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Customer Experience @ Shopping Malls: Influencing Customer Motives and Needs

ET Cases, 5 pages
AUTHOR(S) : kumar Gambhiraopet and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Customer Experience @ Shopping Malls: Influencing Customer Motives and Needs


Expected Learning Outcomes

• Have an overview and develop a sense of appreciation for the importance of customer experience
• Be aware of the intense competition between shopping malls/retail outlets and e-tailers and the steps taken and to be taken by the malls to thwart competition from e-tailers
• Develop the linkages between the basic discussion points of this case flyer and consumer motives & consumer needs



I. Shopping Malls & Customer Experience

1) From any of your recent visits to a shopping mall can you describe your shopping experience?

2) Did you visit the shopping mall (as stated above) with a specific need in mind or was it more to either explore or entertain yourself or had to accompany your family/friends and relatives?

3) What according to you are the three most important things you dislike in shopping mall?

4) Have the dislikes (as stated above) influenced your frequenting of shopping mall? If yes, why? If no, why not?

5) ........................

II. Shopping Malls vs E-Tailers

1) What do you think are the critical success factors for a successful mall? Which mall according to you has been the most successful based on the critical success factor that you stated?

2) What would be the impact of reduced customer traffic at the shopping malls?

3) .......................

III. Shopping Malls and Consumer Motives & Consumer Needs

1) What do you mean by consumer motives? What is the difference between rational motives and emotional motives?

2) Do you think very well-designed and delivered customer experiences would augment better customer engagement by appealing to their emotive motives?

3) How do malls help in arousal motives (physiological arousal, emotional arousal and cognitive arousal) of consumer motives?

4) .............


Exhibit I: Factors Influencing the Mall Visit

Teaching Note Preview

Customer Experience @ Shopping Malls: Influencing Customer Motives and Needs



This case flyer enables an interesting debate on the concept of customer experience and the difference between customer experience and customer service. Industry insiders opine that, shopping malls play an instrumental role in influencing and probably shaping consumers’ motives and needs by engaging them and delivering unique customer experience. However, due to surge in the internet and mobile telephony, online retail had gained momentum and started denting the conventional retailing, by grabbing a larger share of the consumer’s wallet. Worst hit by the online sales boom, malls are pulling out all stops to acquire the customers and retain them by crafting and offering exciting customer experience programs and in the due course want to transform themselves from preferred malls to destination malls. Do these techniques cater to the dynamic consumer motives and needs? Do they sync with the new age customer? Are these strategies sustainable in the long run?

Before the Classroom Discussion/Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding (PCUs)

This case flyer presupposes a conceptual understanding of the following concepts/information that would enable an effective discussion leading to more practical solutions than a mere intellectual exercise:

  • a. Consumer Motivation
  • b. Concept of Customer Experience
  • c. Difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience


Positioning of this Case Flyer

This case flyer can be used in the following courses/modules:

a) Consumer Behavior course in MBA/Executive MBA program to discuss the following concepts:

  • i. Consumer Motives – To examine how shopping malls and customer experience at shopping malls influence customer’s motives
  • ii. Consumer needs (primary and acquired) including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – To discuss on whether shopping malls influence acquired needs and which part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is satisfied through shopping malls


b) Mall Management Module in Retailing course to discuss the following issues:

  • i. The competition between shopping malls and e-tailers
  • ii. Customer experience at shopping malls


Case Flyer Analysis and Classroom Discussion

The discussion on the Case Flyer was conducted under three broad related topics [Exhibit (TN)-I]. The classroom analysis of the Case Flyer was carried out by discussing each of the questions of the case flyer. However, for each of the three sections, the discussion hovered around an ‘anchor point of discussion’..............

Case Flyer Analysis

I. Shopping Malls and Customer Experience

The session was initiated with a question posed to the participants/students about what is customer experience. How is customer experience different from customer service?

• The customer experience ranged from: ................

• Customer experience can be viewed as the successful outcome of a customer journey which makes the customer feel happy, satisfied and justified by their decision to visit a specific shopping mall and purchase a product or service.

• The students were asked to share their shopping experience with any of the recently visited mall in the city and asked them to figure out under which category of customers do they fall in – Specific customers, Explorers and Affiliators. 60% of the class categorized themselves as explorers.

• Further, they were asked to jot down the factors that they dislike and influence their shopping experience at the malls’. Most of them listed facilities like parking, security, civic amenities, etc., as the most annoying factors at the malls’. Exhibit (TN)-II illustrates the preferences of the students .................


Exhibit (TN)-I: Discussion Dashboard

Exhibit (TN)-II: Factors Influencing the Mall Visit

Exhibit (TN)-III: The Customer Journey in a Shopping Mall – Key Touch Points

Exhibit (TN)-IV: The 7As approach

Exhibit (TN)-V: Magic Malls

Exhibit (TN)-VI: Online Retailer’s Price Strategy

Exhibit (TN)-VII: Mall Space Development (million sq. ft.)

Exhibit (TN)-VIII: Malls – Experiential Marketing Techniques

Exhibit (TN)-IX: Malls Role in the Arousal of Consumer Motives

Exhibit (TN)-X: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Malls Positioning

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Product code: CB-4-0001, CB-4-0001A


This case flyer is based on an article1 from The Economic Times and enables a discussion on whether and how shopping malls influence consumer motives and needs. While e-commerce growth (as demonstrated by a number of firms and y-o-y growth figures of Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong, etc.) indicates the macro trends of consumer buying preferences, shopping malls woke up to considerably reduced number of shoppers. Having made huge investments, shopping malls are pulling out every stop to rechristen customer experience to engage with the discerning and demanding Indian consumers. Having been exposed to lucrative and compelling online offers and exotic customer experience, offline (at shopping malls) consumers are fed with several extrinsic motive to oscillate on their preferences, who would have the last laugh?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To examine whether and how shopping malls influence consumer motives and needs
  • To discuss and debate on how the straddling consumers'(straddling between online and offline) extrinsic motives get influenced and shaped by malls and online stores
  • To have an overview of the business architecture of shopping malls and the imminent threat of burgeoning e-commerce activity

1 Rasul Bailay and Shambhavi Anand, "Malls Lay Out a New Experience", Article.aspx?eid=31816&articlexml=Malls-Lay-Out-a-New-Experience-17102014006005, October 17th 2014

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- Abstract
- Case Flyer
- Analysis

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