Entertainment events in shopping malls – profiling passive versus active participation behaviors

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Sit, Jason ; Birch, Dawn (2014)

This paper presents an empirical framework for operationalizing passive versus active participation in the context of shopping mall entertainment events (e.g. school holiday events and fashion shows) and assesses the framework’s utility for segmenting and profiling shopping mall entertainment audiences. Exploratory factor analysis of data collected at shopping mall events revealed two distinct dimensions, “relax and be entertained” and “socialize and explore” reflecting passive and active participation respectively. Based on nine activities operationalizing passive versus active participation, two distinct audience segments reporting different levels of immediate and future shopping behaviors were identified. The “Engage Me” segment (active-dominant audience) was more likely to stay longer at the mall, purchase food and non-food items, share the event experience with others, and attend similar entertainment events in the future than the “Entertain Me” segment (passive-dominant audience). The activities operationalizing passive versus active participation were tested with 280 participants at two family-oriented shopping mall entertainment events. This paper extends the knowledge in the retail event marketing literature whereby it confirms passive versus active participation levels at retailing events, and verifies that passive and active participation levels can be measured and differentiated operationally. The findings provide insights on the utility of shopper participation level as a meaningful segmentation variable, pertinent to both the marketing and management of shopper experiences within a retailing entertainment event. Managerial implications and limitations of this paper are discussed.
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