Unit 8 Discussion Consumer Perceptions

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Throughout this course, many discussion opportunities come up where you need to Respond to your Discussion topic after you have completed your reading and Learning Activity.

Retailing — Consumer Perceptions

Retailing has an impact on the daily lives of each individual all over the world. Retailing is “all the activities directly related to the sale of goods and services to the ultimate consumer for personal, nonbusiness use” (Lamb et al., 2014, p. 231). After reading Chapter 14, you will obtain a foundation for understanding the importance of retailing within distribution channels, and differences in retailing strategies.

To better understand the relationship between strategic retailing factors and consumer perceptions, you will conduct a simple observation exercise. Follow these three steps to successfully execute this Discussion:

Step 1. Make a Product Decision: Identify a product to shop for, and then identify two stores as places to look for your product. The two stores must be different types of retailers. For example, you can shop for a new HDTV at Best Buy® and at local electronics stores (specialty retailer). Once you have identified what you are looking for and where you are going to look, visit each store and record your observations of specific strategic retailing factors.

Step 2. Make Observations: Visit two retail store locations and record your observations by taking notes on the following topics (NOTE: You do not need to include your observations in your answer post on the discussion board):

  • Location: Where is each store? How congested is the area of town where each store is located? Does the neighborhood influence your perception of the retail store? Would you travel to this store under normal circumstances? Write a detailed paragraph on the location of each store.
  • Exterior atmosphere: How convenient is parking? Is parking adequate? How are other issues concerning parking (cleanliness and size of the lot, size of spaces, well-lit, etc.)? What kinds of stores are around the store you are visiting? Do you think being located next to them increases traffic at your store? Are direct competitors nearby? Is the building modern or historic? Is it attractive, clean, and appealing? Is the entrance inviting to shoppers?
  • Interior atmosphere: Compare the following attributes at each store: aisle width; lighting; number of customers; noise (background music, loudspeakers, etc.); store layout; signage; accessibility of the cashier; number of products available (depth and width of assortment); ability to inspect the product before purchase; quality of the fixtures (shelves, lights, etc.); availability of salespeople and their knowledge about the product; willingness of salespeople to help.
  • Product: Discover if your product is available. If not, can you locate a satisfactory substitute for your product choice? What is your perception of the product quality being offered? Why do you think as you do?

Step 3. Answer the following questions based on your observations:

  1. Identify the retailer from which you would decide to purchase the product. Discuss why you chose the specific retailer over the competitor.
  2. Discuss the factors that helped you make the decision to purchase the product from the retailer. What are the top three factors that are most important to you in this purchase decision?
  3. If your decision is not to purchase the item from either store, explain why not. Identify and discuss the three most significant differences you observed in comparing the two retail stores.


Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. (2014). MKTG7. Mason, OH: Cengage

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