Recognizing that atmospheric features affect consumer behavior in the retail industry, companies try to design and shape interiors to influence consumers, and thereby gain a competitive advantage through integrating store design into their marketing strategies. Although visual elements are always the most dominant in store interiors, using other non-visual elements (such as fragrances, music, and texture) together with visual elements can strongly affect the customers moods and behaviors.
Each of the factors that affect interior planning and design is a stimulant that sends a message to customers and determines the formation of in-store experiences. Companies can use one or more stimulants together to create these experiences, as well as create store environments that appeal to all senses. Given that customers are generally affected by environmental factors, store atmosphere and the interior elements can influence their choice of store, encourage unplanned purchases, increase their spending, influence their product choices, and lengthen the time they spend in the store. Thus, companies can use store atmosphere to ensure that customers enjoy their shopping experience and leave the store satisfied.
Accordingly, this study aims to determine how multiple stimuli (except for the visual ones) in store interiors determine in-store pleasantness and customer behavior through a case study of the furniture industry. By investigating these retail environments, it aims to contribute to the retailing and interior design literature. The study is aimed on the argument that store environments should be evaluated in terms of every sensory element that comprise them while store environments should be purposively designed to affect customers psychologically and physically. Guided by the relevant literature, the study identified the key auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory design components for the studied retail sector in Turkey.
Regarding the importance of home furniture in interiors and its place in the retail market, Doğtaş was selected as the Turkish furniture company to be studied. In 2014, Doğtaş realized that the design criteria it applied in its stores were problematic. It therefore evaluated this concept and conducted improvement studies on the problems before renovating its stores. The present study used Doğtaş store concept change as an opportunity to identify specific interior design elements and their effects on customers. The prediction was that customers who were satisfied with the shopping experience offered by the store environment would make more positive purchasing decisions.
Following a comprehensive literature review of research in marketing, customer behavior, customer satisfaction, retail design, and store atmosphere, the field work was conducted using mixed methods. More specifically, observations, photography, surveys, and face-to-face interviews were applied in seven selected Doğtaş stores. Necessary documents (store plans, institutional architectural guide, statistical data) were obtained from the companys archive. The face-to-face interview data was analyzed qualitatively while the survey data was subject to statistical analyses and summarized in detailed tables and comments. The questionnaire contained ten questions to determine the relationship between the interior design elements of smell, hearing, touch/feeling, and taste, and customer satisfaction and shopping behaviors. The effects of each element on spatial satisfaction were examined in terms of the concept change introduced by Doğtaş.
The survey, observation, and interview results indicated that Doğtaş new store concept made the in-store environment more pleasant, improved the mood of both customers and sales staff, provided a more enjoyable shopping experience, and positively affected customer shopping behaviors. The interviewed customers also indicated that they would consider revisiting the stores and recommend them to others. The new store concept also improved the sales staffs mood. Customers came closer to the products and spent more time than they realized in the store. The interviews showed that the new interior design components increased the number of unplanned purchases, which in turn had a positive effect on the customers shopping experiences.
Overall, this study demonstrated that the customers of this furniture store company noticed and approved of multi-sensory changes to the store interiors that contribute to store atmosphere. These findings can provide guidance regarding which interior design components furniture stores should consider. The analysis revealed that it is important to use multi-sensory design components
(auditory, haptic, olfactory and gustatory) to create appealing store atmospheres that make them more pleasant for customers.
Bu çalışmanın amacı, mobilya sektöründe bir vaka çalışması ile çoklu uyarıcıları (görme duyusu hariç) barındıran mağaza iç mekânlarının müşteri memnuniyeti ve müşteri alışveriş davranışları üzerindeki etkilerini belirlemektir. Bu bağlamda, çalışma perakende ortamı özelinde perakendecilik ve iç mekân tasarımı literatürüne katkı sağlamayı amaçlamaktadır. Çalışmada, nitel ve nicel yöntemler bir arada kullanılmıştır. Çalışma; yöntem olarak saha çalışması, gözlemler, fotoğraf çekimleri, anket çalışmaları ve yüz yüze görüşme içermektedir. İşitsel, dokunsal, kokusal ve tatsal uyarıcı tasarım bileşenleri, literatür rehberliğinde belirlenerek, bu bileşenler ile tüketici memnuniyeti arasındaki ilişki ortaya koyulmuştur. Çalışma sonucunda, görsel uyarıcılar hariç, çoklu duyuları uyaran iç mekân tasarım bileşenlerinin mağaza içerisinde oluşan müşteri memnuniyeti ve müşteri alışveriş davranışları üzerinde olumlu bir etkiye sahip olduğu görülmüştür.Anahtar Kelimeler: Görsel mağazacılık, duyusal iç mekân unsurları, perakende mobilya mağazası tasarımı, kullanıcı memnuniyeti.