The Influence of Shopping Motivations on Clothing Retail Store Loyalty in South Africa

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of shopping motivations on clothing retail store loyalty in the South African context. A survey was conducted among consumers intercepted at a mall in Venda, South Africa. In total, 250 respondents completed the questionnaire in full. It was found that consumers were influenced by shopping apathy, fashion trends, impressions, reputation, and price, in remaining loyal to a clothing store. Shopping enjoyment, role-shopping and convenience did not influence shoppers to remain loyal to a store. Consumer loyalty is vital to retailers, as it guarantees future sales, long-term profitability, and sustainability. Retail marketers should therefore consider various shopping motivations when designing their marketing activities.
JEL Classification M31
Full Article

1. Introduction

The South African clothing retail sector is characterised by stiff competition, which makes store loyalty an important strategy for success. The increasing number of retailers, both off- and online, creates a very competitive environment, and puts severe pressure on retailers to survive (Le Roux, 2019). South Africa, as an emerging market, has seen the entry of international clothing retail stores such as Zara and HandM. Increased competition has made it crucial for retail stores to gain customer store loyalty and understand the motivational factors for such loyalty. Rintari and Mogire (2015) advise that an effective customer loyalty strategy, on the part of retailers, can act as a switching barrier that prevents customers from defecting, by addressing all their motivations in patronising a particular retail store. As Martos-Partal and Gonzalez-Benito (2013) argue, a loyal customer base exhibits several traits that are beneficial for retailers, including reduced sensitivity to other price and market offers, as well as reduced proneness to switch stores. Martos-Partal and Gonzalez-Benito (2013) identified a relationship between shopping motivations and store loyalty but advise stores to consider other consumer characteristics and motivations, to gain greater insight into the drivers of loyal behaviour. This is important for reducing price sensitivity among consumers (Duffett and Foster, 2018).

Shopper motivation and store loyalty have been investigated for decades, yet it remains a topic of interest among researchers. There has been a significant increase in shopping centre development in South Africa, which is home to over 2 000 shopping malls, meaning the country is sixth in terms of the number of shopping centres in the world, occupying 23 million m2 of shopping space. These developments, together with the increasing number of retail stores in this country, is a result of shifting consumer preferences which drive the changing retail environment (Mahlangu and Makhitha, 2019). For example, the combined spending power of consumers in rural and townships areas is worth more than R308 billion annually, representing 41 per cent of total consumer spending. The emerging market in rural areas and townships in South Africa has created new market opportunities for national retailers seeking growth opportunities. This has, in turn, created a wider choice for consumers’ needs for goods, services and entertainment thus creating competition for retailers.

Given the competitive nature of the local retail sector, retailers must identify factors driving consumers into their stores, by determining which factors motivate consumers to patronise certain stores and remain loyal to a particular store brand (Dabija and Abrudan, 2014). Shopping motivations refer to the drivers of behaviour that bring consumers to the marketplace, to satisfy their internal needs (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003). This implies that, for consumers to go shopping, something must motivate them to buy, and this must be identified by retailers (Iroham, Akinwale, Okagbue, Peter and Emetere, 2020).

Studies have proven that store loyalty is dependent on certain motivating factors that must be integrated into a store’s retail strategy (Van Niekerk, 2015). Existing studies were also conducted from a developed nations perspective (Biesok, 2021; Parker and Wenyu, 2019), in comparison with other developing nations (Karunaratna, 2021). Locally, those were either conducted in urban provinces (Cant and Du Toit, 2012) or investigated different kinds of shopper motivations (Corbishley, Mason and Dobbelstein, 2022). This study investigates the motivating factors influencing store loyalty among consumers in Venda, Limpopo province, South Africa. The aim is to bring an understand of the shopper motivation factors that influence consumers in rural areas and should benefit retailers target these consumers.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Grounding Theory

This study is grounded in Dick and Basu’s (1994) framework for customer loyalty. They conceptualised customer loyalty as a relationship between the relative attitudes toward an entity (in this case, a retail store) and repeat purchases in that store. According to Dick and Basu (1994), the relationship between attitude and repeat purchase is mediated by social norms and situational factors, including motivational factors, which prompted this study of the relationship between motivational factors and store loyalty. This model has been applied by scholars investigating customer loyalty in different contexts (Nourallah, 2022; Filho, Falcao and Motta, 2021).

2.2 Store Loyalty and Shopper Motivation Factors

For Magatef and Tomalieh (2015), customer loyalty entails the customer’s attitude and behaviour in preferring one brand over all competitors, owing to satisfaction with the products/services. Deka (2016) highlights the importance of loyalty, purporting that “loyalty assures a retailer of patronage, of not just constancy and longevity, but creates an effective competitive advantage and a strong entry barrier”. Store loyalty is based on behaviour and relates to the repeat purchase behaviour of consumers over a prolonged period which, in turn, leads to increased sales and profitability (Deka, 2016; Magatef and Tomalieh, 2015; Martos-Partal and Gonzalez-Benito, 2013).

Arnold and Reynolds (2003) identified six motivation factors, including adventure, gratification, idea, social, role and value shopping, all of which influence consumers to go shopping. Arnold and Reynolds (2003) maintain that consumers are influenced by entertainment, and that retailers should incorporate this aspect into their retail strategy. Several researchers have applied the aforementioned shopper motivation factors in different context, and found that they apply to different product types, purchasing situations and markets (Nhlapulo and Makhitha, 2022. Other factors include convenience (Mihic and Milakovic, 2017), store loyalty (Slaba, 2019), price-consciousness (Martos-Partal and Gonzalez-Benito, 2013 Steen, 2016), and impression and reputation (Peshkova, 2013). This study seeks to apply the Arnold and Reynolds (2003) shopper motivations, explore the following variables in the South African context: shopper enjoyment, role-shopping, convenience, idea shopping (fashion trends), impression and reputation, and value shopping referred to in this study as price consciousness as motivational factors that influence store loyalty.

3. Conceptual Model Development

Figure 1 shows the conceptual model tested in this study, to determine the motivational factors that influence store loyalty.

Figure 1: Conceptual model

3.1 Shopping Enjoyment and Store Loyalty

Most authors agree thatshopping enjoyment or adventure shopping has a profound influence on store loyalty (Ledikwe, 2020; Dlamini and Chinje, 2019; Dalziel and Bevan-Dye, 2018). Various dimensions that influence shopper enjoyment have been identified by Pearson (2018), namely merchandise, service, clientele, physical facilities, convenience, promotion and store atmosphere. Shopping enjoyment entails feeling relaxed, inspired and entertained when shopping (Pearson, 2018). This can be enhanced by creating a store environment and atmosphere that enable shoppers to experience the various recreational dimensions while shopping (Ali and Steyn, 2010). Bhatt and Kim (2018) point out that the availability of a wider range of products is another factor that increases brand or store loyalty. Gill (2020) reiterates that nurturing a lifelong relationship means getting to know someone, and leading fashion brands are making a concerted effort to tailor their experiences in a relevant way to their most valuable customers. Taking this into consideration, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H1: Shopping enjoyment has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.2 Role-Shopping and Store Loyalty

According to Arnold and Reynolds (2003), role-shopping occurs when consumers derive enjoyment from shopping for others. It creates feelings and moods, as well as the excitement of being with others (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003). Gillison and Reynolds (2018) note that some shoppers perform a helping act when shopping for someone else, which increases positive feelings and may amplify satisfaction. Thus, retailers should ensure that stores allow for shopping with and for others. Consumers typically use the products they buy, unless they purchase for someone else. Regardless of who makes the purchase, the user is the person who ultimately uses or consumes the good and is usually the one who initiates store loyalty (Ali and Steyn, 2010. Family structure, family composition, buying patterns, buying roles and the motives of family members, as well as life-cycle stages, influence consumer shopping patterns and play an important role in store loyalty (Gill, 2020). Taking this into consideration, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H2: Role-shopping has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.3 Convenience and Store Loyalty

Most researchers agree that convenience is one of the main drivers of store loyalty (Bhatt and Kim, 2018; Steen, 2016). Shoppers are increasingly looking for convenience, which forces traditional retailers to find ways of saving time and creating shopping convenience (Mihic and Milakovic, 2017), to gain competitive advantage (Pearson, 2018). Suresh (2014) supported by Gill, (2020) and Yu, Zhang and Liu (2018) contends that location and the salesperson’s service/assistance make the overall shopping experience convenient (or not!) for the customer. In addition, the positive attributes of the store, such as store location, layout and in-store stimuli, affect brand loyalty to a large extent. As Rintari and Mogire (2015) note, consumers are not inclined towards a particular store, but prioritise convenience – that is the reason behind their repetitive shopping from nearby stores. Against the above background, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H3: Convenience has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.4 Idea Shopping and Store Loyalty

Dalziel and Bevan-Dye (2018) acknowledge the role of fashion in influencing consumers to replace clothes, cosmetics, and related merchandise.Throughfashion, a person can express his/her identity (Saeed and Baig, 2013). Idea shopping or shopping to pursue fashion trends is when consumers shop to learn about new styles and to keep up with current trends by perusing new products and innovations (Asnawati and Sri, 2018; Zeeman, 2013; Arnold and Reynolds, 2003). Saeed and Baig (2013) conclude that a key factor in consumer purchasing behaviour is differentiating themselves from others, through fashionable items.

Lee (2015) indicates that brand image is a driving force behind brand loyalty. Loyalty suggests that shoppers will repeatedly buy fashion apparel from the same provider, meaning the fashion store can reduce its marketing costs, as it does not have to invest much in advertising activities.. Malhotra (2015) considers fashion attachment as a prior and necessary condition for the creation of store or brand loyalty – consumers become attached because of the value fashion adds to their apparel and accessories. Therefore, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H4: Idea shopping has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.5 Impression, Reputation and Appealing Appearance vs. Store Loyalty

Store impression, as well as reputation, contribute to consumer loyalty (Dlamini and Chinje, 2019). Store atmospherics (furniture, equipment, scent and colour) form the first impression of the store, and create an appealing appearance (Mafini and Dhurup, 2015). The superior day-to-day management of a retail store contributes to brand image, repeat purchases and consumer loyalty (Clottey and Collier, 2011). Van Belkum (2016) conclude that consumers are driven by quality and status, as well as the brand they purchase, when selecting a store. Clothing store consumers are motivated by dressing to impress, which influences the clothing they buy, and the brand they prefer (Kuhn and Mostert, 2015). This implies that impression and reputation influence shopper behaviour and store loyalty.

Store impression plays a vital role in store loyalty (Kuhn and Mostert, 2015). According to Lai (2019), building and maintaining a good corporate image and reputation are necessary for retailers to create store loyalty. The major success factor in the retail industry is store impression, which is important in stimulating consumer purchases and loyalty to the store (Mishra, Sinha and Koul, 2014). Slaba (2019) indicates that staff play an important role in creating social cues to improve consumers’ evaluation of the store, which leads to positive word-of-mouth and customer loyalty. In their study, Pleasure resulting from exposure to the store atmosphere influences spending levels, the duration of time spent in-store, and the willingness to visit again (Mishra, Sinha and Koul, 2014). Faladhin and Martina (2019) indicate that brand reputation and appealing appearance play important roles in purchasing intentions, because consumers tend to buy items that are well known and famous. Taking the above into consideration, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H5: Impression/reputation has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

H6: Appealing appearance has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.6 Value Shopping and Store Loyalty

Consumers seek value for money when shopping, which determines whether they buy from one retailer or another (Bakirtas and Divanoglu, 2013). Price is one of the most important factors during the buying decision and may influence loyalty (Dalziel and Bevan-Dye, 2018; Rootman and Kruger, 2017). Arnold and Reynolds (2003) maintain that consumers shop to seek bargains or find price reductions and find enjoyment in discovering bargains and discounts. Ali and Steyn (2010) indicate that price is probably the most important consideration for the average consumer, when engaging in repeat purchases. Still, an Oracle (2020) study found that 67 per cent of consumers are loyal to stores that offer fairly priced merchandise. Yu, Zhang and Liu (2018) consider customer satisfaction to be vital, in that satisfied customers are not price-sensitive, they buy additional products, are less influenced by competitors, and stay loyal to the store. A retailer can increase its loyal customer base or preserve its existing customers by lowering price-consciousness (Rintari and Mogire, 2015). Taking this into consideration, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H7: Value shopping has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

3.7 Shopping Apathy and Store Loyalty

Apathetic shoppers shop when necessary, and minimise their shopping time by entering and leaving the store as quickly as possible (Rootman and Kruger, 2017). Shopping is a form of distraction, allowing consumers to forget their worries temporarily, which may result in unplanned purchases (Lee, 2015). According to Vaesen (2021) there is an element of shopper apathy in brand loyalty, where consumers have bought the same brand for years, partly because they are comfortable or like the brand, and partly because they cannot be bothered to find an alternative. Apathetic shoppers have an aversion towards shopping, are usually more price-insensitive, and feel compelled to go shopping (Ganesh et al., 2010). Dalziel and Bevan-Dye (2018) found that, to weaken apathy towards shopping and attract consumers, retailers should – with the help of online shopping – introduce apathetic shoppers to stores where they feel comfortable shopping, and where they can easily and quickly undertake their shopping activities, while avoiding long queues. Taking this into consideration, the following hypothesis was formulated:

H8: Shopping apathy has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty.

4. Research Methodology

4.1 Research Context and Research Design

The clothing sector in South Africa is one of the biggest employers in sub-Saharan Africa, contributing positively to job creation and economic growth (Makgopa, 2018). A 2015 report by Statistics South Africa shows that the sector contributed 16.3 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product of South Africa in that year, generating a total income of R525 billion through sales, with clothing, footwear and textile retailers contributing 22 per cent to this figure.

Only a few retail giants dominate the clothing retail sector in this country: Edcon Ltd, Truworths, the Foschini Group, Woolworths Holdings Ltd, Mr Price Group Ltd and Pepkor Holdings. Each retailer has different clothing and accessory/jewellery brands. For example, the Foschini Group owns Markhams, Sterns, American Swiss and other brands. The retailers differ in the market segment they target and operate throughout all provinces in South Africa, including the rural those in rural areas.

The study adopted a quantitative research approach, as was the case with previous studies on shopper motivation. The respondents were given a survey and had to select the most suitable response from the options provided. The researchers had identified, from the literature, the dimensions of shopper motivation that affect store loyalty and developed a conceptual model, making a survey ideal for testing the model. A sample of 250 consumers was targeted to achieve the objectives of the study, which would not have been possible in a qualitative research study.

4.2 Sampling, Data Collection and Measuring Instrument

Non-probability convenience sampling was used to target consumers who have purchased clothes at the Thavhani Mall in Venda and were intercepted/targeted for data collection purposes.

Data were collected at the mall through interception by two field workers, who received training beforehand. In this way, the required population size for the study could be reached. Existing studies were used to identify the constructs and items needed for the design of the questionnaire. Various motivational factors were identified from the following studies: shopping enjoyment (Pearson, 2018; Mihic and Milakovic, 2017) role-shopping (Yuldinawati and Ayuningsari, 2015; Arnold and Reynolds, 2003); shopping apathy (Rootman and Kruger, 2017; Lee, 2015); convenience (Mihic and Milakovic, 2017); pursuing fashion trends (Phillip, 2020; Venter, Chinomona and Chuchu, 2016); store loyalty (Mafini and Dhurup, 2015); price-consciousness (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003); and impression and reputation (Peshkova, 2013). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 27 for Windows, was used to analyse the data. The statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, internal consistency, correlations and regression analysis.

5. Analysis and Results

5.1 Demographic Profiling of Clothing Store Shoppers

The respondents mostly fell in the age group 18–29 years (68%; n = 133). The age group 30–40 years represented 23 per cent of the population (n = 51). Male respondents constituted the majority at 60 per cent (n = 125). The majority of the respondents were unmarried (77%; n = 169). Most respondents had obtained a degree (33%; n = 73) or diploma (28%: n = 62). Their income earned was mostly R2 500 or less (45%; n = 101), followed by earnings of between R2 500 and R5 000 (17%; n = 39).

The respondents did their shopping at Mr Price (17%; n = 36), Sportscene (10%; n = 22), Markhams (9.9%; n = 21) and Truworths (9.4%; n = 20). Consumers shopped frequently (31%; n = 68), monthly (30%; n = 66) or three to four times a year (25%; n = 54). Shoppers visited three to four stores (29.3%; n = 66) per mall visit, followed by those who visited five to six stores (25%; n = 56) and more than six stores (27.6%; n = 62).

5.2 Validity and Reliability

The Cronbach’s alpha for each of the constructs was computed, to determine the reliability of the constructs. All the store motivations were reliable, with the following values obtained: shopping enjoyment (0.848); role-shopping (0.784); shopping apathy (0.777); convenience (0.743); fashion trends (0.856); store loyalty (0.794); appealing appearance (0.818); impression and reputation (0.847); and price-consciousness (0.768). The overall Cronbach’s alpha was also satisfactory, at 0.952.

There was a strong correlation between the constructs, with most correlations having a minimum cut-off point of .30 on the Pearson’s correlations, as suggested by Kim and Mueller (1978). To achieve content validity, the questionnaire was designed using existing literature (see research methodology section).

Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with Principle Component Analysis (PCA) using with IBM SPSS Statistics 27was conducted to determine whether the constructs used for the study could group together. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin value was 0.842, well above the recommended minimum value of 0.6 (Kaiser, 1970, 1974). Judging by the mean score (M), convenience (M=3.93; SD=0.65) was the most important shopper motivation followed by value shopping (M=3.92; SD=0.70), both with a lower standard deviation, implying that respondents agreed that these factors were important motivations for them. Shopping apathy had the lowest M score, indicating that it did not influence shopper loyalty (M=2.52).

Table 1: EFA

Shopper motivations/store loyalty Shopping enjoyment Idea shopping Appealing appearance and personal norm Impression and reputation Role shopping Value shopping Store loyalty Shopping apathy Convenience
Being able to enjoy time with friends 0.767                
Being able to enjoy entertainment while shopping 0.713                
I love to shop for clothing 0.669                
Shopping is a form of recreation 0.629                
I stop to look at clothing even when I’m not planning to buy 0.596                
Being able to enjoy time with family 0.595                
I enjoy shopping for fun 0.583                
Shopping is enjoyable 0.491                
I tend to get the fashion products others wear a lot   0.766              
I am very interested in the latest fashion trends   0.685              
I shop to see what new fashion products are available   0.679              
I buy clothing that is similar to what others are wearing   0.653              
I try to keep my wardrobe up to date with fashion trends   0.612              
It is important to me that people like my clothing     0.814            
Visual displays have an effect on the clothing that I purchase     0.752            
I like to plan my outfit for the next day     0.687            
It is important that people notice and/or comment on my new clothing     0.656            
A person’s reputation is affected by how s/he dresses       0.808          
Dressing well is an important part of my life       0.698          
Expressing my personality through my clothing is important to me       0.693          
I like to be considered outstandingly well dressed       0.648          
I like clothes shopping for others, because I feel happy when they are happy         0.775        
I enjoy clothes shopping for friends and family         0.741        
I feel good when I buy clothing for the special people in my life         0.724        
I feel happy doing research to find the best present         0.642        
I compare prices with other rival fashion brands before purchasing           0.784      
I tend to purchase fashion products that are on sale or discounted           0.769      
I am willing to spend time finding and buying fashion products at a low price           0.650      
I estimate what is in my budget before shopping           0.635      
I have favourite brands that I buy over and over             0.664    
As a habit, I like a particular store and buy my clothing there             0.653    
I think well-known brand products are good and of high quality             0.590    
Shopping is not pleasant               0.838  
Shopping wastes my time               0.801  
I put a high value on convenience when shopping for clothes                 0.821
I usually buy my clothes at the most convenient place                 0.720
Cronbach alpha 0.848 0.856 0.818 0.830 0.784 0.704 0.686 0.731 0.658
Mean (M) score 3.78 3.46 3.54 3.83 3.78 3.92 3.86 2.55 3.93
Standard deviation (SD) 0.70 0.89 0.89 0.80 0.77 0.70 0.78 1.08 0.78

5.3 Testing the Hypotheses

To determine whether the shopper motivation factors influenced store loyalty, and to test the conceptual model designed for this study, ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used with the stepwise method, which added to the model only those independent variables that contributed significantly. The analysis was done with store brand loyalty as the dependent variable, and all other motivational factors as independent variables. The stepwise procedure selected four independent variables, and further analysis was conducted with the four constructs, as shown in Table 5.

From the ANOVA (see Table 3), it is evident that the model is highly significant and explains at least 47 per cent of the variation in the dependent variable, as shown by the adjusted R-square of 0.474. From Table 5 it is clear that only four of the independent variables contributed significantly to the model. The variable idea shopping had the largest effect in the model, with the path coefficient of 0.355, followed by Appealing appearance andpersonal norms with path coefficient of 0.268, Shopping apathy and value shopping with an equal path coefficient of 0.147 each.

Table 2: Model summary

Model R R-square Adjusted R-square Std error of the estimate
1 .696b .484 .474 .57006

Note: a. Dependent variable: Brand/store value and loyalty; b. Predictors: (Constant), value shopping, shopping apathy, appealing appearance and personal norms, idea shopping.

Table 3: ANOVA

MODEL Sum of squares df Mean square F Sig.
Regression 65.802 4 16.450 50.621 .000b
Residual 70.194 216 .325
Total 135.995 220

Note: a. Dependent variable: Brand/store value and loyalty; b. Predictors: (Constant), value shopping, shopping apathy, appealing appearance and personal norms, idea shopping.

Looking at the coefficients of the final model, the variables idea shopping, appealing appearanceand personal norms and shopping apathy are highly significant, while value shopping appears to be marginally significant.

Table 4: Coefficients

Model Unstandardised coefficients Standardised coefficients t Sig. Collinearity Statistics
B Std error Beta Tolerance VIF
(Constant) .471 .281 1.673 .096
Shopping apathy .147 .047 .159 3.134 .002 .932 1.073
Idea shopping .355 .051 .403 6.959 .000 .714 1.400
Appealing appearance and personal norms .268 .049 .303 5.499 .000 .788 1.268
Value shopping .147 .072 .112 2.049 .042 .794 1.259

Note: Dependent variable: store value and loyalty

6. Discussion and Conclusion

From Table 5 above, the following hypotheses were supported or rejected: Shopping apathy has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty (standardised coefficient = 0.159; p = 0.001), as shown in Table 5. The path coefficient (shopping apathy influences store loyalty) is 0.147. The p-value of 0.001 signifies that the hypothesis (H7) is supported. Pötter (2015) reports that apathetic consumers find shopping stressful and, when they go shopping, they focus on buying the items they had planned to purchase. These shoppers are also impulsive, want to purchase something quickly and then leave the store (Meyer-Waarden et al., 2013).

Idea shoppinghas a statistically significant influence on store loyalty (standardised coefficient = 0.403; p = 0.001), as shown in Table 5. The path coefficient (pursuing fashion trends influences store loyalty) is 0.355. The p-value of 0.001 signifies that the hypothesis (H5) is supported. Consistent with these findings, Rajagopal (2011) found that fashion-loving consumers visit various stores, seek designer brands, and invest more time and money in search of the product they want, and develop store loyalty depending on the store image. According to Shen et al. (2014), fast-fashion clothes that are unique satisfy consumers’ need for uniqueness relative to others, enhancing their self- and social image. Su and Chan (2018) also demonstrated that fast fashion influences loyalty, which supports this study’s findings that pursuing fashion trends has an effect on store loyalty.

Appealing appearance and personal norms have a statistically significant influence on store loyalty (standardised coefficient = 0.303; p = 0.001) (Table 5). The path coefficient for appealing appearance and personal norms influence store loyalty is 0.268. The p-value of 0.001 signifies that the hypothesis (H4) is supported. According to Rajagopal (2011), consumers are driven by product attractiveness and economic drivers to become store loyal, which implies that the products a store stocks will determine the impression consumers have of the store, and their own reputation. Su and Chan (2018) maintain that customers are loyal to stores or brands that are competitively attractive and distinct, and create favourable feelings and behaviours towards those brands. Store impression and reputation are determined by the store atmosphere, which in turn influences store loyalty (Van Niekerk, 2015).

Value shopping has a statistically significant influence on store loyalty (standardised coefficient = 0.112; p = 0.001), as can be seen in Table 5. The path coefficient (price-consciousness influences store loyalty) is 0.147. The p-value of 0.001 signifies that the hypothesis (H6) is supported. Cataluña, García and Phau (2006) report that the influence of price is store-specific, which means price-consciousness depends on which store consumers visit. For instance, consumers might expect to pay a premium at a boutique clothing store. According to Diallo, Coutelle-Brillet, Rivière and Zielke (2015), value shopping influences store loyalty, which supports this study’s findings. From a South African perspective, Deloitte (2019) reports that many consumers who live beyond their means due to the tough consumer environment have become increasingly price-conscious and seek value in their purchases. This contradicts the findings of Cant and Du Toit (2012), who found that price does not influence store loyalty. As Basu, Guin and Sengupta (2014) show, customer loyalty differs for store types. For instance, price had no impact on customers of unorganised shops, while it had an impact on organised retail store formats.

Shopping enjoyment, role-shopping, convenience as well as impression and reputation were found to have no statistically significant effect on store loyalty. Therefore, hypotheses H1, H2 and H3 were not supported. These results are very interesting, since many studies have cited shopping enjoyment and role-shopping as influencing store loyalty and shopping behaviour (Parker and Wenyu, 2019; Hosseini, Jayashree and Malarvizhi, 2014). Selema and Makgosa (2018) found convenience to have a significant impact on store loyalty, while Dlodlo, De Klerk and Bevan-Dye (2018) also found role-shopping to have an influence on store loyalty. Cunningham and De Meyer-Heydenrych (2021) conclude that convenience influences store loyalty for affordable and premium stores.

The current research has demonstrated that impression and reputation, idea shopping, price-consciousness and shopping apathy have a significant effect on store loyalty. Very few studies investigated these factors as motivational factors influencing store loyalty. Furthermore, the findings of the study contradicted existing studies that found that shopping enjoyment, role-shopping and convenience to influence store loyalty.

6.1 Theoretical Contribution

This study makes a contribution to the limited literature on the influence of shopper motivation on store loyalty, especially for consumers in rural regions. Although various studies have investigated store loyalty, few focus on the shopper motivational factors investigated in this study. Furthermore, studies have ignored the importance of consumers in rural regions, making this study valuable to retailers seeking to extend their footprint in these regions. It was found that impression and reputation, idea shopping, value shopping and shopping apathy have a significant effect on store loyalty. Of these, idea shopping had the largest effect, while price-consciousness had a marginal effect. Other factors, such as shopping enjoyment, role-shopping and convenience were found to not have an influence on store loyalty. The latter findings were incongruent with other studies (Deloitte, 2019; Coutelle-Brillet et al., 2015; Rajagopal, 2011). The findings are incongruent with those of Cant and Du Toit (2012), who found price to have no influence on store loyalty. Therefore, this study has demonstrated that shopper motivational factors differ between studies, which may be attributed to regional differences. It is recommended that future studies be conducted in different regions and across different store types and industries, to the ensure that factors affecting loyalty are investigated and understood from different perspectives.

6.2 Managerial implications

Since pursuing fashion trends seems to have the largest effect on store loyalty, retailers should ensure that they sell a wide variety of fashionable merchandise and that they keep up to date with the latest trends in the market. The pursuit of fashion trends would imply that consumers also shop to learn about new trends. Although price had only a marginal effect on store loyalty, it is important that retailers match competing store prices, to ensure that those consumers who do consider price will remain loyal and happy. Retailers could offer price discounts for out-of-season merchandise and other price promotions. As Deloitte (2019) found, consumer loyalty in SA is permanently under severe pressure and requires an understanding of what customers need and expect when visiting clothing retailers – and retailers have to deliver on those expectations. Since price-conscious consumers are less brand-loyal and frequently shop for specials. Retailers must identify segment-specific touchpoints to engage consumers and develop loyalty (Deloitte, 2019).

To appease those shoppers motivated by impression and reputation, retailers could ensure that their stores and merchandise are well positioned against the competitors. They can also promote their store and merchandise so that consumers become aware of how the store could meet their individual needs. An interesting finding was that shopping apathy influences store loyalty. Therefore, retailers must ensure that merchandise is conveniently located within the store for those shoppers who do not want to spend time shopping and to influence them to purchase on impulse. They can place signage within the store to direct customers where to go, or sales assistants can assist customers to find the right merchandise. Stores can identify products consumers buy frequently or on impulse and place them conveniently for those customers who want to shop and go.

Store managers must also be aware that consumers may be in different phases of loyalty, which require different approaches and strategies. For example, some shoppers patronise a retail store only if persuaded with marketing tools such as point-of-purchase promotions, whereas variety-seeking consumers are influenced by price and sales promotions (Omar & Sawmong, 2007). Effort must be put into creating truly loyal customers, as they are more likely to postpone their purchases if the retailer is out of their favourite brand and are least likely to switch to another brand if on sale. Truly loyal customers are also more positive about commercials for their favourite brand, when compared to commercials for alternative brands (Jensen, 2011). Additionally, different types of retailers should use different motivational factors, as indicated by Basu et al. (2014), who found that the influence of price differs across different store types.

6.3 Limitations of the Study and Future Directions of Research

The limitation of this study was that it targeted consumers in Venda. Therefore, the results should not be generalised to include all consumers in South Africa. Subsequent studies could investigate consumers from other regions, to determine whether there are differences in shopper motivations across the regions in this country. The study also used a convenience sampling approach, and the target population was not representative of the local population. Contrary to the findings of other researchers, this study found that shopping enjoyment, role-shopping and convenience had little effect on store loyalty. Future studies could investigate the impact of these factors on shoppers in other areas, to determine regional differences. Future studies could also determine why these factors have little influence on shoppers.


Author Contributions: The following contributions are her contributions: Conceptualization, questionnaire design, data collection, methodology, writing - Review & Editing, mentoring Mr Mbedzi T. T Mbedzi: The following contributions are his contributions: Literature review.

Funding: This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest.

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© 2023 The Authors. Published by Sprint Investify. ISSN 2359-7712. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License
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Prof K.M. Makhitha, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa, ORCID: 0000-0001-5040-3826
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University of South Africa, South Africa, ORCID: 0000-0001-5040-3826

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