RESEARCH REPORT 9
Researchreport based on a survey
Conductinga survey on student’s opinions of a shopping centre and shoppingmalls in the higher education town revealed interesting findings. Theresearch report below focuses on student’s attitudes towardsaspects of shopping such as the environment of shopping centers andmalls, their functions, structure, design aesthetic, layout,location, safety, sustainability, convenience, building materials,accessibility, facilities and lighting. This report is summative ofthe above aspects.
Thesurvey method was used as the most suitable method of coming up withthis report. The use of questionnaires designed and issued tostudents to give data on opinions of students regarding shoppingcenters and malls. The questionnaires helped conduct a survey on theopinion of students. The survey also focused on the attitudes ofstudents towards several aspects in the shopping centers.
Thetable below displays a report focusing on student’sattitudes towards shopping and factors that influenced them topurchase or not purchase goods.
Ease of movement
The butt brush effect
Reception while shopping
Factorslike the shopping mall building, structure, function and designaesthetic significantly affected student shopping opinions andattitudes. The fashion show mall Las Vegas was amongst the mostvisited mall by students. The mall that opened in 1981 looks as goodas new according to one of the students. Through the creative handsof retail architecture expert Chris Thomas, a magnificent building,structured in a unique way was set up. The structure of the mallmeets its functions perfectly as a fashion show mall that regularlyhosts top fashion shows. It designed feature a great gigantic UFOlike structure referred to as cloud serving. The structure is a shadeduring the day and a movie screen at night. Apart from that, fashionshow mall also hosts snowstorms during winter months giving the tasteof winter to the desert. Many students are fascinated by such malls.It is home to over 250 stores making it convenient for students tobuy and access goods from the various store options. The mall is alsolocated in a busy town with tight security that reassures buyer ofsafety. It has enough facilities and ample lighting to serve purposesduring the day and night.
Theenvironment of the shopping mall
Inresponse to the question of why students prefer shopping in themalls, answers were shopping malls are convenient, larger andspacious came up. The shopping malls leave the transition zone emptyand allow ease of movement as the stores give options for shoppers topurchase what they want. Most students also admitted not noticing anyitems for sale placed in the transition zone of the shopping mallsthey visited. The transition zone a region through which buyers walkin and out may have any items for sale ignored by customers. Thiszone also referred to as the shopper’s landing strip seemed to bean area where buyers slow their pace to make transition into theshopping center and if the customer is in a hurry, for example theymay not see the items placed here. The transition zone thus means alot for design in a shopping center. It can influence the attitude ofbuyers negatively and cause the loss of sale items placed in such aplace. Big shopping centers and malls should consider the transitionzone as a waste of space and leave it free for entry or exit ofcustomers. Placing a horizontal display may also act as a barrier toslow down buyers as they absorb what is inside the shopping store.
Anotherfactor that seemed to affect student’s shopping behavior in mallsis the personal space while shopping. Ten of the twelve students whowalked into a fashion designer store in fashion show room Las Vegasstated that they had enjoyed buying their items there and would makethis place their fashion shopping spot. Every customer wants to havetheir own space and feel comfortable when fitting the clothes theyintend to buy for instance. Invasion of the space however, makesbuyers feel uneasy and less likely to purchase the item. Other issuesof space invasion include other shoppers bumping into an item thatanother buyer is looking at. Most students reported avoiding thelocal retail shops as they always felt interrupted and irritated whenother shoppers crowded their space and wanted to purchase the itemsthey were intending to buy. For Jenna a students, “shopping in amall is amazing you do not have to go through clinging buyers whobump into you.” Rarely do buyers shopping in the mall leave emptyhanded as the survey revealed. They have enough space to pick an itemor buy something despite having no previous intention of purchasingan item. The personal space given to buyers encourages buying andpurchase behavior. Maneuvering space creates room for customers andreduces the butt brush effect asserts Seung and Johnson (2003:1).
Receptionor resting area
Whileresearching on student’s opinions on shopping malls, severalresponses on seller’s attitudes, time spent on the mall andshopping behavior was done. Shopping is a social activity thatstudents greatly enjoy. After walking in and out of several storespurchasing items, most students felt tired and wanted to look for areception or place they would seat and relax. One of the mostappealing behaviors of sellers to buyers was offering them a warmreception or placing seats just before the items for sale. This madestudents feel welcome and more at ease before and after buying. Theshopping friends needed to rest and sit to go on buying more items.According to Upperhill (1999:170), placing a seat or chair for buyersshows that the seller cares. The time spent on the shopping mall wasmuch and drained the energy of buyer thus giving them a seat wouldwork wonders. The courtesy of sellers greatly influenced shoppingbehaviors of students and a simple thank you from the buyer wouldencourage customer retention. The survey revealed that of allstudents shopping most of them were in the fast foods or restaurantsseated and buying something after shopping. The restaurants are at anadvantage because f their seats and thus more likely to sell tobuyers who had not planned to shop there. Others were resting instore seats after buying goods. However, sellers should be carefulwith where they place the seats. For example, seats for male shoppingcompanions in a female fashion store should be far from the dressingor lingerie section. This will make women more at ease while buyingthe item.
Dressingand fitting room
Thedressing room had a significant influence on student’s shoppingattitude. The privacy and convenience of dressing rooms increasedsales or decreased possibility of sales. Most stores without fittingand dressing rooms for example recorded fewer sales from students whothough interested in the item did not buy. Though retailers want tominimize non-selling spaces through assuming that dressing rooms arenone selling and consume space for no reason this notion is wrong.According to Underhill, (1999:170) dressing rooms are part of thehuge selling tool for stores. Sellers and retailers can win manystudents through devoting time to create space on the dressing rooms.A well-lit dressing and fitting room brings out the actual appearanceof the cloth a buyer intends to purchase (Frings, 2000:9). It shouldbe a room that is furnished and glamorous making it a flatteringportrait for the buyer. Stores that had ample dressing and fittingrooms had customers flocking in the store throughout as compared tothose without or with just a mirror. The survey revealed that thelonger a buyer takes time looking at themselves in the mirror, themore likely they are to buy the item.
Thefashion mall Las Vegas is a unique shopping mall. It was used tocarry out the survey and investigate student’s opinions andattitudes on shopping. Through this survey, research revealed thatbuilding a shopping mall was not an easy task. A shopping mall is anenclosed large building with several shopping stores inside.Throughout the survey, shopping malls turned out to be favorite spotsfor many students to shop. Most students admitted wanting to shop inthe mall as compared to an ordinary shop or supermarket. According tothem shopping malls were spacious and offered a variety of optionsthus making them want to buy more items there. Through this response,several conclusions on the shopping behavior and implications fordesign of shopping centers came up. According to Seung and Johnson(2003:1), there are many reasons prompting customers to leave theretail stores empty handed. Most of these reasons include thelocation of merchandise or design of the space. The retailenvironment if not designed to suit the customer or maximize theirpurchase may fail to motivate their intention to shop.
What is your opinion on shopping centers and malls?
Would you prefer shopping in a retail shop or shopping mall?
Would you shop more at ease in a shopping mall or retail shop?
If shopping mall, which is your favorite shopping mall?
Where is the location of the shopping mall?
Why do you love shopping in the specified place?
How is the building of the shopping mall?
Do you love the design, structure and aesthetic of the shopping mall?
How is the environment of the shopping mall?
What factors motivate you to shop there?
Why would you choose to shop in a mall and a retail shop?
Do factors like space, accessibility, safety and reception services matter to you when shopping?
Frings,G. (1999) Fashion:From concept to customer(6th ed). Upper Saddle River, New
Seung-Eun,L. and Johnson, K. (2003)Implications newsletter,www.informedesign.umn.edu, Vol 02, Issue 5
Underhill,P. (1999) Whywe buy: The science of shopping.New York: Touchstone.