Village towns in the rural areas and in the outskirts of major towns and cities have taken up specialist retail businesses as a means for spurring economic growth. They have adopted a strategy of selling curio products (local art products) and other tourist related products and services and food. Past research has provided useful evidence that it is not easy to get people to buy local from local villages while on a safari (Murphy, 2008). It is possible that the decision to buy or not to buy will be affected by previous buying experiences. The dealers are faced with the dilemma of designing differentiated shopping experiences that are structured in such a manner that will improve the shopping experience and enhance buying. Research studies has shown that shopping behaviours and tendencies are influenced by the non – home atmosphere created by travel. Tourists are interested in an experience that will give them a better deal for entertainment or other customary requirements (Machleit, 2005). For example, the ability to engage a tourist using their home dialect motivates them to buy as they are able to relate with the merchandiser and feel welcomed.
Tourists do not usually set out with specific shopping plans but they shop with impulse. Studies have shown that they get interested from the interactions with the merchandisers (Westwood, 2006). A tourist will go for product variety, uniqueness, presentation in exhibition supporting infrastructure, and proximity to their targeted areas of visit, furthermore, shop owners need to be able to study personal characteristics so as to be able to establish the best form of approach to employ on each tourist customer (Turley and Milliman, 2000). Product reliability, quality, service delivery and product value has been cited as some of the attributes that have great impact on tourist shopping and an individual’s shopping experience (Po, 2010).
To understand more about the tourists’ shopping experience, more research have been done on the consumer behavior. Consumer behavior includes certain activities, ideas, experiences or decisions that satisfy consumers’ needs and wants (Solomon, 1996) which suggest their behavior plays a significant role on how to develop tourism’s industry, especially leisure shopping while they travel. Consumer behavior is one of the most researched areas in tourism fields and marketing, which is called “tourist behavior” or “travel behavior”. In other words, it is ‘involved in all activities directly concerned about obtaining, consuming and disposing of services and products, which are including the decision processes that antedate and follow these actions’ (Engel, Blackwell, & Miniard, 1995 Engel, p. 4). Decision-making, values and motivations of the customers are the key concepts in consumer behavior that are taken into huge consideration for shopping village success.
Understanding consumer decision-making is the most principal element of marketing strategy in touri...