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Where to shop?: understanding consumers' choices of grocery stores
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Konsumenters val av dagligvarubutiker (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

For the last couple of decades consumer decision-making has been of increasing interest for retail as well as for consumer behaviour research. Food shopping constitutes a unique type of shopping behaviour. In comparison to other types of shopping, food is essential to life, and not often are there as many choices to be made in a short period of time as when shopping groceries.

The purpose of this dissertation was to advance the knowledge of what influences consumers’ choices of grocery stores. More specifically, the main focus has been on how different situations (e.g., type of shopping) influence choices of grocery stores. Five papers, which build on three surveys on how consumers choose grocery stores in Sweden, are included in this dissertation.

In the first paper a comprehensive set of ten aggregated attributes that determine store choices were developed. The second paper brought forward five consumer segments (Planning Suburbans, Social Shoppers, Pedestrians, City Dwellers, and Flexibles) based on where and how they shop. In the third paper it was shown that accessibility attributes (e.g., accessibility by car, availability) and attractiveness attributes (e.g., price, service) have different impacts on satisfaction, depending on consumer characteristics and shopping behaviour in supermarkets compared to convenience stores. In the fourth paper the result showed that satisfaction is affected by type of grocery shopping (major versus fill-in shopping) in conjunction with time pressure and which store attributes that are important for satisfaction. It was also shown that the effect of time pressure and type of shopping on satisfaction varied in different consumer segments. In the final paper it was shown that a store has to be more attractive in terms of attributes for a consumer to switch from the grocery store they usually patronage, even if the new store is situated right beside or closer than the consumer’s regular grocery store. The view of a “good location” is further developed in this dissertation, arguing that consumers’ mental distance to a store – their cognitive proximity – is much more important than the physical place of the store.

In sum, this dissertation revealed that the situation is more important than previous research has shown. Depending on the situation, consumers will face different outcomes (different stores) and value different store attributes. Hence, stores need to manage different store attributes depending on which consumer groups the stores want to attract and what situation the consumers are facing. Therefore, consumers’ choices of grocery stores are situation-based choices. 

Abstract [sv]

I ett par decennier har intresset för konsumenters beslutsfattande ökat för både detaljhandeln och forskningen kring konsumentbeteende. Matinköp utgör en unik typ av köp-beteende då det i jämförelse med andra typer av handlande är livsnödvändiga samt att det sällan finns så många val som ska göras under kort tid som vid matinköp.

Syftet med denna avhandling är att främja kunskap om vad som påverkar konsumenternas val av livsmedelsbutik. Mer specifikt har fokus varit på hur olika situationer (t.ex. typ av handlande) påverkar valet av butik. Fem artiklar, som bygger på tre olika undersökningar om hur konsumenter väljer livsmedelsbutiker i Sverige ingår i denna avhandling.

I den första artikeln utvecklades en omfattande uppsättning av tio aggregerade attribut (baserade på 34 attribut) som bestämmer konsumenters val av livsmedelsbutiker. I den andra artikeln presenterades fem konsumentsegment (Planerande förortsbor, Sociala shoppare, Fotgängare, Stadsbor och Flexibla) som baserades på var och hur de handlar. Den tredje artikeln visade att tillgänglighetsattribut (t.ex. tillgängligheten med bil och öppettider) och attraktivitetsattribut (t.ex. pris och service) har olika effekter på konsumenters nöjdhet. Denna nöjdhet varierade även beroende på konsumentens bakgrundsfaktorer samt huruvida konsumenten handlade i stormarknader eller i närbutiker. I den fjärde artikeln visade resultaten att nöjdhet påverkas av typ av matinköp (storhandlande kontra kompletteringshandlande) i samband med tidspress och de attribut som är viktiga för konsumenternas nöjdhet med butiken. Det visade sig även att effekterna av tidspress och typ av handlande på konsumenternas nöjdhet med butiker varierade i olika konsumentgrupper. Det femte konferenspapperet visade att en butik måste vara mer attraktiv när det gäller attribut för att konsumenter skall byta från den livsmedelsbutik som de brukar handla i, även om den nya butiken skulle öppna precis bredvid eller närmre än den vanliga livsmedelsbutiken. Synen på vad som är ett ”bra läge” utvecklas därför ytterligare i denna avhandling, med argumentet att konsumenternas mentala avstånd till en butik - deras kognitiva närhet - är mycket viktigare än den fysiska platsen för butiken.

Sammanfattningsvis visade denna avhandling att effekten av olika situationer är viktigare än vad tidigare forskning har visat. Beroende på situation kommer konsumenter att möta olika utfall (välja olika butiker) och de kommer även att värdera olika butikers attribut olika. Således behöver butiken hantera olika butiksattribut beroende på vilken konsumentgrupp butiken vill attrahera och vilken situation de konsumenterna står inför. Därför kan val av livsmedelsbutiker ses som situationsbaserade val.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2016. , 104 p.
Series
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 91
Keyword [en]
consumer decision-making, store choice, situation-based choices, cognitive proximity
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120166ISBN: 978-91-7601-489-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120166DiVA: diva2:926966
Public defence
2016-06-03, Hörsal D, Samhällsvetarhuset, Biblioteksgränd 6, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-13 Created: 2016-05-10 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Importance ratings of grocery store attributes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Importance ratings of grocery store attributes
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, ISSN 0959-0552, E-ISSN 1758-6690, Vol. 43, no 1, 63-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive set of grocery store attributes that can be standardized and used in empirical research aiming at increasing retailers´ understanding of determinants of grocery store choice, and assessing how the relative importance of the attributes is affected by consumer socio-demographic characteristics and shopping behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach: An Internet survey of 1,575 Swedish consumers was conducted. A large set of attributes was rated by the participants on seven-point scales with respect to their importance for choice of grocery store. Principal component analysis resulted in a reduced set of reliably measured aggregated attributes. This set included the attractiveness attributes price level, supply range, supply quality, service quality, storescape quality, facilities for childcare, and closeness to other stores, and the accessibility attributes easy access by car, easy access by other travel modes, and availability (closeness to store and opening hours).

Findings: The results showed that accessibility by car is the most important grocery store attribute, storescape quality and availability the next most important and facilities for childcare the least important. It was also found that socio-demographic factors and shopping behaviour have an impact on the importance of the store attributes.

Originality/value: A comprehensive set of attractiveness and accessibility attributes of grocery stores that can be standardized and used in empirical research is established. The results are valid for the Swedish-European conditions that differ from the conditions in North America where most previous research has been conducted. The results reveal the relative importance grocery-shopping consumers place on controllable attractiveness attributes compared to uncontrollable accessibility attributes as well as the relative importance of the attributes within each category.

Keyword
Importance ratings, grocery store attributes, choice, marketing strategy
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90685 (URN)10.1108/IJRDM-12-2012-0112 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-06-27 Created: 2014-06-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Who shops groceries where and how?: The relationship between choice of store format and type of grocery shopping
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who shops groceries where and how?: The relationship between choice of store format and type of grocery shopping
2015 (English)In: International Review of Retail Distribution & Consumer Research, ISSN 0959-3969, E-ISSN 1466-4402, Vol. 25, no 1, 1-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the relationship between type of grocery shopping, consumers’ choice of store format and demographic characteristics. By simultaneously observing consumers’ choice of store format and whether they are major or fill-in shopping, we are able to investigate combinations of shopping types and store format than has been done previously. In an Internet survey, a sample of 1,575 Swedish consumers reported how they shop groceries. Statistical analyses were performed to determine what consumer characteristics explain frequency of major versus fill-in shopping and frequency of shopping in supermarkets versus convenience stores. Five different segments of consumers are distinguished on the basis of how they shop (major versus fill-in shopping) and where they shop (supermarkets versus convenience stores): “Planning Suburbans”, “Pedestrians”, “Social Shoppers”,City Dwellers”, and “Flexibles”. These segments differ on various characteristics. The results inform retailers of the characteristics of consumers patronizing their stores, enabling them to change the store attributes to fit consumer needs as well as the needs of new consumers.

Keyword
Grocery shopping, shopping behavior, type of grocery shopping, store format, consumer segment
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90683 (URN)10.1080/09593969.2014.940996 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-06-27 Created: 2014-06-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Consumers´ satisfaction with grocery shopping in supermarkets and convenience stores
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consumers´ satisfaction with grocery shopping in supermarkets and convenience stores
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing, ISSN 2045-810X, Vol. 2, no 4, 72-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper we ask whether there are differences in which attributes are important for satisfaction with grocery shopping in supermarkets compared to convenience stores. We also examine whether accessibility attributes and attractiveness attributes have different impacts on satisfaction depending on consumer characteristics and shopping behaviour in different store formats. The results show a higher overall satisfaction with supermarkets than convenience stores, and within these store formats a higher satisfaction with the chosen store format. This study has increased understanding of the differences between supermarkets and convenience stores with respect to how these store formats makes consumers satisfied depending on the way they do their shopping.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Access Press UK, 2013
Keyword
Satisfaction, Grocery shopping, Store attributes, Store format
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84844 (URN)
Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2016-05-12Bibliographically approved
4. Effects of time pressure, type of shopping, and store attributes on consumers’ satisfaction with grocery shopping
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of time pressure, type of shopping, and store attributes on consumers’ satisfaction with grocery shopping
2017 (English)In: International Review of Retail Distribution & Consumer Research, ISSN 0959-3969, E-ISSN 1466-4402, Vol. 27, no 4, 334-351 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate whether satisfaction with grocery stores is affected by type of grocery shopping in conjunction with time pressure, and which attributes are important for satisfaction. Fictitious grocery stores are constructed according to a fractional factorial design by varying access, price level, supply quality/range, and service quality. In an Internet survey, 1023 Swedish consumers rated satisfaction with major vs. fill-in shopping imagining they were under high or low time pressure. The results showed that satisfaction is higher for fill-in shopping than major shopping, that time pressure has no effect on satisfaction, and that price level, service quality, and product quality/range are more important for satisfaction with major shopping, whereas access is more important for satisfaction with fill-in shopping. It is also found that the importance of attributes for satisfaction depends on type of shopping more than on individual characteristics.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120266 (URN)10.1080/09593969.2017.1309674 (DOI)000411052900002 ()
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2017-10-23Bibliographically approved
5. How to attract the picky, lazy consumer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to attract the picky, lazy consumer
2013 (English)In: the 22th NFF conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, 21-23 August, 2013. On Practice and Knowledge Eruptions, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120267 (URN)
Conference
22nd Nordic Academy of Management conference, Reykjavík, 21-23 August, 2013
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-05-12

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