Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to examine how the introduction of auditory sensory cues, through a human voice, affect children’s and parent’s shopping behaviour in a retail grocery setting. In the field of retailing and sensory marketing research, there is a paucity of knowledge on how auditory sensory cues impact on consumers’ shopping behaviour. Design/methodology/approach– The empirical study was a field experiment and entailed direct observation of shoppers of the Swedish grocery retailer ICA. The observations were based on a convenience sample of shopping families assigned to a control group (n=200) and an experimental group (n=131). A new innovative Swedish audio story track system was to be tested in a hypermarket containing 13 different stories for children. Findings– Auditory sensory cues affect children’s and parent’s shopping behaviour in a significant way. Children are quieter, more relaxed and do not move around and reduce the parental stress behaviour during the shopping process. Research limitations/implications– The findings demonstrate that auditory sensory cues through human voice have a positive effect on children’s and parent’s shopping behaviour. It is also obvious that parent’s perceived stress is significantly influenced by the children. Practical implications– The study provides guidelines for grocery retailers who wish to offer children and their parents a more pleasant shopping trip by emphasizing the role of the children. Originality/value– The research demonstrates that the introduction of auditory sensory cues through human voice in a significant way affect the children’s and their parent’s shopping behaviour in a retail setting.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015
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