The Effect of Storefront Appearance on Shopper Behavior
Texas A & M, Commerce
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Findings
Chapter 5: Summary
A review of relevant research reveals studies dating back to the early 1970s that focus on facility-based environmental cues, or atmospherics, and their effect on shopper attitude and decision modeling. However, inadequately explored is the specific effect that storefronts and retail exteriors have on shopper choice. Through the use of cross-sectional consumer surveys, this study will measure the importance of storefront appearance on retail patronage, as well as rank aspects of retail exteriors as they relate to shopper selection and loyalty. In addition to measuring the importance of storefront appearance, this article will determine how to prioritize physical aspects of retail facades that make the greatest impact on shopper approach behavior. Key words: atmospherics, shopper choice, approach behavior
Because the façade is the first impression shoppers get of an establishment, the decision to patronize or not begins outside the place of business, sometimes yards from the entrance. However, very little research in the field of atmospherics has served to specifically address the external variables that function to draw customers into an establishment, be it a grocery store, a restaurant, or a convenience store. This research project investigates what factors are most likely to trigger the “approach” behavior that draws shoppers into a business. Problem Statement
The purpose of this study is to further explain which visual cues are most influential to buyers and which factors should take priority in the design and updating of a retail storefront. Purpose of Study
Since very limited information is available to retailers concerning the most effective aspects of their façade on approach behaviors, much of the design work is left to intuitive principals. This study aims to identify specific considerations of storefront design and appearance that will serve a business to maximize patronage at the least cost. This article will summarize findings and their relevance to the exterior design of retail establishments.
The exterior appearance is the most influential determinant of shopper approach or avoidance. Shopper loyalty is directly correlated with retail façade. Research will include aspects such as cleanliness, orderliness, and congruency with environment.
Review of Related Literature
As I have previously discussed, shoppers will react to retail external variables by approaching or avoiding (Shera, 2011). Approach behaviors are considered positive reactions, such as coming in, staying, spending money, loyalty, and carrying out the purpose for being in the organization (Bitner, 1992). Avoidance is a negative reaction and represented by the opposite behaviors. Donovan and Rossiter (1982) found that such behaviors were influenced by atmospheric stimuli. Berman and Evans (1995) divided these stimuli into four atmospheric subgroups, while Turley and Milliman (2000) took it a step further and created five: the exterior, the general interior, the store layout, interior displays, and human variables. Turley and Milliman’s (2000) work categorized research to date in retail atmospherics and only found four publications that focused on external variables....
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