Inshopping in rural communities : consumers' and retailers' perceptions Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/t722hc93n

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  • The ever changing nature of the retail industry, and the additional challenges of doing business in a rural area, mean that retailers in rural communities face a unique situation that makes them especially vulnerable to outshopping by rural consumers. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate factors which ultimately affect inshopping behavior. Based on Ajzen's (1988) Theory of Planned Behavior, this study examined the roles of community attachment, satisfaction with local retailers, and local retailer loyalty on inshopping as both an intention and a behavior through a consumer survey in three rural Oregon communities. Retailers in those communities were also interviewed in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges that rural retailers face and the threat that outshopping poses to their businesses' success. Retailers answered questions about their specific business, their communities, and their customers. Path analysis using maximum likelihood estimation was used to test the proposed model. The results of the path analysis showed that (1) community attachment is positively related to local retailer loyalty, (2) satisfaction with local retailers is positively related to local retailer loyalty, (3) satisfaction with local retailers is positively related to inshopping intention, (4) local retailer loyalty is positively related to inshopping intention, and (5) inshopping intention is positively related to current inshopping behavior. Although the direct influence of community attachment on inshopping intention was not found to be significant, community attachment was indirectly related to inshopping intention through local retailer loyalty. The retailer interviews revealed that retailers viewed their communities positively overall, but often described them as economically depressed. The limited population base in rural communities was viewed as the biggest challenge faced by these retailers. Outshopping was viewed as somewhat of a problem, but as an unavoidable reality of doing business in a rural community. Rural consumers were thought to differ from consumers in general because they generally shop with a purpose in mind and rarely shop for purely recreational purposes. Retailers also observed that there appear to be several groups of consumers. Some emphasize shopping locally, while others are more focused on price and selection. Based on the integrated findings from the consumer surveys and the retailer interviews practical implications are presented. The results of the consumer surveys in this study suggest that elements involving both the community and the retailer influence local retailer loyalty and ultimately inshopping by rural consumers. This has implications for rural retailers and rural communities who wish to reduce market leakage in order to improve the economic vitality of their communities. The retailer interview results show that outshopping is a concern for rural retailers, but a phenomenon they often feel is inevitable. Retailers pointed to the fact that they are not be able to meet the needs of many outshoppers because these consumers have different needs and desires than their own customer base. However, they also indicated that many rural consumers may not accurately perceive the retail offerings in their own communities. The limitations of this study include the use of a convenience sample which resulted in a highly educated sample with a high income. This restricts the generalizability of the findings. Additionally the nature of the final sample prevented comparisons between communities from taking place and means that it is impossible to tell if the findings of this study are unique to the community in which most of the consumer surveys were collected.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2008-07-11T19:35:21Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Inshopping in rural communities - Consumers' and retailers' perceptions.pdf: 769978 bytes, checksum: 2530f08b0c52c411bac404ad75932a22 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Katy Mullis (mullisk@onid.orst.edu) on 2008-07-07T23:02:39Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Inshopping in rural communities - Consumers' and retailers' perceptions.pdf: 769978 bytes, checksum: 2530f08b0c52c411bac404ad75932a22 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2008-07-16T20:04:33Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Inshopping in rural communities - Consumers' and retailers' perceptions.pdf: 769978 bytes, checksum: 2530f08b0c52c411bac404ad75932a22 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2008-07-16T20:04:32Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Inshopping in rural communities - Consumers' and retailers' perceptions.pdf: 769978 bytes, checksum: 2530f08b0c52c411bac404ad75932a22 (MD5)

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