SMALL URBAN RETAILERS: WHAT MOTIVATES THEIR BUYERS?
The word “motivation” comes from the Latin word “movere” meaning “to move”. In this regard, our research will be focused in an attempt to understand the factors that “move” a consumer to perform a certain purchasing act. Understanding consumers’ motivations behind shopping is essential if we want to undertake an in-depth study of the purchasing process. It is clear that in our streets there are increasingly more shops closing, displaying the sad sign "For Rent". And in this situation, the most affected are small retailers, a group that has been often ignored in general research contexts through the retail industry (Cadeaux and Dubelaar, 2012). A striking fact when small urban retailers are considered as key contributors for economy and employment, and catalysts for town and city regeneration (Dixon, 2005).
It is at this point that we consider, what makes different small retailers from the rest of retailers? Why are they the most affected by the current situation? What drives consumers to shop in small urban retailers over other commercial areas? Is there any associated value to this type of retailer that represents a strength or opportunity? Within this framework, the aim of this research is to analyze the reasons that drive consumers to shop in small retailers and to propose an innovative measurement scale based on three dimensions.
This research has revealed how the underlying economic situation in Spain can influence consumer motivation. The emergence of an ethical dimension that complements the traditional research is a consequence of the current economic situation; it seems that we are facing a consumer who takes more time before making a decision. Taking into account a big number of factors related not only to the decision itself, but also with the consequences of that decision will have on a geographical, economic and social environment.
So, in this environment and according to the results, is no longer enough for a small retailer to operate in a conventional manner by enticing customers with broad assortments, low pricing, and extended store hours. More efforts have to be made to attract consumers; higher dedication in designing an attractive offer is needed. Traditional emotional or utilitarian motivations require an additional effort to fulfill customers’ needs. Small retailers face a complex and changing environment, but one which varies considerably from one store to another. Responsiveness to the local market environment is an important dimension for small retail operations (Kara et al., 2005). Thus, this represents an opportunity for many small retailers, they can adapt themselves to changing needs, and they have a direct relation with consumers. From this we can set out a clear thought: small businesses have advantages and opportunities that should recognize and it won’t be useful having a passive attitude toward an increasingly changing market, specialized and more demanding.