Q. Would you liken shopping to chocolate, in that both are a ‘High`?

    Dr. Parikh: This varies from person to person; the basic fact is based on the interest and choices of an individual. Acquiring something you want gives satisfaction and pleasure.

    Q. What is this ‘aspiration` thing that most brands claim to sell these days?

    Dr. Parikh: One of the main features about any brand is its ability to generate value for itself, which, in the consumer`s mind, lends an added meaning to the core product, and that is what makes more people want to own it.

    Q. How are men different from women at the shopping game?

    Dr. Parikh: Frankly, not much! It is a myth that women and men have contrasting behaviours when it comes to shopping. I feel that we cannot generalize this on the basis of gender; it is almost stereotypical to say that men and women differ in shopping styles. Basically, it`s the individual`s choice that decides what and how that individual will shop.

    Q. Of the core experience elements in retail — touch, smell, sound, visual — which is the most powerful?

    Dr. Parikh: All these are interrelated. The combined impact and meaning given to a product is what creates its perceived value.  

    Q. Does a higher price always signify quality for a consumer?

    Dr. Parikh: Not really. Quality does, though price for sure gives a status value.

    Q. Malls are notorious for high traffic but low conversions. Why do you think that happens? Do malls fail to convert experience into an actual sale?

    Dr. Parikh: Its not that they fail to convert, but there would always be the window shoppers, who would outnumber the actual buyers, and this happens everywhere, from street shops to malls. It is just that when you see a crowd in a mall and then compare it to the actual turnover; the comparison makes one doubt its efficacy. I feel malls are here to stay in the long run, evolving into places where people would seek comfort while shopping, and find entertainment, eating, and shopping under one convenient roof.