Esbjerg, Lars5; Grunert, Klaus G5; Jensen, Birger Boutrup5; Bech-Larsen, Tino5; de Barcellos, Marcia Dutra3; Boztug, Yasemin4
1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management - MAPP - Centre for Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul4 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen5 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
An integrative framework
Grocery retailers from Aldi to Wal-Mart strive to satisfy their customers. Grocery shopping is a frequently recurring activity that can provide both utilitarian and hedonic value to customers. Utilitarian value is derived from accomplishing the need that stimulated a particular shopping trip, whereas hedonic value reflects the potential entertainment and emotional worth associated with the shopping trip. Recognising this duality, in addition to enabling customers to satisfy utilitarian needs related to product-acquisition, grocery retailers increasingly try to offer customers pleasurable shopping experiences, even to entertain them. Because there is evidence suggesting even satisfied customers sometimes switch brands and retailers due to boredom, it is important for retailers to continuously engage consumers and stir interest in a given store. Satisfying customers again and again on individual shopping trips is a prerequisite for developing customer loyalty. However, there is surprisingly little research focusing on satisfaction with individual shopping trips. On the contrary, satisfaction is normally conceptualised and studied as an overall evaluation of a given retailer based on all encounters with that retailer. There are relatively few studies of satisfaction within the grocery retail sector. However, because grocery shopping is a frequently recurring activity that is often routine and task-oriented in nature, and thus dominated by utilitarian rather than hedonic concerns, different mechanisms may be at work than in other retail settings such as themed flagship stores, which are visited less regularly and are oriented more towards creating hedonic shopping experiences. This paper develops a conceptual framework for analysing customer satisfaction with individual shopping trip experiences in grocery retailing. The framework makes at least two important contributions to the literature. First, it focuses on customer satisfaction with individual shopping trips whereas previous research and theoretical frameworks have addressed either overall satisfaction with the retailer, service quality or the quality of the products being bought. Second, the framework synthesizes and integrates a number of central concepts from different streams of research into one common framework for analysing shopping trip satisfaction.