail sector is characterized by the presence of a large
number of small unorganized retailers. However, in the past decade there has
been development of organized retailing, which has encouraged large private
sector player to invest in this sector. Many foreign players have also entered
India through different routes such as test marketing, franchising, wholesale
cash-and-carry operation. With high GDP growth, increased consumerism and
liberalization of the manufacturing sector, India is being portrayed as an
attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retailing.

Despite the impact of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis, the retail
market in India still remains strong, and consumer spending power continues to
grow. The shopping-mall format has been widely accepted by Chinese shoppers,
although this format is quite different from their traditional mode of
shopping. Extant literature has previously examined consumer behavior within
the shopping mall context in Western societies.

A lot of research related to the Indian retail market has made
significant progress over the last decade. However much remains to be explored
and further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of this rapidly
changing market. For example, how the personality of the mall and fashion
orientation might impact Indian shoppers’ intent and behavior remains
unaddressed. Hence, this study to determine the relationship between the type
of store/mall personality and customer behavior is intended to generate
meaningful information and contribute important knowledge to the existing literature
of mall shopping in India at both theoretical and practical levels.

In today’s world, shopping is no longer an exercise to obtain the
preferred product(s) or service(s). Consumers frequently expect multi-sensory,
interactive, and holistic shopping experience that entertains, stimulate, and
emotionally affects them. Prior studies have shown that measurement of customer
satisfaction provides better means to understand the needs of customers and to
empower them by creating customer-centred services. In India, department stores
attract affluent consumers who seek emotional gratification as consumption
motive. Therefore, the actual happiness they receive in-service consumptions
directly influence their satisfaction. The research (Mala Srivastava, Dimple
Kaul (2014)) shows that customer experience performs the role of mediator
between the social interactions, convenience and satisfaction. It demonstrates
that customer experience is the key to customer satisfaction. Henceforth,
customer experience in retail context is extremely relevant. In hypermarket
retail stores where the retailers connect themselves to the customers with the
help of hedonic shopping motivations such as entertainment, exploration,
gratification, social, status, idea, and value shopping which helps in
generating customer satisfaction, loyalty and assistance intentions in the
customer. The study (Atulkar, S., & Kesari, B. (2017)) shows that
entertainment facilities are considered as a most important competitive tool
for creating satisfaction in the customers. In UAE, a similar study (El-Adly,
M. I., & Eid, R. (2016)) shows that value of mall has a significant
positive effect on both customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The above
circumstances present retailers with opportunities to differentiate themselves
from competitors by designing retail environments that will create memorable
customer experiences.

The aforementioned research has also indicated that customer purchasing
decisions are influenced by the following:

Perception: The customer’s selection, organization and
interpretation of information to form knowledge reflects his/her
perception.
Motivation: The customer’s desire to meet his/her own needs
reflects motivation. The learning out of motivation is reflected on the
customer’s behavior while meeting these desires.
Attitude: It is reflected on customer’s steadily favorable
or unfavorable assessments, feelings, or inclinations towards an object or
idea.
Beliefs: They are reflected on customers’ thoughts about
a product or service (Kotler & Armstrong, 1997)

 

The Factors of
Consumer Purchasing Decision:

There are many factors influencing customers on how consumers make any
purchasing decision. The purchasing decision process starts before the actual
purchase and continues long after.

Convenience:

Convenience was offered by retail which was the main motivating factor
for purchases. Convenient access to product information could facilitate and
help shoppers’ making a purchases decision (Loshe & Spiller, 1999).

Price:

Price is another critical factor for a customer on retail shopping (Heim
and Sinha, 2001). However, Li et al. (1999) argued that often retail shoppers
were not price-sensitive, cause of these consumers’ price comparisons among
different retailers on each product was time consuming and the price difference
was very small.

Brand:

Brand is defined as the quality related to the products or services.
Brand is often referred as the seller’s reputation and consumer loyalty. Brands
and features increases as more information is obtained, knowledge of the
available and consumer awareness (Kotler & Armstrong, 1997).

Security:

Security was a critical successful factor for retail. Retail would fail
if customer feels lacking a great degree of confidence (Kesh et al., 2002). The
primary reason indicated of the most buyers who didn’t shop online cause of
afraid to reveal personal credit card information to retailers or over the
internet (Rao, 2000).

Mall personality and
shopping value:

Prior research revealed that shopping activities can generate both
hedonic and utilitarian outcomes for consumers (Fischer and Arnold, 1990;
Sherry 1990). Utilitarian values often refer to the functional, instrumental,
practical, and task-related benefits, whereas hedonic values refer to ones that
are aesthetic, experiential, emotional, and pleasure-related (Batra and Ahtola
1990)

Customers:

In order to understand the various dynamics involved for customer
relationships with malls , customers themselves should be segregated into
two  buckets

 1. Tourists

2. Locals

 As per the existing research of
perceived perception of tourists for malls in a tourist destination (1), the
following factors were considered critical:

·        
Quality of retailers

·        
Convenience

·        
Mall environment

·        
Rewards

·        
Customer service

·        
Overall customer satisfaction

The correct prioritization of these factors should be ascertained in
order to understand the customer relationship to malls at a tourist destination
at any point of time to understand changing customer preferences and shifting
of loyalties.

Moving on to the category of local consumers, with the advent of
globalization as well as modern technology , shopping malls today have become a
shopping experience (2) and it was found that shopping mall experience has a
correlation with the satisfaction and loyalty towards the brand of the mall.
However, it was found that even though there was no significant relationship
between shopping complex brand Personality and shopping complex loyalty, there
was a relationship between shopping complex satisfaction and shopping complex
loyalty which led to an increase of the shopping complex loyalty.

Facility Management:

Facility Management is imperative in all realms of the service industry.
The quality of FM service plays an important role in the overall service performance
of shopping mall (3).  The empirically
relationships between overall perceived customer satisfaction and satisfaction
came down to nine FM service dimensions:

MMCF: management
and maintenance of communal facilities
 CSC: cleaning staff and cleanliness
 WR: wash room
 PRO: promotion
 PMS: property management services
 SG: security guard
 SS: security services
 MCA: management of common areas
  OPMS – Overall property management
satisfaction

Mall attributes and
customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction, defined as “the number of customers, or
percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its
products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals.”
gives a reference to retailers to tailor a strategy for customers (Ferris et
al., 2010; Tse and Wilton, 1988; Oliver 1999). According to Kim, et al., (2004)
customer satisfaction is customer’s reaction to the state of satisfaction, and
customer’s judgment of satisfaction level. Wong et al., (2012) there is a relationship
between shopping mall attributes and customer satisfaction.

In order to investigate the personality of the retail store, two
different Martineau (1958) categories of retail store attributes i.e.
functional and psychological which directly and indirectly to customer
satisfaction.

The functional
category includes attributes like location, assortment of products and
store layout.
The psychological
category represents the feelings generated by the functional elements of
the store.

The above research into mall choice by the customers gained more
attention over former attributes than latter. For supporting the review in the
study of a grocery store attributes, customer looked upon the price, product
variety, one-stop shopping, quality, location of the store, advertisement,
general appearance of the store and convenience (Doyle &Fenwick 1975).
Manana, (2009), suggested that Consumers evaluate the malls on the basis of
products and different features of mall e.g. location, employees and
atmosphere. Retail businesses are spending on getting and sustaining locations
appropriate for their products and consumers, as mall location is vital factor
of retail business (Hernandez and Bennison, 2000)

The factors which are affecting customer in shopping and selecting the
shopping place, fall into five groups i.e. Features of price, accessibility,
environment, mall image, regarding the consumer buying behavior, convenience
and rewards (Wong et al., 2012; Dawar and Parker, 1994;) determined other
dimensions of mall selection behavior e.g. decoration, atmosphere, exterior and
cleanliness of mall (Newberry et al., 2003).

A research done by Wang & Ha, (2011), nine features of mall make
significant the consumer to loyal towards shopping in mall that are mall
atmosphere, after sale service, brochures and pamphlets, communication,
convenience, quality and assortment of products promotions, expected behavior
and rewards as discounts etc. Isaksson & Suljanovic (2006) during the study
of “different factors in retail environment affect customer experience” in IKEA
experience suggested that the most apparent reasons for people choosing to shop
is cost advantage with their wide variety of products being relating cheap in
comparison to others retailer and product assortment is wide and constantly
changing.

Location is another factor in IKEA which add something extra to their
shopping. Furthermore another study done by Kumar and Vikraman (2012) comparing
organized and unorganized retail outlets suggested that organized outlets
provide price, self-service, visual merchandising and essay accessible layout
to find out the product. In selection of location, Reardon et al.

Introduction

The history of shopping malls go as
far as 1922 when the first shopping mall was opened near Kansas City. Ever
since then, it has passed the test of time and has become a part of the economy
and modern day retail. In the early days the malls were more like shopping
centres with similar type of accessories and products being available all over.
It had a series of small specialty shops leading via a pathway towards a
departmental store. This store acted as the anchor to attract the crowd. The
idea was to attract people to the anchor store who would indulge in shopping in
the specialised store on their way. These centres were ideally situated near
the highway with free parking facilities. “The enclosed, climate-controlled
indoor mall was introduced by Victor Gruen, an Austrian refugee from the Nazis,
at the Southdale Shopping Center in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis,
in 1956”. The enclosed, indoor model with controlled temperature became famous
and after a time open air shopping centres were not preferred at all.

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The Indian
retail industry over the past decades has emerged as one of the most dynamic
and fast-paced industries due to the significant growth opportunities available
in India. It currently accounts for over 10 per cent of the country’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 8 per cent of the total employment
generated in the country .India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination
in the retail space. Indian Retail Industry has immense potential as India has
the second largest population with affluent and expanding middle class, rapid
urbanisation.

 

India’s retail market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth
Rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent to US$ 1.6 trillion by 2026 from the current US$ 641
billion in 2016. While the overall retail market is expected to grow at 12 per
cent per annum, modern trade would expand twice as fast at 20 per cent per
annum and traditional trade at 10 per cent. Indian retail market is divided
into “Organised Retail Market” which is valued at $60 billion which is only 9
per cent of the total sector and “Unorganised Retail Market constitutes the
rest 91 per cent of the sector.

 

Malls comprise the official retail sector. As per IBEF, Shopping malls are defined as “one or more buildings
forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnected
walkways enabling visitors to walk from unit to unit.” Unofficially, they
are the heart and soul of communities, the foundation of retail economies, and
a social sanctuary for teenagers everywhere. In recent decades, the concept of
the shopping mall, which has its origins in the U.S. and became a full-blown
modern retail trend across the world in the post-WWII Years, has proliferated
across the globe. The five largest malls in the world now reside in Asia.
China’s New South China Mall in Dongguan stands at the top of the heap with 2.9
million square meters of space.

Despite its ubiquity, the malls across the
world are at a critical inflection point. 
 A storm of global trends are
coming together at the same time to cause malls to change the role they play in
people’s lives. No longer are they primarily about shopping. Now, when
consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond
traditional shopping.

Malls need to move in a different direction,
staying away from commoditized shopping experiences and toward a broadened value
proposition for consumers. Innovative malls are incorporating value-added
elements that attempt to recast the mall as the new downtown, including
concerts, arts centres, spas, fitness clubs, and farmer’s markets. These
services provide a level of leisure and entertainment that can never be
satisfied online. The gen next mall features a ski slope, go karts, balloon
rides, bowling and billiards.

On the tenant mix front,
innovative malls are strategically rethinking the types of stores that
consumers will respond to. Anchor tenants that drive traffic are still key, but
we also see a new emphasis on a curated mix of smaller stores that add a sense
of novelty to the mall offering. Additionally, some malls are making optimised use
of temporary, flexible spaces that can accommodate different stores over time.
Pop up stores, showroom spaces and kiosks provide customers with a sense of the
unexpected and give them a great experience. Finally, malls are overcoming the
commoditization problem by focusing on specific consumer segments and/or
creating specific zones within the mall that allow consumers to find an area
that caters to them.

 

It is critical that these malls should be
more than stores. The mix of tenant/public space is currently moving from the
current 70/30 to 60/40, or even 50/50. When this transition in space
utilisation and tenant mix happens, these expanded public spaces will need to
be planned and programed over the year much like an exhibition. Mixed used
developments offer consumers an attractive, integrated community in which to
live, work and shop. They also serve to generate additional traffic for the
malls while maximizing returns on invested capital. Other commercial real
estate opportunities that can add alternative revenue streams are hotels,
office buildings and airports.

It was found that people preferred
going to malls either in large groups or single. This suggested that the reason
for this behaviour was because the mall supported social interaction. Studies
have shown that the social nature and atmosphere of the mall contributes to its
profitability and popularity. Consumers find a motive, be it social or
psychological, to go to malls and purchase beyond the necessary purchases.
These are mainly that type of consumers who view shopping as a social and
recreational outing rather than a necessity. “The retail trade centre has
historically been the setting for cultural and social events. In contemporary
society, the shopping mall is the retail trade centre. It is an arena which
fosters community interaction and exchange of information, a function
previously served by the farmers market, the church, or the pub”. The social
interaction in the shopping mall was more akin to that of the local farmers
market than the super market. This happened because the interactions that
happened within the people visiting the malls and amongst the buyers and shop
owners in the mall was of the similar intensity of that of the local farmers
market. In a typical farmers market, the sellers and buyers engage in conversations
thereby increasing the satisfaction level. However a typical supermarket does
not encourages customer engagement at that level, and without any additional
incentive to be there other than the purpose of buying things, people feel more
attracted towards a shopping mall compared to that. The image of a store
present inside a mall and the one situated in the downtown shopping district
was different as well. People tend to prefer the stores in the mall compared to
the store outside as it felt more sociable. This factor reinforces consumers
buying behaviour.

By 1970’s it was reported that
Americans were spending more time in the shopping mall that any other place,
other than work or home. The “mom and pop” stores, individual specialized shops
lost its charm. People of all age group started thronging the shopping malls.
They regarded it as a clean, convenient, safe and cheerful place compared to
other downtown stores. It had become a place where senior citizens could roam
around securely in comfort, where parents take their kids to see Santa Claus,
teenagers socialize and singles court. People preferred going there when there
was nothing better to do. Thus it lead to a study which felt that “there is
something social going on in the mall”. Part of the success of the retail mall
was attributed to the socially stimulating environment that it offered. People
felt more satisfied after visiting a shopping mall because of the level of
social interaction they had. This was found through a study where the composition
of people visiting a downtown shopping area and the local shopping mall was
compared, along with it social behaviour in the shopping mall and the stores in
mall were compared to that of stores that were situated in shopping centres or
downtown shopping district. This study gave a detailed insight into the
Psychology of the people visiting the shopping mall and the reason they prefer
to go there compared to other shopping areas.

The objective of this study is to understand
the various dimensions of customer relationship in shopping malls and how it
impacts customer satisfaction.

Literature review

In India, retailing is the largest private industry and second largest
employer after agriculture. This sector contributes around 10 per cent of the
GDP and almost 7 per cent of employment. India has the highest retail outlet
density in the world with over 15 million retail outlets. Retail industry
witnessed significant development in the past decade evolving from small
unorganized family-owned retail formats to organized retailing. Liberalization
of the economy, rise in per capita income and growing consumerism have
encouraged larger business houses and manufactures to set up retail formats.
Real estate conglomerates, venture capitalists investing in retail infrastructure
has only added to booming retail in India. Many foreign retailers have also
entered the market through different routes such as wholesale cash-and-carry,
local manufacturing, franchising, test marketing and many more. The growth in
organized retailing and unorganized retailers is fast changing their business
models and implementing new technologies and modern accounting practices to
face competition every day.

The Indian retail sector is characterized by the presence of a large
number of small unorganized retailers. However, in the past decade there has
been development of organized retailing, which has encouraged large private
sector player to invest in this sector. Many foreign players have also entered
India through different routes such as test marketing, franchising, wholesale
cash-and-carry operation. With high GDP growth, increased consumerism and
liberalization of the manufacturing sector, India is being portrayed as an
attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retailing.

Despite the impact of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis, the retail
market in India still remains strong, and consumer spending power continues to
grow. The shopping-mall format has been widely accepted by Chinese shoppers,
although this format is quite different from their traditional mode of
shopping. Extant literature has previously examined consumer behavior within
the shopping mall context in Western societies.

A lot of research related to the Indian retail market has made
significant progress over the last decade. However much remains to be explored
and further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of this rapidly
changing market. For example, how the personality of the mall and fashion
orientation might impact Indian shoppers’ intent and behavior remains
unaddressed. Hence, this study to determine the relationship between the type
of store/mall personality and customer behavior is intended to generate
meaningful information and contribute important knowledge to the existing literature
of mall shopping in India at both theoretical and practical levels.

In today’s world, shopping is no longer an exercise to obtain the
preferred product(s) or service(s). Consumers frequently expect multi-sensory,
interactive, and holistic shopping experience that entertains, stimulate, and
emotionally affects them. Prior studies have shown that measurement of customer
satisfaction provides better means to understand the needs of customers and to
empower them by creating customer-centred services. In India, department stores
attract affluent consumers who seek emotional gratification as consumption
motive. Therefore, the actual happiness they receive in-service consumptions
directly influence their satisfaction. The research (Mala Srivastava, Dimple
Kaul (2014)) shows that customer experience performs the role of mediator
between the social interactions, convenience and satisfaction. It demonstrates
that customer experience is the key to customer satisfaction. Henceforth,
customer experience in retail context is extremely relevant. In hypermarket
retail stores where the retailers connect themselves to the customers with the
help of hedonic shopping motivations such as entertainment, exploration,
gratification, social, status, idea, and value shopping which helps in
generating customer satisfaction, loyalty and assistance intentions in the
customer. The study (Atulkar, S., & Kesari, B. (2017)) shows that
entertainment facilities are considered as a most important competitive tool
for creating satisfaction in the customers. In UAE, a similar study (El-Adly,
M. I., & Eid, R. (2016)) shows that value of mall has a significant
positive effect on both customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The above
circumstances present retailers with opportunities to differentiate themselves
from competitors by designing retail environments that will create memorable
customer experiences.

The aforementioned research has also indicated that customer purchasing
decisions are influenced by the following:

Perception: The customer’s selection, organization and
interpretation of information to form knowledge reflects his/her
perception.
Motivation: The customer’s desire to meet his/her own needs
reflects motivation. The learning out of motivation is reflected on the
customer’s behavior while meeting these desires.
Attitude: It is reflected on customer’s steadily favorable
or unfavorable assessments, feelings, or inclinations towards an object or
idea.
Beliefs: They are reflected on customers’ thoughts about
a product or service (Kotler & Armstrong, 1997)

 

The Factors of
Consumer Purchasing Decision:

There are many factors influencing customers on how consumers make any
purchasing decision. The purchasing decision process starts before the actual
purchase and continues long after.

Convenience:

Convenience was offered by retail which was the main motivating factor
for purchases. Convenient access to product information could facilitate and
help shoppers’ making a purchases decision (Loshe & Spiller, 1999).

Price:

Price is another critical factor for a customer on retail shopping (Heim
and Sinha, 2001). However, Li et al. (1999) argued that often retail shoppers
were not price-sensitive, cause of these consumers’ price comparisons among
different retailers on each product was time consuming and the price difference
was very small.

Brand:

Brand is defined as the quality related to the products or services.
Brand is often referred as the seller’s reputation and consumer loyalty. Brands
and features increases as more information is obtained, knowledge of the
available and consumer awareness (Kotler & Armstrong, 1997).

Security:

Security was a critical successful factor for retail. Retail would fail
if customer feels lacking a great degree of confidence (Kesh et al., 2002). The
primary reason indicated of the most buyers who didn’t shop online cause of
afraid to reveal personal credit card information to retailers or over the
internet (Rao, 2000).

Mall personality and
shopping value:

Prior research revealed that shopping activities can generate both
hedonic and utilitarian outcomes for consumers (Fischer and Arnold, 1990;
Sherry 1990). Utilitarian values often refer to the functional, instrumental,
practical, and task-related benefits, whereas hedonic values refer to ones that
are aesthetic, experiential, emotional, and pleasure-related (Batra and Ahtola
1990)

Customers:

In order to understand the various dynamics involved for customer
relationships with malls , customers themselves should be segregated into
two  buckets

 1. Tourists

2. Locals

 As per the existing research of
perceived perception of tourists for malls in a tourist destination (1), the
following factors were considered critical:

·        
Quality of retailers

·        
Convenience

·        
Mall environment

·        
Rewards

·        
Customer service

·        
Overall customer satisfaction

The correct prioritization of these factors should be ascertained in
order to understand the customer relationship to malls at a tourist destination
at any point of time to understand changing customer preferences and shifting
of loyalties.

Moving on to the category of local consumers, with the advent of
globalization as well as modern technology , shopping malls today have become a
shopping experience (2) and it was found that shopping mall experience has a
correlation with the satisfaction and loyalty towards the brand of the mall.
However, it was found that even though there was no significant relationship
between shopping complex brand Personality and shopping complex loyalty, there
was a relationship between shopping complex satisfaction and shopping complex
loyalty which led to an increase of the shopping complex loyalty.

Facility Management:

Facility Management is imperative in all realms of the service industry.
The quality of FM service plays an important role in the overall service performance
of shopping mall (3).  The empirically
relationships between overall perceived customer satisfaction and satisfaction
came down to nine FM service dimensions:

MMCF: management
and maintenance of communal facilities
 CSC: cleaning staff and cleanliness
 WR: wash room
 PRO: promotion
 PMS: property management services
 SG: security guard
 SS: security services
 MCA: management of common areas
  OPMS – Overall property management
satisfaction

Mall attributes and
customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction, defined as “the number of customers, or
percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its
products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals.”
gives a reference to retailers to tailor a strategy for customers (Ferris et
al., 2010; Tse and Wilton, 1988; Oliver 1999). According to Kim, et al., (2004)
customer satisfaction is customer’s reaction to the state of satisfaction, and
customer’s judgment of satisfaction level. Wong et al., (2012) there is a relationship
between shopping mall attributes and customer satisfaction.

In order to investigate the personality of the retail store, two
different Martineau (1958) categories of retail store attributes i.e.
functional and psychological which directly and indirectly to customer
satisfaction.

The functional
category includes attributes like location, assortment of products and
store layout.
The psychological
category represents the feelings generated by the functional elements of
the store.

The above research into mall choice by the customers gained more
attention over former attributes than latter. For supporting the review in the
study of a grocery store attributes, customer looked upon the price, product
variety, one-stop shopping, quality, location of the store, advertisement,
general appearance of the store and convenience (Doyle &Fenwick 1975).
Manana, (2009), suggested that Consumers evaluate the malls on the basis of
products and different features of mall e.g. location, employees and
atmosphere. Retail businesses are spending on getting and sustaining locations
appropriate for their products and consumers, as mall location is vital factor
of retail business (Hernandez and Bennison, 2000)

The factors which are affecting customer in shopping and selecting the
shopping place, fall into five groups i.e. Features of price, accessibility,
environment, mall image, regarding the consumer buying behavior, convenience
and rewards (Wong et al., 2012; Dawar and Parker, 1994;) determined other
dimensions of mall selection behavior e.g. decoration, atmosphere, exterior and
cleanliness of mall (Newberry et al., 2003).

A research done by Wang & Ha, (2011), nine features of mall make
significant the consumer to loyal towards shopping in mall that are mall
atmosphere, after sale service, brochures and pamphlets, communication,
convenience, quality and assortment of products promotions, expected behavior
and rewards as discounts etc. Isaksson & Suljanovic (2006) during the study
of “different factors in retail environment affect customer experience” in IKEA
experience suggested that the most apparent reasons for people choosing to shop
is cost advantage with their wide variety of products being relating cheap in
comparison to others retailer and product assortment is wide and constantly
changing.

Location is another factor in IKEA which add something extra to their
shopping. Furthermore another study done by Kumar and Vikraman (2012) comparing
organized and unorganized retail outlets suggested that organized outlets
provide price, self-service, visual merchandising and essay accessible layout
to find out the product. In selection of location, Reardon et al.

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