Consumer behavior can be defined with reference to consumers’ choices, their reactions, and created purchasing trends. This factor influences the development of retailer behavior to promote a certain product (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline, 2014).
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In this context, Apple stores and Microsoft stores are examples of settings with reference to which it is possible to examine consumer behavior analytics and retailer behavior analytics in order to understand reasons for these stores’ success or failure. Although strategies followed by Apple and Microsoft regarding the design and development of their stores seem to be similar, there are significant differences in the achieved outcomes.
The purpose of this research is to conduct a market study in order to examine dissimilarities in Apple stores’ and Microsoft stores’ consumer behavior and retailer behavior analytics with the focus on determining the connection between consumer and retailer behavior. Although many researchers were focused on studying the phenomenon of marketing in Apple stores and Microsoft stores during a recent period of time, there are still gaps in the literature on the topic of consumer and retailer behavior.
The areas of research and goals set for this study include identifying differences between Apple stores and Microsoft stores in terms of customer behavior analytics; identifying differences between Apple stores and Microsoft stores in terms of retailer behavior analytics; determining dissimilarities regarding behavioral analytics and retailer attributes; determining predictor variables related to customer behavior and retailer behavior analytics.
A quantitative research design is appropriate for this study to conduct a survey in Apple stores and Microsoft stores located in different regions of the United States. A series of correlations, t-tests, and PLS-SEM modeling will provide the reliable data and findings to conclude about differences in Apple’s and Microsoft’s consumer behavior and retailer behavior analytics.
In 2001, the opening of two Apple retail stores in Virginia and California was a result of Steve Jobs’s rethinking of his shop-in-shop concept for promoting Apple products. Furthermore, it was the period when the company was in conflict with US popular retailing chains, including CompUSA. A new retailing strategy was developed by Ron Johnson, who was famous for his work for Target, and Mickey Drexler, who had worked for The Gap (Martellaro, 2016).
The focus was on proposing an exceptional experience to customers depending on their preferences. The space in Apple stores was perfectly arranged according to the principles of a task-oriented design. Products were presented on large tables and platforms, and consumers could touch and test them. Furthermore, consumers were proposed to use free consultation and repair services from the Genius Bar. New retail stores reflected Apple’s strategy and vision, and their success was unexpectedly high. Currently, there are more than 450 stores in 20 countries all over the globe.
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The first Microsoft retail stores were opened in Arizona and California in 2009. Microsoft leaders were interested in influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions and improving their experience while following Apple’s example (Rosenblum, 2014).
Thus, the selected marketing strategy also resembled Apple’s approaches. The design of the first stores was developed in cooperation with Lippincott to include large video walls, and stores presented consumers PCTV, Windows 7, Xbox, and Windows Mobile on tables arranged in space following Apple’s patterns (Fried, 2016). Furthermore, the Answers Desk as a special service to guarantee the personalized experience was also proposed in these stores similarly to Apple’s Genius Bar. Today, more than one hundred Microsoft stores operate in four countries.
Fried, I. (2016). Microsoft tried to clone the Apple Store. It still hasn’t worked. Web.
Kardes, F., Cronley, M., & Cline, T. (2014). Consumer behavior (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Martellaro, J. (2016). The real reason Apple retail stores flourish. Web.
Rosenblum, P. (2014). Microsoft’s retail stores may hold the key to its future success. Forbes. Web.