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A Happy Customer is a Paying Customer
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This cross-sectional study has investigated the relationship between how parents perceive retail stores that try to be more family friendly. It has also examined which factors parents value when it comes to stores being family friendly. Very little public research has been done on the subject of what parents’ value when it comes to store design, which is why the authors chose this topic.

 

The theoretical framework, as well as the questions used in the interviews, were based on theories the authors deemed connected to the subject in question. The main areas from which the authors have used theories range from competitive advantages, targeting and segmentation, consumer loyalty and the connection between stress and shopping.

 

Four themes were identified through the literature, and qualitative interviews were conducted over the phone based on the themes. Observations were also collected in retail stores to further explore the themes. Building on these themes, we suggest four propositions based on the data collected which can be further researched. Since the purpose of this paper was to allow respondents to freely discuss factors they value, a qualitative approach was used for the study. The interview subjects were approached while shopping with their children, and a phone interview was scheduled for later. The authors also collected observational data in three stores with different degrees of family friendliness, to further add further foundation to their themes. In addition, the authors present a theoretical model, based upon the four propositions presented. 

 

The authors have found that the most common feeling parents associate with shopping while accompanied by their children is stress. Because of this, shopping becomes an unpleasant experience that parents try to finish as quickly as possible, often resulting in fewer items bought. It was also discovered that parents have more positive feelings towards stores that try to be more family friendly. Through the interviews and observations, a pattern was discovered. Families spent longer time and purchased more goods in stores with family friendly solutions installed.

 

Through interviews, many different elements that can reduce parents shopping stress were identified. The main thing the authors take away from the interviews is the fact that what parents value the most, is feeling welcome when they bring their children with them. Stores that implement even small solutions, contribute to parents feeling validated, which then reduces their stress levels.

 

Our conclusion is that store owners need to realize that it does not have to be hard to attract more families. Implementing elements in their stores that aid families in different ways will contribute to increased sales and happier customers. The authors also give suggestions on further research, namely on the relationship between pricing or location-elasticity versus family friendliness, as well as to which degree children in stores may have negative impacts on other shoppers.

 

Key concepts: Stress, Consumer Decision Making, Customer Loyalty, Shopping with Children, Competitive Advantage, Customer Segmentation, Targeting

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Business Development, Retail, Marketing
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-166564DiVA, id: diva2:1379960
Educational program
International Business Program
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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