Integration of materialism with shopping motivations: motivations based profile of Indian mall shoppers

Published date10 December 2018
Date10 December 2018
AuthorDevinder Pal Singh
Integration of materialism with shopping
motivations: motivations based prole
of Indian mall shoppers
Devinder Pal Singh
Purpose The paper aims to investigate materialism as one of the retail shopping motivesalong with
utilitarian/hedonicmotivations in the Indiancontext. It aims to identify the keyshopping motivations, which
explain the shopping value in the context of malls. Furthermore, it intends to develop a shopping
motivations-based typology of Indian mall shoppers, and to profile the motivational and demographic
characteristicsof the discerned segments.
Design/methodology/approach The data were collected through a mall intercept survey. The shopping
motivations were identified through literature, and established scales were utilised to collect data.
Exploratory factor analysis was used to understand the underlying structure of mall shopping motives.
Hierarchical and K-means clustering were used to cluster the consumers. Additionally, ANOVA along with
post hoc tests were used to explore the mean differences between the various clusters. Cross-tabulation
along with the chi-square statistic was used to understand the demographic characteristicsof the clusters.
Findings Indian mall shoppersare motivated by hedonistic, materialistic and utilitarian motives. They
can be primarily classified into four clusters, namely, balanced shoppers, materialist shoppers,
hedonisticshoppers and value shoppers.
Research limitations/implications Knowledge of distinct consumer segments will aid marketers in
formulatingmarketing and promotional strategiesfor augmenting mall footfalls.
Originality/value Although past research has accentuatedhedonic and utilitarian motivations as the
primary shopping motives, little research has been conducted to examine materialism as a shopping
motive. Rise of materialismin the emerging Indian market has metamorphosedthe consumer behaviour.
The study examines the utilitarian, hedonistic and materialistic dimensions of shopping and unfolds a
typology of mall shoppers. It contributes to the repository of cross-national research on shopping
behaviourby unravelling the shopping motivationsof Indian consumers.
Keywords Shopping motivations, Malls, Materialism, Utilitarian motivations
Paper type Research paper
Shopping motivations in consumer research have been mainly classified as utilitarian and
hedonic (Babin et al.,1994;Batra and Ahtola, 1991). Utilitarian motivations refer to the
consumers’ assessment level of a product’s functional and utilitarian value (Batra and
Ahtola, 1991). Hedonic motivations imply considerationslike fun, fantasy, entertainment and
emotive aspects of shopping (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982). The value pertaining to
hedonic consumption is derived from recreation and emotional experience (Batra and
Ahtola, 1991;Hirschman andHolbrook, 1982). The assessed value is undoubtedly the most
important shopping motivation(Dato-on et al.,2007).Research has well established that the
perceived utilitarian and hedonic value is the customer-desired reward of shopping, and it
positively impacts shopping intentions (Babin et al., 1994). Value perceptions influence
customer trust, satisfactionand loyalty (Roig et al.,2006;Cronin et al., 2000).
Devinder Pal Singh is
based at Punjabi University
Regional Centre for IT and
Management, Mohali,
Received 19 May 2016
Revised 26 August 2016
3 January 2017
Accepted 23 May 2017
DOI 10.1108/JABS-05-2016-0075 VOL. 12 NO. 4 2018, pp. 381-401, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1558-7894 jJOURNAL OF ASIA BUSINESS STUDIES jPAGE 381
Utilitarian and hedonic motivations are conscious motives for which the consumers are well
aware, but some motivations like materialism unconsciously stimulate consumers to shop
(Goldsmith et al.,2011). Materialism is the possession of products, services, experiences
and relationships where the symbolic nature of acquisition serves as self-indication to
others (Shrum et al.,2013). The materialistic value system guides people towards
psychologically motivated buying behaviour as an approach to achieve their major life
objectives like happiness, accomplishment and satisfaction (Dittmar,2005). Materialism has
been suitably conceptualised as a consumer value as it is the key driver of personal
consumption and product choice (Richins and Dawson, 1992). Materialists believe that a
particular consumption will transform their lives positively, as it will improve their personal
relationships, augment their experienced pleasure and help in better management of their
lives (Richins, 2011).
Sweeney and Soutar (2001) have developed a value scale and have identified four
dimensions of value: quality/performance, price/value for money, emotional and social. The
examination of four dimensions reveals that quality/performance and price/value
dimensions denote the utilitarian value. The emotive component represents the hedonic
value, and the social value symbolises the social significance of the products. The concept
perceived value comprises three main dimensions utilitarian, hedonic and social aspects
(Roig et al.,2006). Social aspect is self-expressive and provides symbolic value as it
conveys an individual’s status or group membership (Rintama
¨ki et al.,2006). Materialistic
consumptions deliver social value as they help in an individual’s status enhancement and
acceptability within a socialgroup (Fitzmaurice and Comegys, 2006). Status consumption is
similar to materialism as status-seeking individuals buy brands to acquire status and
express their self-concept (Goldsmith et al.,2014). Brands work as motivators as they help
in expressing one’s self-identity (Magdiset al.,2015). In collectivistic cultures, brandsare of
utmost importance because of their symbolic indication of status (Moschis et al.,2011). The
three dimensions utilitarian, hedonic and materialism help to capture the total customer
value. The shopping value leads to customersatisfaction (Cronin et al., 2000).
Materialism is an important value for consumers in emerging economies (Lee and Tai,
2006). Middle-class consumers equipped with sizeable disposable incomes are becoming
extremely status conscious. The trend for status-motivated consumption is on the rise in
emerging economies (Patsiaourasand Fitchett, 2012). Consumers in emerging markets buy
goods and services for enhancingtheir self-identity and social status (KPMG, 2012).
Past research has proffered motivations-based (utilitarian/hedonic) consumer segmental
taxonomies (Babin et al.,1994); however, these variables have not been used along with
materialism. Individually,the utilitarian/hedonic dyad and materialism are well entrenchedin
the realms of consumer behaviour, but they have not been jointly examined. Large amount
of research on perceived value has concentrated mainly on utilitarian and hedonic value
dimensions (El-Adly and Eid, 2015). Utilitarian, hedonic and materialistic values represent
the distinguishing aspects of mall shopping, and together account for the total customer
perceived value.
Materialism has a notable influence on the Indian consumer behaviour (Singh, 2015;
Lysonski and Durvasula, 2013). People in collectivistic societies like India can exhibit even
higher levels of materialism (Sun et al.,2017). It could be one of the differentiating factors in
a highly complex evolving consumermarket; therefore, it is indispensable for understanding
the evolving Indian retail market.
Objectives of the study
India’s retail market is predicted to surpass US$1.3tn by 2020 (PWC, 2012). Organised
retail has witnessed an exponential growth in India. The organised retail expansion can be
attributed to the rapid developmentof malls in the country, and it is expected that, within the

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