In the recent past, there has been a rapid increase in the consumer purchasing power leading to the development of shopping culture among the consumers. The shopping malls and retail centers, on the other hand, capitalize on the increased opping activities by providing services that attract customers.
Most shopping stores possess similar attributes and offer a variety of merchandise to suit the consumer needs and preferences. This phenomenon presents shoppers with problems of deciding as regards to the items to buy and the retail center. However, most shoppers usually opt for shopping malls that are near and present a unique shopping experience.
Still, others base their decision on various factors including the shopping experience offered and their attitude towards a certain retail shops, which makes the shopping, particularly shopping, which involves persuasion through marketing and advertising, a torturous exercise dependent on the socio-economic factors, culture, and traits of the consumer.
The Shopping Culture
Shopping experience has both recreational and economic aspects. In most cases, recreational shopping does not involve the economic aspect leading to shopping that is not dependent on budget (Falk & Collin 1997, p.154).
The economic aspect of shopping is evident in the normal routine shopping for daily necessities, where recreational shopping is avoided. Shopping centers put up promotional strategies that persuade consumers to purchase their goods while promising a unique shopping experience for their customers.
The shopping experience is portrayed by the shopping malls as an experience that is both pleasurable and interesting ignoring the dark side of shopping; the economic aspects of recreational shopping culture. Therefore, shoppers react more to changes in fashion than they react to changes in prices of commodities.
The consumer lifestyle and economic status influences the consumer shopping culture. An abrupt change in consumer tastes for a certain product, particularly new products, leads to a change in consumer shopping culture indicating that shopping is heavily dependent on the lifestyles and economic status of the consumers;
Edwards asserts that, shopping is dependent on the resource availability and socio-economic divisions (1999, p.166). The socio-economic status creates different consumer groups each with different spending ability.
The shopping malls capitalize on social groups of the consumers when carrying out promotional and advertising activities; however, some focus on personality and lifestyles of the consumers.
Shopping experiences vary depending on the attributes of the market segment targeted by the products. Shopping has the potential of oppressing the various consumer groups as the consumers shop for goods ignoring their economic status (Miller 1998, p.116).
Social indicators such as age, ethnicity, and gender influence the consumer purchasing power and thus, each social group has a different shopping experience.
However, shopping that is both pleasurable and interesting involves not only the recreational aspect but also the economic aspects of the consumer. In carrying out my shopping, I must consider the economic aspect of shopping, the shopping experience offered by the shopping mall and the purpose for purchasing the items.
Shopping often involves difficulties in decision making with regard to the items to be purchased and the shopping mall to visit. I face difficulties in deciding which shopping center to go shopping due to the similarity in attributes and location of the shopping centers.
In addition, most of the shopping centers stock a variety of merchandise making it difficult to purchase the intended items which degenerates into impulse buying for the ‘undisciplined’ consumers.
Shopping involves decisions by the consumers to purchase items and the shopping center to carry out the shopping. Consumption has the potential of affecting the various consumer groups and their incomes, which makes shopping a torturous experience considering the economic impacts of recreational shopping.
Edwards, T., 1999. Contradictions of Consumption: Concepts, Practices, and Politics In Consumer Society. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Falk, P., & Collin C., 1997. The Shopping Experience. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Miller, D., 1998. A Theory of Shopping. New York: Cornell University Press.