An empirical study in major tesco stores
Pressures in the contemporary marketing environment are getting bigger and companies and marketers are required to know consumers and their purchase and information behaviour. In this article we studied the behaviour of consumers and the factors of purchase and information behaviour of young consumers when choosing clothes. We found out about the meaning of individual clothing characteristics having impact on the purchase decision making (price, trademark, fitting of clothing, design, quality, etc. ).
Consumers receive and look for information at different sources (radio commercials, TV commercials and shows, fashion magazines, catalogue sales, social networks, friends and acquaintances, etc. ). With the empiric research we wanted to find out to what measure individual sources influence the purchase decision of an individual. We studied young people aged from 15 to 24 in the countries of the EU (Slovenia, Austria and Germany) and the United States of America. We especially focused on characteristic differences. Knowing intercultural differences is important for global companies of the clothing industry for forming their marketing strategies. On the sample of 440 young people who took part in the survey we found out that intercultural differences exist regarding the influence of individual information sources and regarding the factors of purchase decision making. Considering the stated we propose companies operating in global markets on both continents to prepare differentiated marketing strategies.
An empirical study in major tesco stores Essay Example
Key words: consumer behaviour, clothing, marketing strategies, intercultural differences 1 Introduction Consumer purchase behaviour can be defined as behaviour that is demonstrated by consumers when looking for, assessing, purchasing, using and abandoning products and services for which it is expected that they will satisfy the consumer‘s wishes and needs in the process of change (Solomon et al. , 2010). Young people usually adopt new technologies and the newest trends first; they pay remarkable attention to image and besides that they have a relatively high purchasing power (Werbner, 2005). For the clothing industry young people capable of paying are interesting. Young people are to a larger extent independent and self-dependent when making purchase decisions for products which they need (Kroeber-Riel et al. , 2009). Research in the world shows that young people are financially well supported, spend irrationally, buy their identity and friendship and they take risks (Solomon, 2011). Besides the specific structure of consumption young people also have specific demands and opinions towards individual products and trademarks. The basic function of clothing is to protect the body and to have look aesthetic. But clothing is becoming more and more important for todays youth. Clothing also enables identification.
Young people nowadays play a central role in fashion as they are in the period of searching for their own identity which is expressed and created through fashion and clothing. They can also be obsessed with their appearance and needs. In the article we want to answer two basic research questions: what is the importance for young people aged between 15 and 24 from defined EU countries (Slovenia, Austria and Germany) and the USA regarding factors of purchase and information behaviour when purchasing clothing and what is the opinion of the researched population towards fashion clothing.
On the basis of the gained results we want to find intercultural differences in the purchase and information behaviour as well as their opinions towards fashion clothing. Culture is reflected as an important factor of purchase decision making. Intercultural differences in the purchase behaviour of consumers on different continents were discovered in more research (Kwan, 2006). Received: 7th November 2011; revised: 12th. December 2011; accepted 30th December 2011 14 Organizacija, Volume 45 Research papers Among the stated countries we compared purchase behaviour to find out if it comes down to intercultural differences.
To enter the foreign markets in Austria, Germany and the USA and for the optimum functioning of marketing activities in individual foreign markets it is necessary to know the specificities of their consumers. The results of the quantitative research will be useful for multinational corporations that want to conquer the stated markets. Slovenia was chosen for research as the domestic country. Austria and Germany are important commercial partners for Slovenian companies. Germany with a population of approximately 81 million people also presents the biggest market in the EU.
There are more than 9 million young people in the researched age (World Population Prospect, 2011). The market of the USA is interesting for the clothing industry because of its absorption capacity. The USA are the most important trading partner of the EU, the third biggest importer of clothing industry products from the EU and therefore interesting for treating the differences between both continents. According to the data of the UN (World Population Prospects, 2011) there are more than 43 million young people aged between 15 and 24 in the USA and they represent an important market segment (Solomonnd Rabolt, 2009). In this article we are finding similarities and differences respectively in the purchase decision making of young consumers. The gained results will be useful for companies especially from the point of differentiation of the marketing functioning on individual markets. We decided to choose the stated countries and continents as there has been no comparison of purchase behaviour of young people choosing clothes among the countries yet. The findings will be an important contribution not only from the scientific point of view but also from a practical one.
Factors of purchase and information behaviour Studying factors of purchase and information behaviour is important for the clothing industry from the marketing point of view. Knowing the consumers‘ marketing needs and understanding their buyers is therefore significant for everybody involved in the production process (Shulz, 2008). Information gained by researching consumers can be used in four areas: marketing mix, segmentation, positioning and differentiation as well as environment analysis and marketing research. Knowing the specific purchase and information behaviour of consumers influences the forming of the marketing mix in companies of the clothing industry. If they want to manufacture commercially successful clothing, experts (designers, marketers and others) have to predict the consumers‘ taste as well as to understand its target market and to adjust to it in the elements of the marketing mix. 2. 1 Clothes characteristics and opinions towards fashion clothes Knowing the factors of purchase decision-making is important in the process of forming marketing strategies and the market- Number 1, January-February 2012 ing mix for young people‘s clothes.
Numerous authors worked on the factors of purchase decision-making. The consumer‘s perception of the meaning of different factors of purchase decision-making was measured by numerous researchers in the past (Cassill and Drake, 1987; Zhang et al. , 2002), who found 20 characteristics important for the purchase decisionmaking (colour, comfort, durability, care, label, fitting, style, gender accordance, breathable, trademark, country of origin, price, shop‘s image, the possibility of usage on different occasions, etc. ). They used the Likert scale for measuring whereby one meant very unimportant and five very important.
Eckman and others (1990) summed up the factors that influence consumers when choosing clothing from their 21 studies and divided them into 35 extrinsic (price, trademark, country of origin, shop‘s image, wardrobe accordance, politeness of salespeople, guarantee…) and 52 intrinsic (product composition: style, colour, cut, factory, look, fibre content; product look: care, fitting, durability, comfort, safety, colour; quality: structure, physical, producer; gender accordance). In their research study Forney and others (1999) studied thoroughly the meaning of assessment measures for the acceptation of the purchase decision.
They found that 21 factors influence the purchase of clothing: colour, design, trademark, price, comfort, fashionableness, durability, quality, cloth fitting, seller obligingness, maintenance simplicity, country of origin, etc. In the research (Kavcic, 2005) Slovenian consumers attributed the biggest meaning to cloth fitting, comfort, design, etc. A lower value is attributed to the fashionableness of clothing. Adult consumers in the USA give the biggest meaning to cloth fitting, price, cut and colour when making decisions regarding clothing purchase (Lifestyle Monitor, 2009a).
Many researchers found that prices are the most important factor when purchasing clothing (Iwanow et al. , 2005; Joergens, 2006; Fadiga et al. , 2005; North et al. , 2003; in Hyllegard et al. , 2009). Taylor and Cosenza (2002) in their study found that for older girls the most important criteria for choosing clothes are fitting, look, cut, price and colour. Young people have different opinions towards fashionable clothes. Some believe that fashionable clothes are of bad quality, made from poor material, not functional and uncomfortable, even bad for health because of the cuts and the material.
Successful marketers must be aware of the fact that for young consumers, quality is of essential meaning (Solomon et al. , 2009). They also have different opinions towards the prices of fashionable clothes. Some are convinced that the clothing industry (producers) in development and production does not take the wishes of young consumers into consideration. By knowing purchase habits of the young population, producers (clothing industry) design, develop, produce and sell fashionable clothes for young people and form marketing strategies that wake the interest of consumers for a definite sort of product (Kotler, 2004).
2.2 Information sources In the decision making process information and consumer information behaviour play an important role. From the mass of information consumers are faced with daily we should choose important information or signals which would enable 15 Organizacija, Volume 45 Research papers us to make a purchase decision. The meaning of correct, accurate and timely informing has become decisive in all areas of public and private life. Only the informed has the opportunity of sensible decision making and acting (Devetak, 2007). Consumer information behaviour usually starts with the consumers‘ wish for information and includes a whole