Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Youn-Kyung Kim

Committee Members

Ann E. Fairhurst, Wanda M. Costen, Robert T. Ladd

Abstract

This study was designed to gain a better understanding and conceptualization of the term smart shopping. The specific research objectives were to: (a) investigate consumers‟ perceptions of the term smart shopping; (b) develop a measure of smart shopping; and (c) validate the measure of smart shopping.

A comprehensive literature review was used to identify existing smart shopping theories and to identify opportunities for expanding on the existing meanings of the term. To obtain consumers‟ perceptions of the term smart shopping, two focus group interviews and fifteen face-to-face in-depth interviews were employed for initial item generation and instrument development. Scale development consisted of a pilot test on a convenience sample of undergraduate students for initial scale refinement (n = 100), and a pretest (n = 237) and main study (n = 1474) from a consumer panel member list through a market research company for scale purification and validation. The statistical analyses were conducted separately for the purchase stages (i.e., pre-purchase, purchase, post-purchase) and product categories (i.e., clothing, grocery, electronics). Significant differences were found in each stage among the three product categories.

To compete in today‟s changing retail environment with shifting consumer socioeconomic patterns and preferences, retailers must decide on unique positioning strategies. This study conceptualized and tested the term smart shopping from a broader perspective than previous studies. Gaining a better understanding of the smart shopper will enable retailers to segment this consumer group more accurately. Managerial implications and directions for future research based on the findings are provided.

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