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In-store influences on consumers' grocery purchasing decisions: a qualitative investigation

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A wide range of methods are used within the store environment as a means for increasing consumer patronage and sales. Other than whether items are actually purchased, there is limited knowledge about how consumers perceive and respond to in-store cues. Little is also known about how consumers use such information as part of the purchasing decision process. In this exploratory study we seek to obtain a broader understanding around consumers' purchasing decisions within the store environment. The research is set in the grocery store environment. Nine female participants from Auckland, New Zealand took part in a 3-month data collection process. Participants were aware that a variety of in-store cues exerted a degree of influence on their purchasing decisions and they were found to use this together with their individual contexts (including preferences, knowledge and previous experiences) to evaluate displays and promotions, and reach decisions. The relative importance of these two “factors” was found to vary between purchasing decisions as well as from person to person. Avenues for future research are offered with the aim of further exploration of the balance between store cues and individual contexts and so moving toward a more holistic understanding of how in-store purchasing decisions are constructed.
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Keywords: CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR; ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK; FOOD SHOPPING; NEW ZEALAND; PURCHASING DECISIONS; RETAILING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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