English Paper on Shopping
Shopping is an activity in which customers look at the goods and services offered by one or more retailers with the intention of purchasing them. Shopping has evolved over the years and is distinct in many ways. There are various types of goods being purchased, different platforms on which to do shopping, and different reasons for going shopping. There are also various forms of shopping involved that will be explored in this paper.
There are many venues in which people can shop. There are neighborhood shops and kiosks that serve to small-scale consumers looking to buy things like bread and milk. We also have retail stores that sell specialized items such as a bookstore, a candy shop, and a gift shop. On a larger scale, there are larger shopping hubs such as departmental stores, bazaars, and flea markets. These larger departmental stores consist of many retail, entertainment, and service stores all in one place and serving a wide geographic region. The bazaars and flea markets were the traditional places of shopping and they consisted of stalls lining a certain street. In the modern age, however, commercial buildings called malls have been constructed that house different businesses into one. These big malls are completely covered so that customers can shop at any time of day and feature amenities such as ample parking and entertainment joints.
Modes of shopping
Advances in technology have also led to new modes of shopping where customers do not have to go to the store to pick up what they want. One of these is mail ordering where customers order from a catalog of goods. Customers can also order goods that they have seen in advertisements in tv, radio, and magazines via telephone. With the spread of the internet and technologies like smartphones, online shopping has increased. In online shopping, retailers put their wares on websites and customers browse through these catalogs from the comfort of their own houses or offices before making the purchase that is then delivered to the customer’s residence. In this kind of shopping, the customer does not visit a physical location and consequently the retailer does not need to have a physical store or warehouse.
While shopping can occur anytime a consumer wants, there is always a frenzy of shopping around some seasons, dates, and events. The festive season around Christmas is especially popular among Christians and is considered the biggest shopping season. There is also an increase in shopping when children are going back to school. The onset of a new weather season also makes people go shopping as they buy weather- appropriate clothing, and during the end of the season, there are always end-of-season sales at discounted prices that attract many shoppers. Promotions such as Black Friday sales also attract numerous shoppers due to the low price of commodities.
Factors affecting shopping experience
The shopping experience is affected by a variety factors, chief among them being convenience. Some stores do not have the variety or quality of products that the customer wants, or they may have poor customer service that leaves the clients angry. Additionally, stores differ in the number of amenities they have for customers such as lifts and escalators, ample parking space, and security. The behavior of other customers in the store also influences whether one will be happy or not. The shopping experience is also affected by mood and gender, with women preferring to go shopping more than men.
Types of Shoppers
On average, there are five types of shoppers. One of this is the loyal customers who purchase their goods from the same store and are hence relatively known which enables them to get preferential treatment. There are also impulse buyers, buyers who have no intention of purchasing a commodity until they see it in a store and suddenly have to purchase it. Another group of customers is the discount customers, those who will browse many stores until they find one that offers the goods they want at a lower price or a discount. They are the ones who readily take advantage of promotions and are quick to negotiate. Another type of customer is the needs-based customer, the kind that has already identified the product they want and goes to the store for the specific product. Lastly, there are the window shoppers who go to a store without the intention of purchasing anything. They either go to the store for leisure or to research a particular commodity with the intention of purchasing it later.
Considerations when shopping
People make shopping decisions based on personal, cultural, economic, and psychological factors. Economic considerations take into account the financial status of the person as well as the cost of the product. People will thus purchase only the items that they can afford so that wealthy people will purchase expensive items while those facing financial constraints may opt to purchase second-hand items. People will also tend to purchase items that are offered at a discount or purchase in stores that offer lower prices than competitors. Purchase decisions are also affected by a person’s culture. Some cultures, for example, require people to wear certain clothing or forbid the wearing of others. There are also changes in the shopping culture so that many people today are adopting new technology, which means that traditional stores cannot attract the modern techno-savvy customer.
Psychological factors affecting shopping
Psychological factors relate to attitudes towards the quality, usefulness, and branding of a product. People will purchase items they deem to be of a higher quality or that are useful in their lives. Besides quality, other factors such as the country of origin, the material used in making the product, or the production process may affect the purchase. While some people prefer handmade goods, for example, others will prefer machine-made ones. Other people will only shop for necessities, while some people will shop for luxury goods. On a personal level, considerations include the tastes and preferences. People have varying tastes e.g. for clothes and foods, and hence their shopping habits will differ as a result. Others will just love a product or brand for no particular reason and stick with it.
Shopping is a worldwide phenomenon where customers select goods and services from different retailers with the intention of purchasing them. There are many types of service stores including neighborhood kiosks, specialty-stores dealing with one type of product, and departmental stores that house many retailers under one roof. There are many types of shoppers; window shoppers, impulse buyers, discount shoppers, needs-based shoppers, and loyal customers. These shoppers make purchase decisions based on economic, psychological, cultural, and personal considerations which differ across various groups. The shopping experience also differs among individuals and is affected by the customer service and shopping convenience, the characters of other shoppers, as well as the mood and gender of the shopper.
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