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Title: The impact of product, service and in-store environment perceptions on customer satisfaction and behaviour
Author: Manikowski, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 0964
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2016
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Much previous research concerning the effects of the in-store experience on customers’ decision-making has been laboratory-based. There is a need for empirical research in a real store context to determine the impact of product, service and in-store environment perceptions on customer satisfaction and behaviour. This study is based on a literature review (Project 1) and a large scale empirical study (Projects 2/3) combining two sources of secondary data from the largest retailer in the UK, Tesco, and their loyalty ‘Clubcard’ provider, Dunnhumby. Data includes customer responses to an online self-completion survey of the customers’ shopping experience combined with customer demographic and behavioural data from a loyalty card programme for the same individual. The total sample comprised n=30,696 Tesco shoppers. The online survey measured aspects of the in-store experience. These items were subjected to factor analysis to identify the influences on the in-store experience with four factors emerging: assortment, retail atmosphere, personalised customer service and checkout customer service. These factors were then matched for each individual with behavioural and demographic data collected via the Tesco Clubcard loyalty program. Regression and sensitivity analyses were then conducted to determine the relative impact of the in-store customer experience dimensions on customer behaviour. Findings include that perceptions of customer service have a strong positive impact on customers’ overall shopping satisfaction and spending behaviour. Perceptions of the in-store environment and product quality/ availability positively influence customer satisfaction but negatively influence the amount of money spent during their shopping trip. Furthermore, personalised customer service has a strong positive impact on spend and overall shopping satisfaction, which also positively influences the number of store visits the week after. However, an increase in shopping satisfaction coming from positive perceptions of the in-store environment and product quality/ availability factors helps to reduce their negative impact on spend week after. A key contribution of this study is to suggest a priority order for investment; retailers should prioritise personalised customer service and checkout customer service, followed by the in-store environment together with product quality and availability. These findings are very important in the context of the many initiatives the majority of retail operators undertake. Many retailers focus on cost-optimisation plans like implementing self-service check outs or easy to operate and clinical in-store environment. This research clearly and solidly shows which approach should be followed and what really matters for customers. That is why the findings are important for both retailers and academics, contributing to and expanding knowledge and practice on the impact of the in-store environment on the customer experience.
Supervisor: Macdonald, Emma K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: experience ; retail ; atmosphere ; customer ; influence ; shopping trip ; layout ; secondary data ; big data ; purchasing cues