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A study of determinants for continual preference of physical buying in digital era

A study of determinants for continual preference of physical buying in Digital Era


In the digital era, penetration of new technologies has changed our buying behaviours and purchase platforms. The rapid growth of e-commerce has opened multiple gateways of purchase. Online buying has been increasing in the recent years. In this context, consumers still prefer physical buying. The present study focusses on the prevalence of brick-store purchase in the midst of online services. The study would identify the influencing factors that determine the continuance of physical buying. The study would also highlight the impediments of online buying. The study would employ qualitative method of data collection. Semi-structured would be used to collect the opinion of digital natives for their preference of buying mode and the determinants of physical buying. The sample of study consist of college students .

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In today’s era of ‘Internet of things’ and rapid development of technology, the consumers purchase path has become increasingly fragmented, blurring the lines between online and offline retailing. As in-store and online technologies are being unified, channel integration is key to a smooth and seamless consumer experience (Piotrowicz and Cuthbertson, 2014). Modern consumers are becoming increasingly fastidious, they want to be able to shop anywhere, at any time and from the location of their choice. They demand personalised shopping journeys to suit their needs as they move around and across numerous channels in the online and offline paths (Deloitte, 2015).

Consumers and retailers are going through a tough and complex situation driven by technology. As they transit through this paradigm shift, the traditional linear path-topurchase has been replaced by modern consumers checked path-to-purchase. Now the shopping journey is across a multitude of channels from stores to connected devices, everything and all being interconnected (Shamala, 2015). Consumers now are more technology savvy and price conscious, on one hand, most consumers own high-end mobile gadgets and on the other hand, they use a lot of online and offline channels which allow them to shop everywhere and anytime (Brynjolfsson, Hu and Rahman, 2013; Wilson and Daniel, 2007).

Trading in goods is not a modern phenomenon. In past few centuries, there was barter system used by the people for satisfying their needs for different commodities. Trade has gone through various transitional phases. Firstly, people had used gold, silver and precious stones as consideration of goods. Then with the introduction of currency people started using money to buy the goods and services. So, accordingly the patterns of trade have also seen drastic changes as per time. Few decades back, people used to visit the retail stores for buying clothes and other commodities but nowadays there are different exclusive outlets, shopping malls and virtual stores are available for shopping apparels and other goods.

In current marketing scenario, the learning of consumer buying behaviour is vital. Without consumers, no business association can survive. The market is totally consumer driven. All business activities are targeted towards the consumers and consumer satisfaction. Consumer behaviour study is based on consumer buying behaviour, with the customer having three discrete roles of client, spender and purchaser. The study of consumer behaviour focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related items.

Buying Behavior of the consumer is based on the expectation of the products that are available as like. Customers used to buy the products based on the influence of their friends, family members, relatives, neighbors, colleagues and others. Customers buy the products that will be different from one person to another person based on their attitude, life style, personality, perception about the products etc. Shopping malls has been chosen by most of the customer nowadays in order to purchase all the products in a single place, Which helps to save their time, money and stress of the consumers

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On the flip side of the coin, there is also another way available for buying apparel, shopping in plaza or mart, because physical buying evokes advantage of touch and feel of the products and several other factors are there which are responsible for buying products from retail outlets like interactive buying and convenience of availability of products nearby. Now it depends upon various factors that how a consumer will feel satisfied by these shopping options available. Because people spend their time on internet as well as in shopping malls or retail stores. Retail store is a place where the exchange of goods takes place with the customer and any business enterprise whose sales volume comes primarily from retailing. Retailing is also defined as all the activities involved in selling goods or services directly to final consumers for their personal non-business use.


There is a dynamic change in the usage of products from one consumer to another consumer, since they are not alike, the shopping pattern of consumers will vary constantly over a period of time based on their needs, personality, lifestyle and their usage pattern. The important and purpose of this study is to assess the consumer buying behavior towards the shopping mall and their shopping pattern of products. This study will determine the general characteristics of the buying pattern of the consumer, factors that are influencing the consumer to shop in the malls, how it will affect the shopping pattern, how they spend to purchase the products, what made them to become the loyal consumer. Finally the study will determine the buying behavior pattern has made the repurchase intention in the shopping malls.


In this study customer buying behaviour has the greater importance for the retailers, which helps them to find the needs and wants of the customers. Buying behaviour will vary from one consumer to another consumer based on the offers that are provided. Building a place for entertainment in shopping Centre is a approach used to be a focus for shoppers. A study with shopping behavior of consumer will help to understand behavior of mall visitors and also help the marketers to frame marketing strategies that can be additional capable of meeting their wants and needs.


Offline shopping has existence since the existence of mankind. Offline shopping gives different types of benefits to the customer. There are some factors which affect the shopping offline those are as follow:

Risk: When customer buy products from online shopping they do not touch or feel the product in a physical sense .Hence we understand that lot of risk is involve while buying an online product whether it will reach us on proper time or not is also a concern and also there may arise a risk of product size and colour as it may differ in real view or sense. Sometimes the product ordered is kind of damaged.

Convenience: It is convenient to get everything at one place and shop the product of our choice. We can have a lot of choice over there in any kind of material we want to deal with that too without any fear of dealing with any dealer or distributers. We can ask for wanted items or issues of asking for desired kind of items which helps in the part of asking, questioning about the product.

Previous online experience: How has been a person’s experience in past as far as online shopping is concerned is a major story of concern. Previous experience is what matters actually as its hamper or sometime it keep good view or mood of people. There are two experiences one is about good and another is about bad. Both has its own and different affect in the mind of buyers. So these factors also influence online shopping or offline shopping.

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Quality: The quality of product at online sites and offline stores vary a lot and then this determines the frequency of online shopping. Quality also carries good affecting nature over any kind of shopping. As consumer or buyer want to have a good quality of product as they spent their huge sum of money. In general, qualities is a primary need over any kind of purchasing as it somewhat secure or give a good sense of buying or kind of guarantee about the product preferred.

Tangibility of the product: At the store the customer gets to touch and feel the product they purchase before buying which help the customer to take the decision to buy the product or not whether the product will suit the customer need or not. Whether, we can and see feel a product is also a reason which determines whether a person’s wants to go for shopping or not. Tangibility of any product also determines the online shopping. Without touching the preferred or desired substance nobody can get its security about the worthiness or quality or sense of any preferred product.

Delivery time: The product ordered by the customer in online shopping takes a minimum of six to seven days to deliver the product to the customer. But in offline shopping the possession of the goods is immediately transferred to the buyer. So this is a major factor which affects the online shopping. People want a good delivery time; they prefer to get a product in a desired time or in short time of duration. Duration is the second major factor affecting the demand of product.

Income: The person whose income is more, do more online shopping as compared to the person whose income is less. Income plays a major role to purchase online products. Higher income people prefers to purchase online more than offline as it gives them reliability and convenient. Higher the income higher wills the purchasing of online product and vise-versa.

Taste and preference: The taste and preference of the customer vary from customer to customer and time to time, taste and preference also a factor which influences shopping. Taste and preference of age group also matters in shopping. Old people buy or purchase product for their kind of use. Young generation or teenagers use to purchase their taste of product. Taste and preference move in tend of ages and choices. Every customer or buyer choices are different in nature as per their ages.

Variety: Online and offline both shopping provide variety of range from various brands. Variety in it itself is the foremost dealing factor which influence the market. Larger the variety of product in shop higher the selling and vice-versa. People generally prefer to move where they get more variety of products.

Discreet shopping: While buying some products like lingerie customers don’t feel comfortable to purchase it in offline store. Shopping online is discreet and some online portals also provide discreet shopping. Purchase of girly material are very convenient in offline shopping as it is not dealt with any kind of uncomfortable situation. There is no person to who is to ask for any kind of intimate product, customer can easily cope with offline as they can go and purchase their usable items without any kind of hesitations.

Offers: Offline stores only give offer or discount during stock clearance or when the manufactures gives the discount on the products. Offers are a great factor which attract customer to purchase, Offer carry a great influence in shopping.

Instant gratification: Customer buying offline gets their products as soon as they pay for it but in online shopping customer have to wait for their product to get their product. Under normal circumstances waiting a day or two does not matter much but when a customer want to get the product instantly than offline shopping become necessary.

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 To Study on the determinants for the preference of physical buying at Coimbatore district.


 To assess the socio-demographic profile of the customers To study the customers’ behaviours towards retail shops.

 To understand the factors influencing the shoppers’ buying behavior.

 To examine the shoppers’ satisfaction level on promotional activities in retail .


1. Area of the study

Area of the study refers to Coimbatore city .

2. Source of data

Primary data – Primary data will be collected by circulating a questionnaire among respondents.

Secondary data – secondary data is collected from various documents and other reports.

3. Sampling design

The study will use non probability sampling.

4. Tools for analysis

Simple percentage analysis.


Average rank

Percentage analysis

Percentage analysis is the method to represent raw streams of data as a percentage (a part in 100 – percent) for better understanding of collected data. It represents or summarizes the relevant features of a set of values. This can be calculate by this formula

Percentage analysis = ∗ 100


The chi-square test is an important test amongst the several tests of significant’. Chi theoretical variance Square, symbolically written as x2 , is a statistical measure used in the context of sampling analysis for comparing a variance to a. This can be calculated using the formula.

X2 =

Where O = Observed frequency. E = Expected frequency (Pillai & Bagavathi, 1999).


1. Name :

2. Gender : a) Male b) Female

3. Age group:

a) Below 20 years b) 21-30 years c) 31-40 years d) 41-50 years e) Above 50 years

4. Educational Qualification:

a) No formal education b) School Level c) Diploma d) Under graduate

e) Post graduate f) Professional degree g) Others

5. Occupational status:

a) Government employee b) Private employee c) Professional

d) Self employed d) Student e) others.

6. Earning members in the family:

a) 1 b)2 c) 3 d) Above 3.

7. Monthly Family Income:

a) Below Rs. 30″,000 b) Rs. 30″,001-Rs. 50″,000 c) Rs. 50″,001- Rs. 70″,000

d) Rs. 70″,001- Rs. 90″,000 e) Above Rs. 90″,001.

8. Marital status: a)Single b) Married

9. Family type: a)Nuclear b) Joint.

10. Residential area a)Urban b) Rural c)Semi-urban

11.How long you have been shopped through offline ?

a) 1-3 years b) 3- 5years c) More than 5 years

12. Frequency of doing offline shopping.

a)Daily b) Once in a week c) When the need arises d) Very rarely

13. Average amount spent for offline shopping per month

a) Less than Rs.1000 b) Rs.1001-5000 c) Rs.5001-10000 d) Above Rs.10001.

14. How much time do you spend in every visit?

a)1-3 Hours b)10-30 Minutes c) I do it all Day !

15. Do look for deals or compare prices before you make your offline purchase?

a) Yes b) No

16.When you go offline shopping, do you like to go along with friends or family who help you in making choices?

a)Yes b) No, I like to shop alone

17. Rank the reasons for offline shopping.





Prefer to touch the product


Instant gratification


Better return polices


In- Store discount


Spend quality time with family and friends


No shipping frustration (Spend more for “free shipping”)


No Product Disappointment

18. Factors influencing









I buy in a traditional store because I trust the seller


I buy in a traditional store because I can check the quality of the product


I don’t mind visiting traditional store even though it is time consuming


I buy in traditional store so I can get better deals and offers


I buy in traditional store because of transaction security


I buy in traditional store because of personal privacy and security


I buy in traditional store because of product price and quality


I buy in traditional store because of convenience


I buy in traditional store because of advertisements and promotion

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