Store Environment and Consumer Satisfaction: A Theoretical Framework for Store Design and Management

By Kyuho Ahn.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: March 8, 2016 $US5.00

Because of the assumption that environmental stimuli in stores influence consumer experiences and behaviors, many researchers have conducted empirical investigations in order to understand store stimuli-consumer behavior relationships. While such empirical findings offer store design professionals valuable information for the design process, it is still difficult for a designer to replicate the results of empirical studies and implement the findings creatively due to the complexity of store design. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework that integrates theories in marketing, environmental psychology, and aesthetics that will be useful in helping store designers implement empirical findings throughout the design process without impairing creativity. Based on the Stimuli-Organism-Response paradigm, the proposed model suggests that “comfort” and “arousal” are important states that affect cognitive and emotional shopping experiences that are moderated by shopping intentions. Comfort is related strongly to shopping motivation and store functionality. Shopping motivation determines a desired level of accumulated arousal in response to store stimuli that can be determined by a store designer’s creative judgment. In response to the proposed framework, ambient, spatial, and sensory factors are identified based on attributes of architectural stimuli. This cross-disciplinary framework conceptualizes a holistic view of store stimuli-consumer behavior relationships that range from the utilitarian to experiential. The theory proposed provides store designers a systematic and manageable tool for design analysis and development by enabling them to understand a holistic view of store stimuli-consumer experience relationships without impairing creativity. This can be used as a communication tool for stakeholders in decision-making.

Keywords: Design Theory, Design Management, Consumer Behaviors, Store Stimuli, Shopping Experience, Consumer Satisfaction, Atmospherics, Evidence-based Design

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 10, Issue 1, March, 2016, pp.13-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: March 8, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 843.300KB)).

Kyuho Ahn

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA