Research on consumer behavior has traditionally focused on the analysis of decisions related to the choice of products or brand manufacturers. In more recent years, an increasing number of contributions considered this choice together with the choice of the point of sale and the retailer. Indeed, what consumers buy is a complex system of products and services, and a context in which they are delivered. The relationship between consumers and retailers is based on economic factors, but a wide variety of non-economic elements exert an influence, both at the individual and the collective level. Interactions follow economic and social behavior norms, and social norms and codes of conduct change continuously, as a consequence of technology changes and cultural changes. Technology changes – particularly communication technologies – mainly refer to the Internet and social media development. Cultural changes refer to the convergence at international level of income, lifestyles and habits, on one side, and the increased mobility of people, on the other side, that favor the encounter and interaction between different cultures. The shopping behavior is changing as well. Since shopping has become something more than a necessary activity – with leisure and entertainment components – new horizons to the development of enriched shopping experiences started to be opened. Retailers analyze and interpret such changes in a continuous effort aimed at identifying new markets and market segments. However, the responsive nature of retailers has not to be emphasized. Whilst retailers operate with cultural norms and thus reflect these, they can also shape the cultural norms in many ways. Retailers initiatives and environments are not neutral entities, and they can condition and structure consumers moods and behaviors and in some case can also influence cultural norms. Modern techniques of retailing and new retail formats allow retailers to assume a more central role to consumers' concerns. The elements of the retail offer pay more attention to store design, ambience and all those issues which have to do with the balance between price, service and quality of purchased products, and also to offer entertainment occasions to customers. All the changes described above require an examination and updating of knowledge about the relationship between consumers and retailers. At the same time, the role of retailers must be analyzed following a multiple perspective according to issues related to consumers' behavioral dynamics, technology, communication codes and tools, social interaction, market knowledge, and social responsibility. This book provides theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings on the topics related to the changes that are occurring. Firstly, it is addressed to scholars that need an overview of the research field related to the retailer-consumer relationship in order to better contextualize their studies and receive suggestions for cross-disciplinary analyses. In addition, the book can be a tool for managers and entrepreneurs, both in the retail trade and the manufacturing sector, for upgrading their knowledge in the field and complete their perspective for a better approach to their reference markets. Finally, the book can also be a valuable reference for local government agencies and public bodies that are in charge of the management of planning policies for the retail offer development and city centers organization. This field is connected to the Town Center Management (TCM) area of interest, for which is essential a complete knowledge of all the dynamics related to the retailer-consumer relationship.

Preface

MUSSO, FABIO;
2014

Abstract

Research on consumer behavior has traditionally focused on the analysis of decisions related to the choice of products or brand manufacturers. In more recent years, an increasing number of contributions considered this choice together with the choice of the point of sale and the retailer. Indeed, what consumers buy is a complex system of products and services, and a context in which they are delivered. The relationship between consumers and retailers is based on economic factors, but a wide variety of non-economic elements exert an influence, both at the individual and the collective level. Interactions follow economic and social behavior norms, and social norms and codes of conduct change continuously, as a consequence of technology changes and cultural changes. Technology changes – particularly communication technologies – mainly refer to the Internet and social media development. Cultural changes refer to the convergence at international level of income, lifestyles and habits, on one side, and the increased mobility of people, on the other side, that favor the encounter and interaction between different cultures. The shopping behavior is changing as well. Since shopping has become something more than a necessary activity – with leisure and entertainment components – new horizons to the development of enriched shopping experiences started to be opened. Retailers analyze and interpret such changes in a continuous effort aimed at identifying new markets and market segments. However, the responsive nature of retailers has not to be emphasized. Whilst retailers operate with cultural norms and thus reflect these, they can also shape the cultural norms in many ways. Retailers initiatives and environments are not neutral entities, and they can condition and structure consumers moods and behaviors and in some case can also influence cultural norms. Modern techniques of retailing and new retail formats allow retailers to assume a more central role to consumers' concerns. The elements of the retail offer pay more attention to store design, ambience and all those issues which have to do with the balance between price, service and quality of purchased products, and also to offer entertainment occasions to customers. All the changes described above require an examination and updating of knowledge about the relationship between consumers and retailers. At the same time, the role of retailers must be analyzed following a multiple perspective according to issues related to consumers' behavioral dynamics, technology, communication codes and tools, social interaction, market knowledge, and social responsibility. This book provides theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings on the topics related to the changes that are occurring. Firstly, it is addressed to scholars that need an overview of the research field related to the retailer-consumer relationship in order to better contextualize their studies and receive suggestions for cross-disciplinary analyses. In addition, the book can be a tool for managers and entrepreneurs, both in the retail trade and the manufacturing sector, for upgrading their knowledge in the field and complete their perspective for a better approach to their reference markets. Finally, the book can also be a valuable reference for local government agencies and public bodies that are in charge of the management of planning policies for the retail offer development and city centers organization. This field is connected to the Town Center Management (TCM) area of interest, for which is essential a complete knowledge of all the dynamics related to the retailer-consumer relationship.
978-146666076-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2602588
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