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Duong, QB 2016, 'The influence of store environment on customer satisfaction across different customer demographic segmentations within Australian supermarkets', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright QB Duong 2016


Despite the proliferation of online shopping, traditional store-based or bricks-and-mortar retailing plays an essential role in the retail industry and in society. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to establish the relationship between store environment factors and customer satisfaction across different customer demographic groups. While the key concepts of store environment, customer segmentation and customer satisfaction have been the subject of extensive research, there is a lacuna of attention paid in the literature to the relationship between them.

Building on a review of existing literature on retailing, this study sets up a theoretical model to clarify the relationship among store environment, demographic segmentation and customer satisfaction. This framework includes three main store environment factors, (ambience, physical design, and social factors) and four demographic characteristics (age, gender, family size and income combined with shopping frequency) as independent variables. Customer satisfaction is regarded as the dependent variable.

This study used quantitative survey methodology with a descriptive and deductive approach. Approximately 300 respondents from different areas in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, were surveyed by means of a hand-delivered questionnaire along with mall interception. The questionnaire was designed to collect data to be analysed with a 7-point Likert scale to measure variables. The statistical software program, SPSS 22.0, was used to analyse the data.

Analysis of the data sought to generate descriptive statistics - cross tabulation, factor analysis, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, analysis of variance (ANOVA), multiple regression analysis, cluster analysis to analyse the data. Findings were as follows:

  • Music, lighting, assortment, employees influenced customer satisfaction positively. Scent, layout, interior design and other customers’ factors had no influence on customer satisfaction.
  • There are differences between the age, family size, income, shopping frequency variables and customer satisfaction. Gender had no influence on customer satisfaction.
  • The levels of satisfaction were different among customer demographic groups.
  • The influence of store environment factors on customer satisfaction varied among different customer demographic groups. Each customer demographic group had different relationship store environment factors and customer satisfaction.

The outcomes of this study are noteworthy as this study is likely to be the first one to mention and create an equation for the prediction of customer satisfaction from store environment factors for specific customer demographic groups. In addition, findings from this study can help to enhance retail management practices. Stores and supermarkets may apply the findings from this research to increase customer satisfaction and create efficient policies as regards target segmentation, in order to present suitable offerings to meet the requirements of the different customer groups. The benefit for customers and the community would be better services from retailers.