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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Monali Hota and Maud Derbaix

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether children’s online play and participation in massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) is leading to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether children’s online play and participation in massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) is leading to the development of virtual retail shopping motivations and behaviours. This exploratory study also examines the influence of age-related differences in children’s social and consumer development vs adults and gender on this.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using two focus groups and ten in-depth interviews with 20 French children between the ages of eight and 12 years.

Findings

Results show that children’s online play and participation in MMORPG communities is leading to the development of virtual retail shopping motivations and behaviour through the purchase of virtual tools and accessories by all children using virtual in-game money. But these motivations are very gender specific due to the overarching importance of gender-specific motivations for achievement. Boys engage in virtual retail shopping because they need in-game progress and power gains, while girls engage in virtual retail shopping because they need social status enhancement.

Research limitations/implications

Research should be conducted on children in different age groups. All aspects of the process and consequences of children’s participation in online gaming communities should be examined more comprehensively. Quantitative research is required. Results may also vary with country and cultural context.

Practical implications

First, children between eight and 12 years of age are active consumers (influencers and buyers) for all companies. MMORPGs provide the perfect setting for better understanding of children’s motivations and behaviour regarding virtual retail shopping because they provide virtual in-game money for different achievements that children use to engage in such behaviour. Second, MMORPG companies can benefit by taking into account gender differences in children’s motivations and the importance of the games’ social dimensions and interactions when designing the games.

Social implications

First, the risks of playing computer games for children in terms of playing violent games and leading a virtual life must be considered and studied carefully by public policy officials. Second, public policy officials that look into online gaming should take into account gender differences in children’s motivations and the importance of the games’ social dimensions and interactions when monitoring online games. These are issues that are not only developing children’s abilities as social actors but may well be promoting excessive materialism aided by the formation of online peer groups.

Originality/value

This is the first study on children’s online play and participation in MMORPGs in the consumer context and will help us to understand children’s mind-set and motivations for retail activities in this unique retail setting. The study results show that children’s online play and participation in MMORPGs is leading to the development of virtual retail shopping motivations and behaviour that are very gender specific unlike adults.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 44 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2019

Maria D. De-Juan-Vigaray and Monali Hota

The purpose of this paper is to see how children aged 7–11 years can become the actors of tomorrow’s hypermarket experience by providing a review of past research on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to see how children aged 7–11 years can become the actors of tomorrow’s hypermarket experience by providing a review of past research on children as retail consumers, with a specific reference to their customer experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review will be organised by presenting a “child hypermarket customer experience” model. Finally, a conceptual and methodological critique of past research will be presented followed by the revised model and conclusions.

Findings

The literature review finds six independent variables presented in the model: customer satisfaction, in-store conflicts, buying intention, purchase basket value, loyalty and average time spent in store measure a positive hypermarket shopping experience for children. There are then six types of mediators presented in the updated model: type of product, product offering, pocket money amount, environment, technology (games, tablets) and experiential marketing that mediate the impact of these independent variables on children as the actors of tomorrow’s hypermarket experience.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual in nature. Future research should empirically validate the conceptual model developed in the paper for children 7–11 years of age.

Practical implications

The conceptual discussion shows that hypermarket managers can use technology such as games and tablets not only to reduce the conflicts between parents and children in hypermarkets but also positively impact on the average time spent in the store. Further, the discussion shows that hypermarket managers can offer children the experience they expect with the use of specific experiential stimuli adapted to children in “children’s aisles” such as toys, children’s clothing, children’s hi-tech and children’s books. They can also theme the experience for children using memorabilia and the engagement of senses. Managerial research should empirically validate this for children 7–11 years of age.

Originality/value

This is the first study that conceptually creates a model of children as the actors of tomorrow’s hypermarket experience. This is something that empirically researched will enhance the understanding of young consumers’ behaviour in the retail process in this advanced age of retailing.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2014

Monali Hota and Karine Charry

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of recalling visual and child-oriented product packaging elements vs informational content on children’s influence on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of recalling visual and child-oriented product packaging elements vs informational content on children’s influence on household purchases.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using quantitative research among 100 French consumers of breakfast cereals aged six to 11.

Findings

The paper challenges previous findings. First, the recall of the various types of packaging elements was equivalent across age groups. Second, the impact of visual and child-oriented element recall on purchase influences was high, especially for younger children, but not superior to the impact of recalling informational packaging elements. Third, adding information and other elements to visuals reduced young children’s intentions to influence purchases, suggesting that the overload – not the nature – of elements has a negative impact. Fourth, packaging recall seemed weakly related to purchase influence – at least for well-known brands.

Research limitations/implications

Further research on larger samples will allow to encompass potential moderators such as brand context, consumer context and packaging stimulus. Research should also compare the positive (reassuring) influence of adding informational elements on mothers to the negative one it has on children’s influence.

Practical implications

These findings can be used to wisely plan retailers’ packaging strategy. But all in all, retail packaging represents only one of the many factors which impact upon children’s diet and food consumptions and should be reassessed in the face other influences.

Originality/value

The findings challenge and expand one’s knowledge on the relationship between children and the relative influence of child-oriented elements and information, across age groups.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 42 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Francisco J. Sarabia‐Sanchez, Maria D. De Juan Vigaray and Monali Hota

The purpose of this study is to segment consumers using personal values and to link the resulting typologies with shopping styles for the fashion apparel (FA) market.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to segment consumers using personal values and to link the resulting typologies with shopping styles for the fashion apparel (FA) market.

Design/methodology/approach

The Schwartz value inventory (SVI) was suitably modified for the Spanish fashion retail consumer context using expert and consumer panels and then administered. Firstly, principal components analysis was conducted to identify the motivational value types and compare with Schwartz. Secondly, cluster analysis was used to create a typology of Spanish fashion consumers. Finally, ANOVA analysis was conducted to link the consumer typology with a typology of shopping styles.

Findings

Eleven motivational types of consumer values were found (congruent with Schwartz's results), however with slight differences leading to the uncovering of Spanish culture‐specific motivational types such as “ecology”, “inner peace” and four distinct motivational types of “self‐direction”. This further led to the emergence of four fashion retail consumer segments which could be linked to shopping styles with six of the eight shopping styles showing significant differences across segments.

Research limitations/implications

Results may vary with cultural context and consumer industry context suggesting future research opportunities.

Practical implications

Cultural differences in consumer values cannot be ignored even amidst globalization. Therefore, the use of consumer values for Spanish fashion retail consumer segmentation and its further link with shopping styles has significant implications for fashion retail marketers as it can be used to plan the retail marketing mix strategy.

Originality/value

The study has originality and value since the results provide interesting empirical evidence of the usefulness of personal values as a consumer segmentation tool, and expand one's knowledge on the relationship between cultural values and consumer shopping behaviour in a critical but neglected research domain; the Spanish fashion retail context.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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