'Feelings in the air' : an investigation into the role of mood and emotion in consumer purchase behaviour and the impact of store atmosphere on consumer mood states
'If we went into stores only when we needed to buy something and if once there we bought only what we needed, the ecconomy would collapse' (Underhill, 1999). The focus of this thesis is point-of-purchase stimuli and their impact on mood. The research tests and extends the conceptual model of the role of mood states in consumer behaviour proposed by Gardner (1985). Five different store environments are used to provide empirical evidence. The data gathered for this study only partially support Gardner's conceptual model. Consistent with Gardner's model, point-of-purchase stimuli were found to influence mood states. However, only some elements of these mood states were found to impact on psychological processes. Furthermore, the goodness-of-fit of the model was weak when data was pooled. The model achieved a better fit when each store was analysed individually but these results still showed limited impact of store atmospherics via mood. Furthermore, the atmospheric features showed similar low levels of impact on consumer recall, evaluation and behaviour in a direct test. Extensions of Gardner's model are proposed to accommodate findings which add behaviour by showing that there are different needs for each shopper variables. Both shopping mission and shopping style were found to have a quasi-moderating influence on the relationship between store atmospherics and pleasure, arousal and dominance. This work extends our knowledge of the affective processes in consumer purchase. An understanding of these processes may assist practitioners to influence behaviour by supporting that there are different needs for each shopper type and shopping goal. More broadly, the research validates previous research that shows a high proportion of consumer purchase decisions are made in store, which indicates an opportunity for point-of-sale to influence consumer choice through external, interior, layout, interaction and point-of-purchase variables. In addition, behaviour was found to vary in the five store environments in respect to time and money spent and product purchased and this suggests that influence tactics may need to take account of the type of store.