Retailing in the Digital Age

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To expand the customers’ shopping experience and satisfaction, the atmosphere while they are shopping was necessary. The atmospherics were first founded by Kotler (1973) as an essential instrument to hold the shopping environment to produce the emotional effect on the customer buying decision. There are further studied to classify these. However, most of them were about the physical environment but after the 21st century, concepts of an online store were applied. Multiple channels are a concept of this era, to be the survivor retailers have to adapt themselves as well.

This report contains the findings and analyses, which include the atmospheric variables, online retail environment, online retail atmosphere and opportunities and challenge of e-retailing.

Findings and Analyses

Atmospherics in term of Kotler (1973) definition are an important marketing tool that effect directly to the customer behaviour. Putting it simply, this is about the sensory effect atmosphere including sight, sound, scent and touch. This is also a part of the product that could effect to the consumer behaviour. To attempt and hold the specific segment of the target could increase the atmosphere in the store an increase buyers’ rate consumption thereby causing the increase of purchase probability. According to Turley and Milliman (2000), the behaviour of consumer could influence by the environment. From the study, there could come up with five categories that effect to the consumers’ evaluation and lead the behaviour response consist of external variables, general interior variables, layout and design variables, point-of-purchase and decoration variables and human variables as can be seen in figure 1.

Figure 1: Turley and Milliman’s retail atmospherics framework

Nowadays, the retail industry transitioned from brick-and-mortar to click-and-mortar retailing. As a result of developing on the Internet that has increased the flexibility for retailers to operate an online store in addition from their physical store. Moreover, the online channel also offers the benefit in selling products to the online shopper that value another customer segment (Ofek et al, 2010). Otherwise, the consumers’ behaviour in the era was not relying on one channel. They use relevant of technologies to search for an information in different ways, such as, read reviews from other customers, visit the physical store before purchasing online, finding the best price of purchase (Aubrey and Judge, 2012). This could illustrate that the customers use multi-channel for their purchase decision.

In the 21st century, customers tend to be the multi-channel shopper that effect in the retailing industry.
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