Mood and motivation in shopping behaviour
This thesis is concerned with the motivation of shopping behaviour. The main aim of the research is to examine internal factors that influence a person's motivation, with specific focus on how consumers' shopping goals and mood states prior to a retail encounter affect their in-store behaviour and the outcomes of the activity in terms of goal attainment and evaluations of the retail outlet. The conceptual basis for the research is provided by theories of goal-directed behaviour, which assume that people are purposive in their behaviour and that there is a synergistic relationship between cognition and motivation (Ratneshwar, 1995; Pervin, 1989). Two complementary perspectives on the motivational role of mood are linked into this conceptualisation: one that emphasises the role of associative cognitive networks and proposes that mood serves to regulate goal-directed behaviour by altering goal-relevant thought and perception (Gardner, 1985; Isen, 1984); the other that postulates that mood is a biopsychological phenomenon that registers the availability of personal resources given near-term demands and alters goal-relevant thought, perception, and motivation in accordance with this (Morris, forthcoming; Batson et al., 1992; Thayer, 1989). In order to examine the motivation of shopping behaviour, an investigation was carried out amongst visitors to craft fairs in Scotland. The research adopted a quantitative approach. The data collection was driven by five main research hypotheses and involved asking consumers to complete two parts of a questionnaire: the first part was filled in upon their arrival at the craft fair and the second part was completed just before their departure. In this way, data on the progression of goal-directed behaviour over the course of a shopping episode was captured. The main findings of the research were that: a) individuals' mood states prior to the retail encounter influenced consumers' levels of commitment to shopping goals, although the importance of mood state varied depending on the type of shopping goal in question; b) types of behaviour exhibited in the course of shopping were influenced by the types of goals that consumers identified to be important to them upon arriving at the craft fair and there was some evidence that individuals' mood states moderated the effects of their goals on their in-store behaviour; c) attainment of shopping goals was dependent on whether the relevant goals were specified as important prior to the retail encounter and in-store behaviour. Mixed evidence was obtained on the role of mood as a factor that moderates the effects of commitment to goals on attainment of goals. d) attainment of shopping goals was partly responsible for the change in a person's mood state between entering and leaving the craft fair; e) retail outcomes in terms of consumers' enjoyment of the retail encounter, their preference for and intentions to patronise the retail outlet in the future were influenced by consumers' evaluations of the extent to which they had attained their shopping goals and their mood state following the shopping episode. One of the main implications of the research is that a view of consumers as purposive in their shopping activities makes a useful contribution to the understanding of shopping behaviour and how repeat patronage can be encouraged. As far as retailers are concerned, there is a need to understand what goals consumers have in mind when they visit a store and how to facilitate behaviour directed towards the attainment of those goals in order that consumers evaluate the shopping activity as successful and leave with favourable impressions of the store. In addition, attempts to locate in an environment that helps to boost the resources that contribute to mood, rather than draining them, and to smooth the way for goal-directed shopping activities may also increase repeat patronage and ultimately customer loyalty to retailers.