Shopping Tourist Satisfaction: An Application of Hedonic and Util
Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0269

+44 1300 500008

Research Article - (2017) Volume 6, Issue 5

Shopping Tourist Satisfaction: An Application of Hedonic and Utilitarian Values

Miju Choi*
Faculty of Business Administration, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
*Corresponding Author: Miju Choi, Faculty of Business Administration, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, Tel: +852-5329-4005 Email:


Shopping is a new form of tourism and has been regarded as a prime activity among tourists. However, no consensus of opinion has been reached on shopping tourism; several scholars consider shopping to be an incidental activity, whereas others believe that shopping is a crucial motivation for travel. Thus, the current study investigates the personal values of shopping tourists and their satisfaction levels. Findings showed that both hedonic and utilitarian values positively influence tourist satisfaction and positive word of mouth. Therefore, this research deepens understanding regarding tourist behavior in the context of shopping tourism research.


Keywords: Senior tourist; Pre-senior tourist; Hotel facility; Casino hotel; Macau


Shopping tourism is an emerging concept in tourism research, thus contradicting the notion that shopping is not a novel idea. Tourists have long been performing shopping activities, such as purchasing authentic handicrafts and souvenirs, to benefit from a pleasant tourism experience [1,2]. Hudman and Hawkins [3] and Kent, et al. [4] regarded shopping as one of the oldest tourist activities and stressed that a trip is incomplete without shopping. Loker and Perdue [5] then asserted that shopping is inseparable from other activities in tourist destinations and may in fact be considered a main purpose for travel. In other words, shopping is regarded as an incidental tourist activity, thereby indicating its potential as a primary travel motivation.

The number of tourists increases with the preeminent purpose of shopping; thus, the shopping expenditures of these tourists directly and indirectly become a primary income source for host countries [1,2]. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states that millions of tourists enjoy shopping trips [6]. Hong Kong, which is traditionally known as a “shopping paradise”, has exhibited its strength in shopping tourism in line with this discovery. In particular, the country demonstrates its high shopping ratios for travel expenditures. In 2013, the spending patterns of overnight visitors to this country indicated that shopping accounts for 61.2% of these expenditures, followed by hotel bills (18.7%), meals outside hotels (11.1%), tours (0.3%), entertainment (3.4%), and others (5.2%) [7]. The shopping ratio in Hong Kong during this year increased by 1.7% (59.5%) compared with that in 2012. Practitioners attempt to attract shopping tourists because of the economic and social-cultural effects of shopping tourism. For example, At out France, which is the France National Tourism Development Agency (FNTDA), has been promoting the “Shopping ByParis” campaign in 2014. The special shopping benefit of this campaign involves a 10% discount in over 270 stores. The FNTDA has also organized the “TourismeenVillie” program to promote other cities [6]. In this event, the stay of tourists within the country is expected to be extended. Thus, tourist expenditures are increased, including those ascribed to shopping.

Scholars have also demonstrated great interest in shopping as a tourist activity. In the 1990s, “shopping space operation” and “souvenir purchase intention” were the major topics they explored [8-13]. However, shopping was restricted to an incidental activity in these studies. Since 2000, various topics in this field have been investigated. These topics generally include tourist satisfaction [2,14-20], souvenir purchase intention [21-25], and motivation [1,2,26-30]. Considerable research on shopping has been conducted in the context of tourism, and different views on shopping have been introduced. Timothy [31] asserted that shopping is critical to travel motivation. This researcher defined shopping tourism as travel with the major purpose of shopping. Several scholars then applied this established concept [15,32-36]. Although numerous studies have explored shopping tourism, a research gap remains. In particular, no study has analyzed pure shopping tourists, and the attempts to investigate the internal value perceived by shopping tourists toward shopping are insufficient. Therefore, the personal value held by shopping tourists cannot be identified completely. Shopping during travel is different from that accomplished in one’s hometown [26,28]. Tourists are more likely to purchase products offered in a place with a pleasant atmosphere and evokes a sensory mood. They procure goods because of the utilitarian value aspect [21,25]. Based on these conditions, the personal value of shopping tourists should be investigated exhaustively.

Personal value is the continuous belief that the state of final existence is better than that of others at a particular point in time or given a particular behavioral pattern [37]. Values are generally formed through the complex interactions of certain factors (e.g., social movement, economic factor, and war) and are developed when people are influenced by external factors while being raised in a particular society (e.g., family, religion, and school) [38]. These values are also directly related to the behaviors of individuals and reflect the internal state of intermediary between stimulation and response as a social cognition, thus influencing such responses. In other words, values help consumers generate other values by providing a goal that activates certain behaviors. Such values are integrated into motivation as a collection of standards that direct the thoughts and behaviors of individuals. Numerous studies have examined the personal values of shopping tourists; however, they have not been comprehensively analyzed, especially the personal values held toward shopping (i.e., hedonic and utilitarian values) in the context of shopping tourism. Moreover, the established linkage between personal values toward shopping and satisfaction/positive word-of-mouth (WOM) is inadequate. Therefore, the current study attempts to fill this research gap.

This research investigates the personal values of shopping tourists and their satisfaction levels. Its specific objectives are as follows: (1) to detect pure shopping tourists by applying the rigorous definition of this concept, (2) to identify the hedonic and utilitarian values held by shopping tourists, (3) to evaluate tourist satisfaction, (4) to assess the positive WOM from tourists, (5) to examine the relationships between personal shopping values (i.e., hedonic and utilitarian values) and tourist shopping behavior (i.e., tourist satisfaction and positive WOM), (6) to investigate the mediating role of tourist satisfaction in the suggested relationships, and (7) to determine which of these personal values (i.e., hedonic and utilitarian values) satisfy and facilitate WOM by shopping tourists more effectively. By widening the scope of research on shopping tourism and by applying a solid definition of shopping tourism/tourist to an empirical study, this research contributes academically and provides practical implications. In particular, the findings of this research can enable practitioners to customize the needs of shopping tourists. Moreover, they are ultimately expected to maximize tourist satisfaction.

Literature Review

Shopping tourism

Shopping is a new form of tourism and has been regarded as a prime activity among tourists. However, no consensus of opinion has been reached on shopping tourism. Several scholars consider to be shopping an incidental activity, whereas others believe that it is a crucial motivation for travel. Accordingly, shopping tourism has not been defined comprehensively until 2005, during which Timothy [31] interpreted shopping tourism as travel with the primary purpose of shopping. This definition was adopted by several scholars [32-36] to support the importance of shopping. Based on previous research, UNWTO [6] defines shopping tourism as “a contemporary form of tourism fostered by individuals for whom purchasing goods outside of their usual environment is a determining factor in their decision to travel”. This rationale implies that scholars and practitioners consider shopping to have been converted into a determinant factor that influences destination choice.

Recent research on shopping tourism is introduced below. Given that shopping tourism belongs to an initial stage of travel, relatively substantial qualitative studies have been conducted. Rabbiosi [34] explored the concept of shopping tourism in his study, in which a shopping destination is described as a consumption site for tourism. Furthermore, the role of the operators of package tours is emphasized. Michalko and Varadi [29] investigated shopping tourism between two neighboring countries, namely, Croatia and Hungary. They indicated that shopping tourism is conceptualized for political and geographical reasons. Moreover, the domestic economy of Croatia is negatively affected by the unstable political situation in the country. In sum, the aforementioned studies posit that shopping is a primary motive for travel. However, most of them explore the origin of shopping tourism through qualitative research. In this event, an empirical research that applies the solid concept of shopping tourism must be conducted. Therefore, the current study attempts to fill this research gap by investigating the personal value held by shopping tourists and their satisfaction levels.

Personal values

The term “values” has been studied in various fields, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and economics. Scholars in different areas have independently conducted studies on the values of humans [39]. Rokeach [40], an American researcher who researched values early on, defined values as abstract thoughts that show the ultimate ideal pattern of an individual or a personal belief in a behavioral pattern. They can also denote an ideal state unbound by a particular object or situation, whether positive or negative. Furthermore, they are extensive beliefs that influence action or judgment by going beyond a particular object or situation. In addition, Rokeach [37] defined values as the continuous belief that the state of final existence is better than that of others at a particular point in time or given a particular behavioral pattern. The value system continually systematizes a belief regarding the preferred state of final existence or behavior pattern according to the continuity of related importance. In a value system, a certain value is prioritized over others; as a result, some authors use the terms value priority and value alternatively. Values are often measured through polar scales because they represent the preferences regarding the state of an existence that surpasses others, and value is referred to as faith in a very particular characteristic. It is dissimilar to attitude, which is an organism that consists of several beliefs surrounding an object or a context.

The opinions on the importance of values vary, but some are similar. One of these opinions is the guiding standard of activity, and another is the standard of general reform used to resolve conflict and to make decisions. In addition, the motivational function of highlighting the basic desire of humans should be considered [41]. Values are generally formed through the complex interactions of various factors such as social movement, economic factors, and war in a broad sense, but they are also developed through growing up with societal components such as family, religion, and school [38]. In addition, values are directly related to the behavior of individuals, reflect the internal state of the intermediary between stimulation and response as a social cognition, and influence such responses. In other words, values help consumers establish particular values by providing an active behavioral goal. Such value is integrated into motivation as a collection of standards that influence the thoughts and behavior of individuals, and this motivation functions based on the classification of values by Rokeach [37]. This classification is detailed below. First, value is an ego-defensive function. Values are clean and courteous behavioral patterns, but they defend the ego in an extreme state of survival, such as the safety of family, of country, and of oneself. The idea that values protect certain individuals from inner anxiety or external threat is based on the psychology of Freud [42]. Second, value is the function of self-actualization. Having certain values enables consumers to systematically organize large amounts of information to help them meet their desires as they achieve self-actualization. This function is similar to the independent, competent, and continuous behavioral pattern exhibited in the ultimate state of survival, such as wisdom and sense of accomplishment. Third, value is a control or adjustive function. It controls the adjustment of individuals in terms of the ultimate state of survival, such as material comfort. It also performs the function of behavioral patterns, including controlling and respecting oneself and taking responsibility. Values are a variable that can be used to realize the marketing concept of satisfying consumer desires. Accordingly, values that highlight the basic desire of individuals satisfy these wants through self-defense, self-actualization, adjustment, or adaptation. Based on this concept, values are standards of personal behavioral patterns and are subjective and internal values held toward the selection process [37].

As mentioned previously, values are either continuous beliefs of behavioral patterns or are the ultimate patterns of individuals [40]. Accordingly, shopping value is the continuous belief held by an individual toward shopping behavior. The shopping experience is valued based on the successful accomplishment of the intended goal and through the fun and pleasure experienced. In other words, shopping also provides hedonic value through the natural response initiated during the consumption experience in addition to facilitating their purchases of desired products [43]. Although values in shopping experience can be developed by accomplishing a planned goal, such as a product purchase, they can also be formed by emotional aspects such as pleasure or funded shopping activity.

Shopping value

Shopping value belongs to a particular value because it corresponds to the values held by consumers during shopping excursions. Many researchers and philosophers in various fields have continuously attempted to define shopping value accurately [44]. Based on these studies, the concept of shopping value includes various aspects; several researchers asserted that it can change depending on the study situation [45]. Fischer and Arnold [46] and Sherry, McGrath, and Levy [47] stated that consumers shop like they work, and they enjoy the experience of shopping itself. This finding highlights the dark and the playful aspects of shopping, and these contrasting aspects are attributed to the fact that the overall assessments of consumers regarding their shopping experiences are very diverse. Accordingly, all of the overall values related to shopping experience cannot be considered if only the visual benefit obtained by receiving a product or service is factored in. To understand the differences between the shopping values that consumers eventually hold and their corresponding behaviors, the utilitarian value of pursuing an instrumental result should be examined along with the hedonic value of pursuing an experiential result [48].

Batra and Antola [49] identified two dimensions, namely, hedonic and utilitarian, and developed a measurement scale that can classify consumer attitudes. The conceptual basis of their studies is the experiential consumption reported by Hirschman and Holbrook [50], who asserted that consumption, is a process of experience that represents the subjective state through various symbolic meanings, hedonic responses, and esthetic variables, instead of a logical process of information processing. They also presented hedonic consumption, which is a new concept that opposes the traditional perspective of consumption. Consumers generally develop both hedonic and utilitarian values during shopping instead of holding only one of the two. Although accomplishing the essential shopping purpose of purchase may be more important than the hedonic aspect for some consumers, the emotional pleasure experienced through shopping may be more significant for other consumers.

Hedonic and utilitarian values

Hedonic value refers to the level of perception held that shopping is emotionally useful based on the various positive emotions felt while shopping [50]. Hedonic shopping value is the level of emotional benefit perceived by consumers through shopping in addition to the accomplishment of the essential purpose of purchase. Accordingly, this value is more subjective than utilitarian value. It reflects the pleasure of shopping or its emotional usefulness. In addition, the shopping experience can provide hedonic value by allowing consumers to enjoy the benefit of a product without purchasing it [51]. In conclusion, consumers pursue hedonic value through shopping experiences, which is denoted by experiencing fun and pleasure rather than acquiring products. Meanwhile, utilitarian value refers to the level at which shopping is considered the “work” of obtaining a product because it is related to a certain sense of obligation felt in the process. According to Yuksel [52], utilitarian value is formed by obtaining goods or services to satisfy desire in its actual state. It depends on the level at which the consumption desire that promotes shopping experience is met. In other words, the desire satisfied through utilitarian utility is generated by the product itself. Utilitarian value can be also obtained by acquiring information or knowledge for future purchases.

Review of related studies on hedonic and utilitarian values

Table 1 shows the review of related studies on hedonic and utilitarian values in the hospitality and tourism industry. Ha and Jang [53] conducted a study with Americans who visited Korean restaurants in the US and compared the perceived values toward the restaurant, satisfaction, and behavior intention based on these values. The results showed that utilitarian values such as the uniqueness of the food, the convenience of reservation, service variety, accessibility, restaurant environment, and the freshness of food materials significantly affect customer satisfaction and revisit intention. This finding was also confirmed by a study conducted with Korean participants at casual fast food restaurants in Korea. Ryu, et al. [54] reported that utilitarian value (i.e., convenience, accessibility, and reasonable price) significantly affected customer satisfaction and intention to revisit, compared with staff service, friendliness, and taste of food. In addition, Park [55] analyzed the differences in the relative effects of restaurant uniqueness and functional image on restaurant preference through the moderating effect of hedonic and utilitarian shopping motivations. The results revealed that restaurant uniqueness had meaningful effects on the restaurant preference of consumers with a strong hedonic shopping motivation; however, functional restaurant image did not have meaningful effects on consumer preference. Instead, the study indicated that preference increased through functional restaurant images (i.e., affordability, facility convenience, and accessibility) when hedonic shopping motivation was weak. Consumers with a strong hedonic shopping motivation were more strongly influenced by uniqueness. In the case of a group with a strong utilitarian shopping motivation, both functional image and uniqueness had meaningful effects on restaurant preference. When utilitarian purchase motivation was strong, the restaurant preference of consumers was influenced not only by menu assortment and affordable prices, but also by a sophisticated and appealing store atmosphere and polite workers. In the group with a low utilitarian shopping motivation, although restaurant uniqueness had meaningful effects on preference, functional images (i.e., distinctive menu assortment and convenience of access) had no effect on the intention to revisit the restaurant. Accordingly, restaurant uniqueness is important in enhancing the restaurant preference of consumers, whether their hedonic or utilitarian shopping motivation is strong (Table 1).

Author (Year) Target Site Related topics
Kim and Littrell (1999) [56] Female tourist US Souvenir purchase intentions
Fall (2000) [75] Resident US Information sources
Babin and Kim (2001) [22] Student US Satisfaction
Christiansen and Snepenger (2002) [73] Tourist US Motivation
Beldona, et al. (2004) [71] Resident US Perceived Internet value
Park (2004) [55] Resident Korea Restaurant-buying behavior
Yu and Littrell (2005) [83] Tourist US Intention to purchase
Bowie and Chang (2005) [72] Tourist UK Satisfaction
Duman and Mattila (2005) [74] Tourist US Perceived value
Gursoy, et al. (2006) [77] Tourist US Perceived value
Yuksel (2007) [52] Tourist Turkey Approach behavior
Bruwer and Alant (2009) Tourist Africa Consumer behavior
Ryu et al. (2010) [54] Graduate student US Customer satisfaction, Behavioral intentions
Ha and Jang (2010) [53] Resident US Satisfaction, Behavioral intentions
Hyun, et al. (2011) [78] Resident Korea Perceived value, Behavioral intentions
Grappi and Montanari (2011) [76] Tourist Italy Social identification, Re-patronizing behavior
Lee, et al. (2011) [81] Tourist Korea Festival evaluation
Khare (2011) [79] Tourist India Mall attributes
Doong et al. (2012) [57] Tourist Taiwan Determinant of in-flight duty-free shopping

Source: Based on the literature review, reorganized by author.

Table 1: Overview of tourism-related studies on hedonic and utilitarian values.

Kim and Littrell [56] examined the souvenir purchase behavior of women tourists based on existing studies stating that women tourists comprise the majority of those who purchase souvenirs during travel. Kim and Littrell classified women tourists as middle-aged women and younger women to comparatively examine their differences in souvenir purchase behaviors. Their results indicated that younger women purchase souvenirs mostly for themselves and their children, shop with their children at shopping malls, and make unplanned souvenir purchases. In other words, the hedonic shopping motivation of enjoying shopping and finding pleasure was strong. Conversely, middle-aged women purchase souvenirs mostly for personal satisfaction, and they shop with their friends or husband as they prefer a special store or store for seasonal tourists. In addition, they make planned purchases for high-quality products. According to the preceding result, middle-aged women tourists focus more on utilitarian shopping value.

Finally, Doong, et al. [57] investigated the determining factors of in-flight duty-free products by classifying them into hedonic and utilitarian motivations. Their results revealed an interesting fact. Through hedonic motivation, in-flight passengers end up having an intention to browse in-flight duty-free product catalogs. This finding was also the case with utilitarian motivation. However, actual inflight product purchase intention was influenced only by utilitarian motivation because many opportunities emerge for exposing duty-free product catalogs to passengers who seek entertainment in the limited in-flight space. Despite this observation, product purchase intention was significantly influenced more strongly by utilitarian value (i.e., price and quality) than by hedonic value.

According to the existing studies, hedonic and utilitarian perspectives demonstrated different results on satisfaction and revisit intention according to their object and situation. In general, utilitarian value has more significant influences on purchase intention and customer satisfaction, from selecting restaurants and purchasing souvenirs to buying in-flight duty-free products. In addition, the hedonic value that represents the pleasure of shopping still cannot be overlooked. Further studies are required on the two motivations that induce different results on shopping. Based on the empirical research and the theoretical background, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H1: The hedonic value derived from shopping tourism positively influences tourist satisfaction.

H2: The utilitarian value derived from shopping tourism positively influences tourist satisfaction.

H3: The hedonic value derived from shopping tourism positively influences WOM.

H4: The utilitarian value derived from shopping tourism positively influences WOM.

H5: Tourist satisfaction positively influences WOM.

H6: The hedonic value derived from shopping tourism strongly influences tourist satisfaction as opposed to utilitarian value.

H7: The hedonic value derived from shopping tourism strongly influences WOM compared with the utilitarian value.


As shown in Table 2, the questionnaire was designed with relevant constructs that were primarily based on scales adopted from previous research. Specifically, the scales for the hedonic and utilitarian values were drawn from the work of Babin, et al. [43] and Griffin, et al. [58]. To measure satisfaction and WOM, five scales were adopted from the research of Maxham and Netemeyer [59]. All of the measurement items were revised in the context of shopping tourism and were then thoroughly reviewed by professors who majored in hospitality and tourism management. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each item through a seven-point Likert-type scale (i.e., with scores ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 7=strongly agree). For example, one measure of hedonic value was “This shopping trip has truly been a joy.” A utilitarian value was “I accomplished just what I wanted to on this shopping trip.” Tourist satisfaction was determined on the basis of two measurement items; for example, “I am satisfied with this shopping trip.” Finally, respondents were invited to respond to four statements for WOM assessment; for instance, “I recommend this shopping trip to others.” Demographic information and travel activities were obtained at the end of the questionnaire (Table 2).

Hedonic value(Sources: Babin et al., [43]; Griffin et al., [58])
• This shopping trip has truly been a joy.
• I continued to shop, not because I had to, but because I wanted to.
• Compared with other things I could have done, the time spent shopping was truly enjoyable.
• I enjoyed this shopping trip for its own sake and not just for the items that I may have purchased.
• During the trip, I felt the excitement of the hunt.
• While shopping, I felt a sense of adventure.
• This shopping trip was not a very nice time-out.
Utilitarian value(Sources: Babin et al., [43]; Griffin et al., [58])
• I accomplished just what I wanted to on this shopping trip.
• I could not buy what I really needed.
• While shopping, I found just the item(s) I was looking for.
• I was disappointed because I had to go to another store(s) to complete my shopping.
Satisfaction(Maxham and Netemeyer [59])
• I am satisfied with this shopping trip.
• Overall, I am not satisfied with this shopping trip.
WOM(Maxham and Netemeyer [59])
• I’m likely to say good things about this shopping trip.
• I would recommend this shopping trip to my friends.
• I recommend this shopping trip to others.

Table 2: Measurement items.

The target samples were shopping tourists. According to UNWTO [6] shopping tourism is defined as “a contemporary form of tourism fostered by individuals for whom purchasing goods outside of their usual environment is a determining factor in their decision to travel.” Accordingly, this research defines a shopping tourist as a tourist whose main purpose is shopping. To identify pure shopping tourists, a rigorous screening question was asked (Figure 1). Specifically, respondents were invited to answer the dichotomous question, “Do you travel to Hong Kong with the major purpose of shopping?” Only respondents who answered “Yes” were invited to continue with the survey. A total of 230 usable samples were successfully collected from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through convenience sampling in April 2014 (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Screening question.

The software packages SPSS Statistics 20.0 and AMOS 20.0 were used for statistical analysis. A two-step procedure (i.e., confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM)) was adopted for data analysis according to Anderson and Gerbing [60]. CFA validated whether all of the measurement variables reliably reflected the suggested latent variables. Then, SEM evaluated the suggested structural relationship among hedonic value, utilitarian value, satisfaction, and WOM. In addition, the mediating role of tourist satisfaction in the linkage between the hedonic and/or utilitarian value and WOM was tested in a structural model.


Sample profile

Table 3 shows the demographic profile of the respondents. In terms of gender, 59.6% of the respondents were female. The ages of the respondents were primarily distributed across the age groups of 26 to 35 years (21.3%) and 36 to 45 years (38.3%). In terms of geographical residence, 47.4% of the respondents were American. With regard to educational attainment, 43.9% of the respondents had completed an undergraduate degree (Table 3).

Categories N %
Female 137 59.6
Male 93 40.4
Age (years)    
25 or below 17 7.4
26 to 35 49 21.3
36 to 45 88 38.3
46 to 55 38 16.5
56 to 65 29 12.6
66 or above 9 3.9
Educational background    
Completed high school 91 39.6
Completed an undergraduate degree 101 43.9
Completed a postgraduate degree or above 38 16.5
Geographical residence    
Asia 24 10.4
America 109 47.4
Oceania 37 16.0
Europe 52 22.6
Africa 8 3.5
Less than US$ 4,000 21 9.1
US$ 4,001 to 8,000 25 10.9
US$ 8,001 to 12,000 64 27.8
US$ 12,001 to 16,000 70 30.5
US$ 16,001 or above 50 21.7

Table 3: Profiles of respondents (N=230).

Measurement model

Prior to SEM, CFA was conducted to ensure the validity and reliability of the studied dimensions. As indicated in Table 4, the obtained model fit met the rigorous statistical criteria {[χ2 (84)]=228.293, p<0.000, χ2/ df=2.718; Tucker–Lewis index (TLI)=0.956; comparative fit index (CFI)=0.965; standardized root mean square residual (SRMR)=0.065; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)=0.080}. This fit indicates that the measurement model is statistically acceptable [61]. In addition, all of the standardized loadings for the constructs in the model were greater than 0.70 and were statistically significant (p<0.001). Accordingly, these loadings considerably exceeded the minimum criterion of 0.40 [61]. Table 5 shows the results of the validity test. First, each construct exhibited an acceptable composite construct reliability (hedonic value: 0.949, utilitarian value: 0.971, WOM: 0.945, satisfaction: 0.863) [62]. Second, convergent validity was ensured because the average variance extracted (AVE) of all of the endogenous variables either met or exceeded the minimum criterion of 0.5 (hedonic value: 0.759, utilitarian value: 0.892, WOM: 0.851, satisfaction: 0.760), as suggested by Hair et al. [61]. Third, discriminant validity was tested using the AVE method, as suggested by Fornell and Larcker [63]. The AVE values of all of the constructs were greater than the corresponding squared standardized correlation; hence, this validity was ensured to some extent (Tables 4 and 5).

  Coeff. SMC CR AVE
Hedonic Value (HV)   0.949 0.759
HV1 HV 0.964 0.930    
HV2 HV 0.968 0.938    
HV6 HV 0.859 0.739    
HV3 HV 0.855 0.732    
HV4 HV 0.772 0.595    
HV5 HV 0.788 0.620    
Utilitarian Value (UV)   0.971 0.892
UV2 &la`rr; UV 0.969 0.939    
UV1 UV 0.964 0.930    
UV4 UV 0.964 0.929    
UV3 UV 0.878 0.771    
Word of Mouth (WOM)   0.945 0.851
WOM1 WOM 0.965 0.930    
WOM2 WOM 0.921 0.848    
WOM3 WOM 0.879 0.773    
Satisfaction (SAT)   0.863 0.760
SAT1 SAT 0.881 0.775    
SAT2 SAT 0.862 0.744    

Notes: Coeff.represents the standardized coefficient. SMC represents the squared multiple correlations. CR represents construct reliability. AVE represents the average variance extracted.
Absolute fit measures: χ2 (84)=228.293, p<0.000, χ2/df=2.718, TLI=0.956, CFI=0.965, SRMR=0.065, RMSEA=0.080.

Table 4: Confirmatory factor analysis results for the measurement model.

WOM 0.922 (0.850)       0.945 0.851
HV 0.553 0.871 (0.758)     0.949 0.759
UV 0.642 0.638 0.945 (0.893)   0.971 0.892
SAT 0.477 0.615 0.548 0.872 (0.760) 0.863 0.760

Notes: HV: Hedonic Value; UV: Utilitarian Value; SAT: Tourist Satisfaction; WOM: Word of Mouth.

Table 5: Results of the validity test.

Figure 2 and Table 6 show the results of the structural model and the structural parameter estimates, respectively. Overall, the fit indices indicated an acceptable model fit {[(χ2 (84)]=228.293, p<0.000, χ2/ df=2.718; TLI=0.956; CFI=0.965; SRMR=0.065; RMSEA=0.080}. The degree of variance attributed to the hedonic and utilitarian values for tourist satisfaction was 0.419, and the variance-explained WOM estimate by three antecedents (i.e., hedonic value, utilitarian value, and tourist satisfaction) was 0.453. H1 proposes that hedonic value positively affects tourist satisfaction in shopping tourism. Given that the path coefficient from hedonic value to tourist satisfaction is statistically significant (β=0.447, t=5.703, p<0.01), H1 is supported. The relationship between utilitarian value and tourist satisfaction was also positively significant (β=0.263, t=3.426, p<0.01). Thus, H2 is supported. These results suggest that both hedonic and utilitarian values are predictors of tourist satisfaction. The effect of hedonic value on tourist satisfaction was greater than that of utilitarian value (hedonic value: β=0.447, t=5.703 vs. utilitarian value: β=0.263, t=3.426). Therefore, H6 is supported.


Figure 2: Results of the structural model.

Hypothesized path Coefficient t-value Results
H1. Hedonic value → tourist satisfaction 0.447 5.703** Supported
H2. Utilitarian value → tourist satisfaction 0.263 3.426** Supported
H3. Hedonic value → WOM 0.196 2.546* Supported
H4. Utilitarian value → WOM 0.459 6.408** Supported
H5. Tourist satisfaction → WOM 0.105 1.383 Not Supported

Notes: *p<0.05; **p<0.01.

Table 6: Structural parameter estimates.

In addition, hedonic and utilitarian values significantly and positively affected WOM. The linkages between hedonic value and WOM (β=0.196, t=2.546, p<0.05), and between utilitarian value and positive WOM (β=0.459, t=6.408, p<0.01) were both statistically significant. Therefore, H3 and H4 are supported. However, the effect of hedonic value on WOM (β=0.196, t=2.546, p<0.05) is not greater than that of the utilitarian value (β=0.459, t=6.408, p<0.01). Therefore, H7 is not supported. Finally, tourist satisfaction was not predicted to be positively associated with WOM (β=0.105, t=1.383, p>0.05). This prediction implies that tourist satisfaction does not always induce positive WOM in shopping tourism. Therefore, H5 is not supported.

Indirect effects

The Sobel test was employed to evaluate the mediating effect of tourist satisfaction on the relationship between independent variables (i.e., hedonic and utilitarian values) and a dependent variable (WOM). The results indicate that hedonic and utilitarian values and WOM are significantly mediated by tourist satisfaction (coefficient(HV-SATWOM)= 0.196; coefficient(UV-SAT-WOM)=0.459) at the alpha levels of 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, the direct relationships between hedonic value and WOM (β=0.243, t=3.530, p<0.01) and between utilitarian value and WOM (β=0.487, t=7.034, p<0.01) were statistically significant. Accordingly, these findings suggest that tourist satisfaction plays a mediating role in the suggested structural model. However, the mediating effect is weak given the reduced coefficient value.

Discussion and Conclusion

Summary of the study

This study attempts to evaluate the relationships among hedonic and utilitarian values, tourist satisfaction, and WOM in shopping tourism. In sum, the suggested structural model is statistically significant. The degree of variance ascribed to the hedonic and utilitarian values for tourist satisfaction was 0.419, and the variance-explained WOM estimate by three antecedents (i.e., hedonic value, utilitarian value, and tourist satisfaction) was 0.453. These results imply the applicability of the proposed model in tourism industries, particularly in shopping tourism.


The research findings contribute academically and present practical implications. First, this study broadens shopping tourism research. Previously, tourist shopping was considered an incidental activity during travel [33,64-66]. With the increase in the number of tourists whose major purpose was shopping, shopping and other travel expenses (e.g., accommodation, transportation, and other touristrelated expenses) incurred by tourists contribute to the economy of the host country [20,67,68]. Accordingly, scholars and practitioners have shown interest in shopping tourists. Despite the abundant studies on tourist shopping behavior, none of them specifically investigated the travel behavior of shopping tourists. On the basis of the definition of shopping tourism provided by UNWTO [6], the current research developed a screening question to detect pure shopping tourists. Given that shopping tourism is a relatively new form of tourism, the consideration of a rigorous definition of shopping tourism/tourist is recommended for empirical study.

Second, an in-depth investigation of shopping tourists was conducted by applying human values (i.e., hedonic and utilitarian values). Values represent the continuous belief that the state of final existence is better than that of others at a particular point in time or with respect to the behavior of a particular pattern [37]. They are directly related to the behaviors of individuals. Moreover, values reflect the internal state of intermediary between stimulation and response as a social cognition and then influence the response [37,40]. Hedonic and utilitarian values are types of human values held toward consumption [43]. Accordingly, these values were commonly applied to explain the motivation and shopping behavior of consumers. As presented in Table 1, numerous studies apply such values to the hospitality and tourism industry. However, no attempt has been made to investigate the behavior of shopping tourists using these values. The shopping behavior of tourists is dissimilar to their shopping behavior in their hometowns. The tendency of consumers to go shopping is highly motivated by utilitarian reasons [43], whereas the shopping activities of tourists are motivated by various atmospheres and internal values [33,66]. Some tourists participate in such activities (e.g., purchasing authentic souvenirs) to obtain pleasant tourism experiences. Others aim to fulfill their needs and necessities [65]. The current research targeted tourists who traveled to Hong Kong with the major purpose of shopping. It investigated the hedonic values of shopping tourists (i.e., behaviors and attitudes that emphasize the emotional aspect of interest and consumption, as well as sensory stimulation such as pleasure, entertainment, and fantasy) and the utilitarian values of tourists (i.e., behaviors and attitudes that emphasize the efficiency of time and cost in the way of life).

Third, the findings reveal that hedonic value is more significant in tourist satisfaction than utilitarian value. That is, the hedonic value obtained through a shopping experience in this context reflects not only the visual result generated by purchasing products, but also the hedonic responses. These responses refer to the level of perception that shopping is valuable based on various positive emotions. The findings are inconsistent with those of previous research conducted in the hospitality and tourism industry. For instance, the results obtained by Ryu et al. [54] identified utilitarian value as a stronger indicator of consumer satisfaction than hedonic value in the restaurant sector. The findings of Ha and Jang [53] support this result; they postulated that utilitarian value is a stronger indicator of consumer satisfaction than hedonic value in Korean restaurants in the United States. Nonetheless, the hedonic and utilitarian values perceived by tourists can vary in different situations (e.g., time pressure, purpose of the trip). Moreover, these previous studies evaluated this relationship only in the restaurant sector. Given the current research findings, marketing activities in the shopping tourism context should focus on facilitating enjoyable shopping experiences (e.g., pleasant shopping environment, sensory shopping event, and pop-up sales).

Fourth, the research findings also indicated that utilitarian value significantly affects WOM more significantly than hedonic value does. Thus, the aspect of utilitarian value should not be ignored. In fact, the results reflect this aspect. Babin et al. [43] stated that different from hedonic value, utilitarian value is determined by obtaining goods or services to satisfy desire in its actual state. Utilitarian value is dependent on the level at which the consumption desire that promotes shopping experience is met. Accordingly, shopping tourists are likely to possess the intention to share the experience through WOM, thus highlighting the aspect of utilitarian value.

Fifth, tourist satisfaction played a mediating role between the hedonic and utilitarian values and WOM. The mediating effect was inadequate but was statistically significant. Therefore, this finding suggests that destination marketing organizations and practitioners should aim to enhance tourist satisfaction. The development of various means of maximizing the satisfaction levels of shopping tourists (e.g., providing user-friendly shopping facilities, various products, and convenient payment methods) may ultimately influence the hedonic and utilitarian values perceived by tourists as they form intentions to spread experiences through WOM.

Suggestions for future research

This study is limited in that convenience sampling may hamper its generalizability. This method has generally been employed for onsite data collection in empirical studies [69,70]. However, convenience sampling does not represent the entire population; thus, researchers should pay special attention to interpreting the results. Furthermore, this study is limited in its explanation of all shopping behaviors because tourists may react differently to various types of shopping items (i.e., luxurious or non-luxurious products) and shopping venues (i.e., department stores, shopping centers, or duty-free shops). Future research may opt to differentiate tourist groups to deepen the understanding on the complex nature of tourist shopping behavior [71-83].


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Citation: Choi M (2017) Shopping Tourist Satisfaction: An Application of Hedonic and Utilitarian Values. J Tourism Hospit 6: 308.

Copyright: © 2017 Choi M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.