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Mr. Amar P Narkhede1
Research Scholar, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon,
Email Id: [email protected] V. N. Sayankar2
Professor, Anekant Institute of Management Studies, Baramati
Email Id: [email protected] J. B. More3
Associate Professor and HOD, Department of Commerce
Sant. Muktabai Arts and Commerce College Muktainagar, Jalgaon.

Email Id: [email protected],
In the flow of the globalization, the customers are becoming very choosy and many external factors other than the products and service that they are buying are giving major impact on their buying decisions. The market is becoming so trendy and it is being driven by aesthetic factors. Now a day’s young generation prefers the organized retailing formats, malls and chain shops. These organized retailing formats give more importance to the ambiance and aesthetical factors of the shop floors to attract the customer and to give best shopping experience than others.

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The researcher intends to know the degree of the impact of aesthetical factors on consumer behavior with special reference to undergraduate students. Visual factors, lighting, colours and fixtures, layout and displays are the major aesthetical elements having great impact on the buying behaviour
Key Words: Consumer Buying Behaviour, aesthetical factors, undergraduate students, organized retailing formats, shopping malls
Today mall plays a predominant role in life style of the people who are living in metro cities which massively changed the pattern of shopping activity and malls are found almost everywhere. It is not only the place to shop but also the place for social and recreational activities. The shopping mall is an agglomeration of various retailers and commercial service providers within a well-planned, designed and managed building or group of buildings (ICSC, 2004; Urban Land Institution, 1999). Shopping motivation reveals the general predisposition consumers toward the act of shopping (Gehrt et al., 19921). Atmospheric stimuli including smell, music, decoration, or layout and temperature are either actively or passively used by retail and mall managers (Michon et al, 2005). These stimuli have a strong impact on consumer’s perception of the shopping mall’s appearance as well as their behaviour. The impact of the physical environment on consumer behavior has received significant attention from researchers (Gilboa and Rafaeli, 2003: Luomala, 2003: Mattila and Wirtz, 2001: Wake field and Baker, 1998: warren and Burns, 2002). Physical environment of a mall includes elevation, lighting, air conditioning, washrooms, layout, aisle placement and width, carpeting and architecture. The atmosphere of a retail setup has a major impact in the minds of mall consumers reflecting their behavioural response and the role of experiential value in determining these behavioural responses.

In India, youth population in the age-group 15 to 34years is expected to increase from 353 million in 2001 to 464 million in 2021 and finally to decline to 458 million in 2026 (Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner 2006). Youth population (15 to 32 years) is 33% of the total population comprises 35 per cent of the urban population and 32 per cent of the rural population. Youth shoppers are considerably less tradition-restricted, more modern and quicker in accepting novel thought as compared to other shopper groups. Generation ‘Y’ holds different attitude and motives regarding shopping mall than other generation. This group of shoppers resembles the rapid change in consumption patterns in terms of taste and spending style.
Theoretical background and Definition of consumer behaviour:
A consumer is a person who influences or decides on the acquisition of one of the product or service, and who use one of these product or service
Consumer behaviour can be defined as “dynamic interaction affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events by which human beings conduct exchange aspects of their life”.
According to Ostrow & Smiths Dictionary of Marketing, consumer behaviour refers to “the actions of consumer in the market place and understanding what causes consumer to buy particular goods and services as they will be able to determine which products are needed in the market place, which are obsolete, and who are the best to present the goods to the consumer”.

2.1 Major factors affecting consumer behavior:
Buying Behavior is the decision processes and acts of people involved in buying and using products. Need to understand: Why consumers make the purchases? What factors influence consumer purchases? There are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal psychological, aesthetical temporal and special factors.

Concept of shopping mall:
A shopping mall, shopping center, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area and a modern interior version of traditional marketplace. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines a shopping mall ‘as a large building or covered area that has many shops / stores, restaurants, etc. inside it’
Shopping mall concept is a big hit with the sole purpose to provide everything under the sun under one roof or in one big complex. Organized retail chain and mall stores are mushrooming in all major cities and towns of India. Apart from private players in the organized retail chain business like ‘Shoppers Stop’, ‘Spencers’, ‘Food Bazar’, ‘Hypercity’, ‘Inorbit’, ‘Big Bazar’ and so on, major industrial houses like Tata, Birla, Reliance, Bharti, etc. have entered in retail business and have announced very ambitious future expansion plans. Modern retail formats such as hypermarkets, superstores, discount stores, convenience stores are widely present in major cities of India.

Atmospheric aspects:
A. Visual Factors: Visual factors of a physical environment such as a store that influences shopping behavior are:
B. Lighting: Good lighting creates a pleasant atmosphere and encourages customers to stay in the store longer. If customers go into a store that is dull and dingy, they are not encouraged to stay very long (Pellet 1996). However, if lights are harsh and glaring, retailers are going to find that it takes a toll on employees’ performance.
C. Colours and Fixtures: Retailers frequently use colours and fixtures to improve store environment. (Michon et al., 2005) Given that, they help provide a classic in store ambiance. Proper colour contrast can enrich the store image and perceived store or merchandise quality.

D. Layout and Displays: It is an established fact that changes in layout can affect the sales of a store (Bandyopadhyay et al., 2001).

2.4 Non-visual factors:
a. Sound and Music: Sound plays an increasingly critical role in helping retailers to entertain and inform customers (Michon et al., 2005). Sound helps to create a unique environment as merchandisers are confronted more and more with the monotony of merchandise in most stores (Michon et al., 2005). Sound, in the form of music, is commonly used to entertain customers. Main advantage of using sound in the form of music is that it can greatly extend customers’ stay time. Music is known to have a classical conditioning effect on consumers (Bandyopadhyay et al., 2001). Music also makes the service environment look more positive to customers in waiting lines (Bandyopadhyay et al., 2001).

b. Odours and Smell: Studies have shown that ambient aromas both influence a consumer’s mood and the time he spends in store. What’s more, the sense of smell has the greatest impact on emotions because, anatomically speaking, nose is directly connected with olfactory lobe in the limbic system of the brain, which controls emotion (Maclean, 1973).

c. Crowding and Density: Retail store crowding influences the confidence of shopper. According to (Harell and Hutt, 1976), many consumers, after shopping in a crowded store, feel that they somewhat deviated from their original shopping plan. Customers.
d. Staff or Salesperson: Results of study made by (Baker et al., 1995) indicated that ambiance and salespeople are more likely to affect customers’ perceptions of merchandise and service quality than design factors such as color, displays, store, and merchandise layout.
2.5. Spatial aspects:
It is spatial behavior because it is influenced by spatial and geographic characteristics of the environment (mall) such as layout, architecture of environment, colours and textures, etc.
2.6 Temporal aspect:
Importance of time, as a major variable of interest in consumer behavior theory, had already been recognized in the early stages of consumer research.

2.7. Buying process in mall:
i. Needs Recognition: Consumer comes to the mall with need to visit certain stores in order to purchase specific items or services;
ii. Information Search: perception and memorization processes
Alternatives’ Evaluation: Buyer can have choice of visiting many stores or kiosks to satisfy his/her needs, so he must decide which stores to visit;
iii. Decision-making: Customer decides which store to visit;
iv. Acting: Customer acts by moving to his selected store; and
v. Post-Decision: Customer leaves the stores, and after his shopping trip, he leaves the mall.

Buying Behaviour in Mall

Figure No. 1 Buying Process in the mall
2.8 Student Culture in Pune:
There are around 2.23 Lac students coming to Pune City for their school, college, higher education and training at various institutes. Undergraduate student prefers Malls for shopping of their necessities, personally or with their families. Students learn new things about products, brands and services from malls. They find entertainment and amusement in the malls. Student spends their pocket money on buying in malls.
3. Research Methodology:
The research is conducted in Pune city across 35 major malls. The data is collected through scheduled questionnaire from 770 undergraduate students at shopping malls. Convenient sampling method is used. The analysis includes cross tabulation, ANOVA, correlation. Inference is drawn on the basis of the factual outcome of process.
3.1. Objectives:
To study the consumer buying process in shopping malls with special reference to undergraduate students.
To explore the effect of aesthetics of shopping mall on buying behaviour of undergraduate students.

3.2. Hypothesis:
Ha: There is significant effect of aesthetics of shopping mall on buying behaviour of undergraduate students.

3.3. Literature Review
Thomas J. Maronick and Ronald M. Stiff(1985) we describes a three year longitudinal study of the impact of opening of a specialty retail center on shopping, dining-out, and entertainment behavior of a random sample of residents of a major metropolitan area. Results show a dramatic increase in percentage of residents who visited specialty center for dining-out and entertainment with a residual effect of increased visits to surrounding cultural and entertainment facilities.

Peter H. Bloch et al. (1994) Although large enclosed shopping malls represent significant institutions in modem Western culture, consumers’ activities within malls have been surprisingly under researched.

Dr.D.Sudharani Ravindran et al. (2009) Retailing sector in India has undergone significant transformation in past 10 years. Organized retail industry in India is expected to grow at 25-30% annually and would triple in size from Rs.35,000 crore in 2004-05 to Rs.109,000 crore ($24 billion) by 2010.

Krishnamoorthy et al. (2009) Organized retail growth in country has been triggered by tremendous increase in consumer spending, which in turn is fuelled by rise in the disposable income. Shopping mall activity, which was earlier, only a part of big cities, has started percolating down to smaller cities and towns. , These 19-25 year olds, the older segment of generation Y constitute a bridge between adolescents and adults buying behavior is in transition.

Kamarulzaman (2010) Competition among shopping malls has led retailers to consider key factors of motivating patrons to shop at their malls and stay longer. Purpose of this study is to assess factors that influence Malaysians to visit shopping malls. A survey was conducted to assess mall-directed shopping habits and patrons shopping motivation.

Marie Claude and et al. (2011) What is the effect of mall atmosphere in mall evaluation? Is this effect mediated by self-congruity and functional congruity? Does effect of mall atmosphere on mall evaluation differ between adult and teenage shoppers? If so how? Research reported in this study attempts to answer above questions. A survey of mall shoppers was conducted (n=265) based on a mall intercept. Survey findings indicate that mall atmosphere positively affects functional congruity for both adults and teenage shoppers.

Nuseir, Mohammed and T. Arora, Nitin (2011) This research case study aims to identify the factors that mostly affect consumer’s choice decision for a mall / shopping center. Five factors have been used to define their effect on Shopping Center Preference/ Choice Activity. It was found that shopping center features, ease shopping and suitable atmosphere are most influential factors on consumer’s choice decision for a mall / shopping center.
Thomas A. Musil (2011) This study is to focus on the real estate development and community interaction aspects of US shopping malls. Existing research on shopping mall development and redevelopment can more comprehensively address importance of malls to communities in which they are located.
4. Analysis:
4.1. Aesthetical factors of shopping mall related tables:
Sl. No. Statements Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 Pleasant color combination 91
(11.8%) 96
(12.5%) 140
(18.2%) 160
(20.8%) 283
2 Lightning at various places in mall 215
(27.9%) 178
(23.1%) 217
(28.2%) 59
(7.7%) 101
3 Fresh air 36
(4.7%) 95
(12.3%) 198
(25.7%) 205
(26.6%) 236
4 Controlled temperature 103
(13.4%) 91
(11.8%) 146
(19%) 219
(28.4%) 211
5 Flooring and artistic ceiling 163
(21.2%) 134
(17.4%) 61
(7.9%) 145
(18.8%) 267
6 Theme Designed in line with the products staked at particular place 130
(16.9%) 101
(13.1%) 168
(21.8%) 134
(17.4%) 237
7 Silent pleasant music 127
(16.5%) 27
(3.5%) 176
(22.9%) 155
(20.1%) 285
8 Arraignments and flow 145
(18.8%) 57
(7.4%) 141
(18.3%) 174
(22.6%) 253
4.2. Regression relationship between factors influencing buying behavior and their aesthetical factors of shopping mall
Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .170(a) .029 .028 3.238
a Predictors: (Constant), Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall
Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.

1 Regression 240.557 1 240.557 22.945 .000(a)
Residual 8051.729 768 10.484 Total 8292.286 769 a Predictors: (Constant), Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall
b Dependent Variable: Factors influencing buying behavior
Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.

Model B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 17.701 .728 24.318 .000
Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall .128 .027 .170 4.790 .000
a Dependent Variable: Factors influencing buying behavior
There is a significant relationship between factors influencing buying behavior and their Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall.

Above regression analysis table reveals that there is a significant relationship between factors influencing buying behavior and their Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall. Hence, the calculated value is less than table value (.000<0.05). Research hypothesis is accepted.

5.1. Personal data related findings
56.2 % of the respondents were female between 18 to 24years of age group. They spend Rs.1000 to 3000 at the time of visit in malls. Their spending time is 2 to 3hours in malls.

5.2. Aesthetical factors of shopping mall
One third (36.8 per cent) of the respondents were strongly agreed about overall pleasant color combination
28.2% were neutral that lightning at various places in mall
30.6% strongly agreed about fresh air
28.4% were agreed about temperatures are controlled
34.7% were strongly agreed about flooring and artistic ceiling
30.8% were strongly agreed about theme designed in line with products staked at particular place
37% were strongly agreed about silent pleasant music are good
32.9% were strongly agreed that overall arraignments and flow
6. Conclusion:
The inference statistics reviles that there is significant factors influencing buying behavior and their Aesthetical Factors of Shopping Mall while considering the overall effect of aesthetical factors. But while considering each factor in isolation there is average 32.42% only. Considering these factors together makes considerable impact on undergraduate students’ buying behaviour.
ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) (2004)
Gehrt, K.C., Alpander, G.G. ; Lawson, D.A. (1992). A factor-analytic examination of catalog shopping orientations in France. Journal of Euro Marketing, 2(2), 49-69.
Michon, R., Chebat, J.C., ; Turley, L.W. (2005). Mall atmospherics: the interaction effects on shopping behavior.Journal of Business Research, 58 (5), 576-583.

Gilboa, S. and Rafaeli, A. (2003) “Store environment, emotions and approach behaviour: applying environmental aesthetics to retailing”, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 13(2), pp. 195-211.

Judhith W. Kincaid (2003), Customer Relationship Management, Hewlett-Packard Books: Patricia Pekary, New Jersey. Pp 148-153.

Ostrow ; Smith, Marketing Dictionary, (1988), Fairchild Books, Fourth Edition. Pp.45-47
David L.Loudon ; Albert J. Della Bitta (1988), Consumer Behaviour, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Companies. Pp.122-128
Schiffman and Kanuck, Consumer Behaviour, New Delhi, Dorling Kindersely (India) Pvt. Ltd., Pearson Education in South Africa. Third Edition. Pp.228-232
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary – definition of shopping mall available at

Shivakumar S (2012). “Retail dynamics in 2012: A multi dimensional approach for success and creating value in retailing”, ‘Elan….a marketing publication’ by Jagran Institute of Management (An initiative of the Dainik Jagran Group).

Thomas J. Maronick and Ronald M. Stiff (1985),”The impact of a specialty retail center on downtown shopping behavior”, ‘Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science’, Vol.13, Issue 3, Pp 292-306.

Peter H.Bloch Nancy M.Ridgway and Scott A.Dawson(1994), “The shopping mall as consumer habitat”, ‘Journal of Retailing’, Vol.70, Issue.1,Pp.23-42.

Dr. D. Sudharani Ravindran, Hari Sundar.G. Ram and Reji Kumar.G (2009), “Study on Decision Making Styles of Consumers in Malls A study with reference to malls in Ernakulam in Kerala” ‘Institute of Management Studies, Noida’, Vol.4,Issue.2,Pp.1-15.
Krishnamoorthy Gunasekaran Hemalathaa and Kuthalingam Ravichandran (2009), “Mall Visit Behaviour Of Older Generation –y consumers”, ‘Serbian Journal of Management’, Vol.4, Issue.2, Pp.169-182
Kamarulzaman (2010), “Attracting Shoppers to Shopping Malls: The Malaysian Perspective”, ‘Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business’, ISSN: 2073-7122, Vol.2, Issue.3, Pp.185-198.

Marie-Claude et al. (2011),”Effects of mall atmosphere on mall evaluation: Teenage versus adult shoppers”, ‘Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services’, Vol.18, Issue.1,Pp.74-80.

Nuseir, Mohammed and Arora.T, Nitin (2011),”Factors affecting the Jordanian Consumer’s Shopping Preference.”, ‘Amity Global Business Review’, Vol.6, Issue.1,Pp.99-117.

Thomas A. Musil (2011),”Evaluating development and community benefits of shopping malls: A case study using input/output analysis”, ‘Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction’, Vol.16, Issue.2, Pp.111-125.

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