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Dressing rooms: love it or leave it! To what extent does the setting of a dressing room influence consumer experiences?

Hengevelt, Jennifer (2014) Dressing rooms: love it or leave it! To what extent does the setting of a dressing room influence consumer experiences?

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Abstract:It is commonly believed that dressing rooms are able to influence consumer experiences, as it represents that final moment where the consumer decides whether to purchase the apparel or not. Dressing rooms are able to influence the approach behavior of consumers, which generates the desire to stay in the store, fit several clothes, repeat dressing room visits and increase purchase intentions. For this reason, retailers need to understand how aspects of the physical environment affect consumers’ emotional states and self-evaluations. This study was conducted to examine the effect of lighting direction and mirrors on several dependent variables: emotional states (pleasure, arousal and dominance), perceived spaciousness, self-evaluation (facial and body appearance), overall dressing room experiences and consumer behavior. Besides, this study focused on gender differences in dressing rooms too. These aspects were measured using two studies. First, the hypotheses were examined by using a 2 (mirrors: with versus without) x 2 (lighting direction: frontal versus frontal and overhead) between subjects design. An online questionnaire with four randomly shown manipulated images of dressing room settings was used. A total of 207 participants between ages of 18 and 62 were randomly assigned to one of the four dressing room settings. The second study used interviews in a field experiment, to gather more information about dressing room environments and to compare the results of the online questionnaires to a real setting. As assumed, this study found significant results for the influence of both mirrors and lighting direction. It could be concluded that the effects of mirrors in dressing rooms are more important than lighting direction, though both appear to be relevant. Retailers seem to be able to create positive dressing room experiences by using mirrors. Besides, there seems to be propensity in favor of frontal and overhead lighting, though participants mentioned that they liked both lighting directions. Additionally, when focusing on perceived spaciousness in dressing rooms, lighting direction only influenced perceived spaciousness of participants in dressing room with mirrors. No statistically significant differences were found for perceived spaciousness in dressing rooms without mirror. Besides, this study found that other aspects in dressing room appeared to be relevant too, such as privacy, cleanliness, hooks and a chair. These findings offer insight into the influence of lighting direction and mirrors in dressing rooms, which could help retailers to make decisions regarding their dressing room environments and to make their shopping experience more appealing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65017
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