Variables (S. Baral)
This study is limited to the following variables to be examined:
1. The independent variable to be examined is Brand loyalty of a retail store.
2. The dependent variable to be tested with this independent variables are quality of a product and price of a product.
Control variables that may influence the independent variables are identified as customers profile and manager profile. A store manager’s profile may vary according to their level of experience, culture, age, gender, education, perception, and attitude. Hence, individual store managers may perceive customer expectations and willingness to buy differently. How managers perceive customer expectations and willingness to buy, may also be influenced by customer profiles, such as, income level, appearance, gender and previous patronage. For example, a manager may perceive poor-dressed customer as uneducated and loyal customers for a specific brand.
Introduction (S. Baral)
The store business is very dynamic and challenging. For a store to be successful, among other things, quality products at reasonable price are as critical. One of the major reasons for dissatisfaction among store patrons is that they do not receive same quality products at the same price at different store within the same community.
Every customer walks into a store with certain pre-conceived expectations or notion with regard to price of available products, and quality of available products. Similarly, the store management has certain ideas of what these expectations are. But when these two expectations do not match, there will be dissatisfaction. This could lead to customers switching the store and consequently affect the volume of sales of a store.
The store manager’s perception of customer expectations may be different from what customers commonly expect. For instance, within one community also customers have lots of alternative convenience store of different brand and they have different perception about each of these stores and on the basis of those perceptions they have different expectation from individual store regarding price and quality of available products on those stores. Reading customer expectations incorrectly may affect customers’ store loyalty. If the store fails to provide what customers expect in terms of quality of products at reasonable price, store loyalty will be reduced. This may lead to customers switching another store and negative publicity for the store and decrease sales volume respectively.
It is important that the store manager understands and values customer expectations. Offering both private level products which have low price with same amount of quantity and national level products which have relatively high price with same amount of quantity to meet the needs of the customer depends on correct perception of customer expectations.
Management has been concerned that the stores are not the draw of the large customer base it is used to serving. For the past twelve months business has slowed down. This has been since it decided to sell only national level products which have relatively high price compare to private level product. From informal surveys and word-of-mouth, the management has determined that what they feel is high price for the same quality of product with low quantity may be causing this downturn in business.
The owners have requested the research team to examine from an empirical perspective what constitutes price of a product and quality of a product as an influence on store loyalty that its customers expect or anticipate.
Justification of the problem (S. Baral)
Stores are part of service industry where numbers of competitors are exits with different company name. Due to strong competition among those companies, it is necessary for them to compete with each other in term of price and quality of products. Successful stores are those with satisfied and loyal customers and customer satisfaction and loyalty depends on meeting or exceeding customers expectations in terms of how prices are labeled and quality of products is offered by the store.
The customer is the key for a successful store business. Understanding customer expectations can help store management in many ways. The manager can offer variety of national and store level products having different quality and price to suit the needs of target customers.