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Smart shopping: conceptualization and measurement

Kelly Green Atkins (Department of Management and Marketing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA)
Youn‐Kyung Kim (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 20 April 2012




The purpose of this study is to gain a better conceptualization and measurement of smart shopping. The specific objectives are to: investigate consumers' perceptions of the term smart shopping; develop a measure of smart shopping; and validate the measure of smart shopping.


The research includes a comprehensive literature review, focus group interviews, and in‐depth interviews for initial item generation and instrument development. Scale development consists of a pilot test (n=100), a pretest (n=237), and main study (n=1,474).


The findings indicate that smart shopping includes consumers seeking to minimize the expenditure of time, money, or energy to gain hedonic or utilitarian value from the experience.

Research limitations/implications

In‐store shopping was examined based on shopping for clothing, grocery, or electronics; therefore caution must be used when applying the smart shopping scale to other shopping contexts or product categories.

Practical implications

Gaining a better understanding of the smart shopper will enable retailers to more accurately target this consumer group. Focus could be placed on saving time or saving energy in addition to the traditional emphasis on saving money. Retailers could also provide a combination of utilitarian and hedonic experiences for consumers.


This study conceptualizes and tests the term smart shopping from a broader perspective than previous studies that primarily focused on monetary savings in the grocery shopping context. Smart shopping includes the desire for efficient shopping but emphases on the components of an efficient trip may differ from traditional theories.



Green Atkins, K. and Kim, Y. (2012), "Smart shopping: conceptualization and measurement", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 360-375.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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