- Volume 9 Issue 3
One of the new roles of modern retail stores is to supply consumers with a memorable experience. In Korea, enhancing a store's environment so that customers remember a unique shopping experience is recognized as a sound strategy for strengthening the store's competitiveness. Motivated by this incentive, awareness of the experience-store concept is starting to increase in various categories of the retail industry. However, many experience stores, except in a few cases, have yet to derive a significant profit, explaining why Korean consumers are somewhat unfamiliar with, yet fascinated by, the experience stores that now exist in the country. Consumer satisfaction directly, and indirectly, affects a company's future profit and potential financial gain; customer satisfaction also affects loyalty. Therefore, knowing the significant factors that increase satisfaction and loyalty is essential for any company, in any field, to be able to effectively differentiate itself from the competition. Intrigued by increased competition opportunities, most Korean companies have adopted experience-store marketing strategies. When establishing the most effective processes for increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage of a new concept, companies should consider certain factors that influence consumers' ability to accept new concepts and ideas. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is a theory that models how people accept new concepts. TAM proposes the following two factors that influence a person's decisions about how, and when, he or she will use a new product: "perceived usefulness" and "perceived ease of use." Much of the existing research has suggested that a person's character also affects the process for accepting new ideas. Such personal character attributes as individual preferences, self-confidence, and a person's values, traits, and/or skills affect the process for willingly consenting to try something new. It will be meaningful to establish how the TAM theory's components, as well as personal character, affect individuals accepting the experience-store concept. To that end, as it pertains to an experience store, the first goal of the study is to examine the influence of innovative factors (perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) on satisfaction and loyalty. The second objective is to define the moderate effect of consumers' personal characteristics on the model. The proposed model was tested on 149 respondents who were engaged in leisure sports activities and bought sports outdoor garments and equipment. According to the study's findings, the satisfaction and loyalty of an experience store can be explained by perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, with the study's results demonstrating the stronger of the two factors being "perceived ease of use." The study failed to explain the effects of a person's character on the model. In conclusion, when the companies that operate the experience stores execute their marketing and promotion strategies, they should stress the stores' "ease of use" product components. Additionally, it can be extrapolated from the study data that since the experience-store idea is still relatively unfamiliar to Korean consumers, most customers are not yet able to evaluate, nor take a position regarding, their respective attitudes toward experience stores.