Consumer Behaviour, the understanding of the buying behaviour of people composing the target market of marketers, particularly retail outlet operators, is a major task facing their business. The rather keen competition in today’s market makes it imperative for the individual retailer to seek not only to retain their patrons but also to attract new ones as much as possible, and in fact, attempt to build a loyal group of customers.
Some attributes of retail outlets do influence store choice. It is therefore possible to predict consumer’s choice of retail outlet on the basis of the knowledge of their perception of the importance of the notable evaluative criteria or the image factors. Consumers in a developing country like Nigeria are like their counterparts in the developed countries, open to the influence of store image characteristic in their retail outlet choice. However, it is apparent that some attributes of outlets are more prominent than others in influencing consumer choice of an outlet where to do shopping. Analyses have also revealed that some of the personal characteristics of customers such as education ethnic subculture, geographic subculture, and religion also have some influence on consumer choice of retail outlets. There are also indications that the choice or preference for an outlet is not independent of the nature of the product to be bought.
Although consumer’s attitude affects their perception of the importance of some retail outlet attributes, the outlet choice behaviour of the consumer does not depend on his shopping attitudes. Some stores in the Modern Retail Outlet (MRO) category were visited more often by consumers than others. Evidence suggests the existence of loyalty for particular stores among consumers. Most consumers usually buy almost all their requirements from the local market. Nonetheless, there is abundant evidence that while groceries, foodstuffs, and housewares are often bought from the local market, some durable high unit value items such as electronics and health and beauty care products are bought from the MRO. Notably, the frequency of trips to MROs is generally very low and varies across product categories. Analysis has revealed that a satisfied customer will most likely repeat patronage at an outlet that provided the satisfaction.