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Research Article, J Fashion Technol Textile Eng Vol: 5 Issue: 3

Consumer Purchase Decision- Making Process Based on the Traditional Clothing Shopping Form

Bing Xu* and Jianhui Chen

School of Fashion and Art Design, Donghua University, Shanghai, China

*Corresponding Author : Bing Xu,
Phd candidate of the School of Fashion and Art Design, Donghua University, Shanghai, West Yan’an Road 1882, Changning District, Shanghai 200051, China
Tel: +86 18302185936
E-mail: [email protected] com

Received: July 06, 2017 Accepted: July 26, 2017 Published: July 29, 2017

Citation: Xu B, Chen J (2017) Consumer Purchase Decision-Making Process Based on the Traditional Clothing Shopping Form. J Fashion Technol Textile Eng 5:3. doi: 10.4172/2329-9568.1000156

Abstract

In recent years, the traditional clothing market has been threatened by many other new shopping channels. However, few researches on fashion marketing have been found to give systematic suggestions for traditional fashion stores in order to improve their marketing strategies to compete with other strong competitors. Therefore, this paper was aimed at understanding consumer’s purchase intention in traditional clothing purchase channel, in order to put forward corresponding marketing methods for traditional fashion stores to improve their strategies. Based on five purchases decisionmaking stages of EKB model, this study employed structured questionnaires and hypothesis testing with a sample of consumers from three prosperous cities in China. As a result, this article puts forward a model with the key factors of consumer clothing purchase decision-making process. The results reflected on the link between consumer behavior and traditional clothing market, and provided guidelines for fashion store managers to improve their marketing strategies.

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Purchase decision-making process; Traditional clothing market; Fashion marketing

Introduction

Purchasing clothing in traditional shopping form is a sophisticated process, which contains various shopping motives and complex shopping experience, so it has received wide attention of scholars. With the development of science and technology, many other shopping forms have sprung up, such as phone shopping, TV shopping, as well as online shopping. The prevalence of new shopping forms has much impact on the traditional market. It was reported that traditional clothing markets are being greatly challenged [1]. In this case, how would a clothing store run its business to make itself evergreen? Facing fierce competition, many clothing stores have made different responses: a) Lost their confidence and fully closed the store; b) Totally rely their business on other shopping forms; c) Stick to original methods to run their business; d) Make some unsystematic changes on their store operation strategy to seek a path for survival [2]. In fact, clothing store has its distinctive advantages due to the specificity of clothing [3]. Firstly, comparing with other forms, shopping in an entity store offers an intuitional shopping space and environment. Consumers are easily to feel the emotional appeal in person from the specific atmosphere. Secondly, physical stores provide consumers the real products experience. From the combination of touch, sight, smell, and hearing, consumers are allowed to fully understand the products’ appearances, properties, and characteristics. Especially for clothing selecting process, which needs more multi-angle evaluation, the increase of products experience saves the energy of product selection. Thirdly, consumers obtain the real service from the shop assistants. In an entity store, service people have opportunities to understand their consumers better and provide personalized service according to different needs; besides, other extension services can be achieved [1].

Based on the literature review on current clothing store marketing strategies, it is found that the most representative views hold by researchers are as follows: 1) shopping atmosphere, including ambience (music, scent, lightning, etc.) and design, has appreciable impact on consumers’ shopping perception and shopping emotion [4-6]. 2) The difference of store design and fashion display gives rise to consumers’ different purchase behaviors [6-8]. 3) Physical store shopping motives as well as other related factors are critical factors which influence consumers buying behaviors [9-11]. Most of them are one-sided researches on either consumer’s buying behavior or clothing store’s marketing strategy, few studies investigated the interacted relationship between consumers’ purchase decision and clothing store marketing strategy. Although some views listed in the marketing strategies based on consumers physiological characteristics, those theories are lack of pertinence and internal consistency. Therefore, this research aims at building a complete framework of consumer clothing store shopping experience based on the most important component of consumers buying behavior-- the five stages of consumer purchase decision-making process, and on this basis, puts forward corresponding clothing store marketing strategies. It helps clothing stores to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and optimize the store management.

Theoretical Basis

In 1966, Nicosia Model was put forward by Nicosia [12]. The model shows the interactive relationship between the company and the consumer. Nicosia identified three stages that gradually move the consumer in process: preferences, attitudes, and motivation. In Nicosia Model the decision-making process is divided into four areas: (1) consumer attitudes which are shaped by information from the market; (2) product evaluation: consumer is looking for information about specific products and gives them value; (3) act of purchase; (4) feedback: as a result of consumption, the consumer acquires a new experience based on his new preferences (predisposition).

In 1968, Engel, Kollat, and Blackwell brought forward a fairly comprehensive consumer purchase decision-making model, Engel- Kollat-Blackwell Model (EKB Model) [13]. EKB model consists of consumers' psychological activities, information processing procedures, decision-making process, and environmental factors. It holds that under the action of outside tangible and intangible information, human brain arouses the reaction of ‘exposure, attention, comprehension, and storage’; then the information was processed and filtered according to the personal experience, evaluation standard, attitude, and personality, to shape a decision-making plan. Combining with shopping experience, consumers decide their purchasing decision. The whole evaluation process is also influenced by consumer’s income, culture, family, and social class factors. When it was finished, the decision-making process has further influence on the next purchasing behavior.

In the late 1960s, Howard together with Sheth presented Howard- Sheth Model, which divided the influence factors of consumer’s purchasing behavior into four major types, i.e., stimulation or input factors, external factors, internal factors, and reflection or output factors. The model holds that input factors arouse the motivation, which further influences the consumer’s psychological activities (internal factors). Under the action of shopping experience, consumers generate a range of reactions of buying tendency and attitude. Combined with other factors, the consumer’s buying behavior is formed, and it will have an important influence on the next purchase. Reynolds proposed S-O-R model which is ‘Stimulus-Organism- Response’ based on psychological concept in 1974. The model indicates that consumer’s buying behavior is caused by stimulus, which is from consumer’s physiological and psychological factors as well as the external environment. With the combined effect of all the stimuli, consumers are guided to make the purchasing decision and conduct purchase. In 2001, Philip Kotler gave a consumer purchase decision-making model, which claimed that culture, society, and individuality also have significant influence on the consumer. Culture, society, and individuality helps the consumer to understand products feature, brand, retailers, then decide purchase occasion, and purchase amount [14].

After overall consideration of literatures and models, EKB model is considered to be the prototype frame of this research. This research divided the consumer purchase decision-making process into five stages. These include: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase evaluation (Figure 1). Firstly, basic concepts of each stage are given.

Figure 1: Five stages of purchase decision making.

Problem recognition refers to consumers’ searching for changes on current states when they realize the dissatisfactions. The consciousnesses of dissatisfactions are aroused by new demands, which are generated due to the internal causes and external causes. For clothing store, the directly related internal causes can be consumption aim and consumption perception; external causes can be friends, family, and promotional activities [15].

Information searching can be divided into two parts: internal search and external search. Internal search means that consumers search for information from cognition of products according to their culture, purchasing experience, and old memories. External search refers to the information getting process from external environment. General external information source can be of personal source, business source, public source and experience source. In terms of clothing, advertisement and products display are controllable information source [16].

The evaluation of alternatives process refers to consumers’ evaluation of different products available from the perspectives of functional and psychological benefits. Depending on their personal conditions, preferences, behavioral characteristics, consumers will decide which product attributes are important to them. Product attributes are different from product categories, for clothing, the important attributes are product quality, availability, individuality, and cost performance [16].

Consumers’ final purchase decision depends on the results of alternative evaluation, environment factors, and the choice of stores. Within environment factors, the most important factor for clothing purchasing is physical circumstance. Physical circumstance refers to circumstance that is in the form of physical existence and can arouse consumer perception. Those related clothing stores are position, decoration, lighting, music, scent, atmosphere, etc. The factors play significant roles on consumer purchase decision making [17].

Post-purchase evaluation is the last stage of consumer shopping experience. This stage involves, examining and comparing product features such as price, quality and service. In this stage, consumers correlate their expectations to perceived value, and then look for opinions from friends or family, in order to sum up experience, which have great influence on their next purchase decision [18].

Model Building

According to the consumer purchase decision-making model putting forward by Engel et al., consumer purchase decision-making model was based on the traditional clothing shopping form is built. The model is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Consumer clothing purchase decision-making model in traditional form.

Research Hypotheses

Traditional store Purchase Motives (PM)

Shopping motive can be described as a reason that one decides to go shopping. It usually emerges after the realization of certain demands by consumers and it plays an important role in consumer’s pre-purchase shopping experience. According to Westbrook et al. [19], shopping behavior is based on three basic reasons: for products, for meeting both product and non-product-related needs or for achieving non-product-related goals.

Enjoyment: Babin et al. [20] stated that the longer time people spend in the shopping environment, the more joy they will feel. They have also claimed that a consumer, who is an enduring clothing shopper, will obtain much more enjoyment during shopping. According to Textile Consumer [21], shopping for clothing is one of the most popular pastimes worldwide. Josiam et al. [22] pointed out that although there may be similar stores in home cities, shopping malls are still treated as tourist attractions by American travelers as a part of traveling for recreation and social activities. Since instore shopping allows consumers to walk around freely and seek for products among a variety of options, it brings relaxed and casual feelings. According to Arnold et al. [23], it is easy to relieve stress, alleviate a negative mood or obtain a better mood during shopping time. In the findings of Rajamma et al. [24] research, people who prefer going shopping in entity stores have stronger feeling of enjoyment than people who choose shopping online, for either tangible products or services. Evidence also showed that consumers can obtain enjoyment from shopping for other people. Many shoppers get positive feelings when shopping for their friends and family, for example, they feel excited and joy when finding perfect gifts for friends or relatives [23]. Some consumers believe that they can gain much enjoyment when purchasing sale products and having discount on the items. Finding a discount or bargain successfully may bring them the feeling of winning a game or satisfaction as reaching their goal and fulfilling their personal achievement [19]. On the other hand, browsing shopping is thought as a source of enjoyment [25] because it gives consumers the feel of satisfaction by only looking at the products without spending money.

Socializing: In-store shopping provides a platform of interacting socially with others. It is proved by a variety of researchers that one reason that shoppers tend to shop in public settings is to seek social experiences [26,27]. According to Putnam et al. [28], most Americans prefer to make purchases in large metropolitan areas where they have more chances to encounter friends and neighbors, abandoning small town squares. In the study of shopping motive by Tauber et al. [29], ‘social needs’ were classified as one important motive for psychosocial needs consumers have, which entails social experiences, communication with others having similar interests, reference group attractions, status and authority, the pleasure of bargaining, etc. Research from Arnold et al. [23] also showed that many consumers mentioned that shopping creates the chance to socialize and bond with other shoppers. In literatures, focusing on teens’ shopping behaviors it was evident that most teens treat shopping mall as a place to hang out with friends and family or to enjoy social experience [30].

Physical activity: In Tauber’s et al. [29] study, shopping motive was classified into several categories, which mentioned in the category ‘personal’ a motive of ‘physical activity’. The motive was described as that sometimes shopping occurs when a consumer feels a need of exercising. Therefore, shopping was not considered to be just a way of getting products and services. Lehoten et al. [27] stated that shopping provides a chance to get out of house to relax away from the physical aspect, which is treated as one of the main attractions of shopping by consumers. And even for shoppers, who have little interest in purchasing products, they would rather shop around in malls freely, and their main purpose can be described as finding an opportunity to move out or to walk for exercise [25].

Risk reduction: ‘Perceived risk’ is defined as the risk of uncertainty and magnitude of the possible adverse consequences of consumer’s perceptions by Mitchell et al. [31]. Generally, there is a positive correlation between perceived risk and information search of products; the more risk consumer feels, the more efforts they will put into searching relative information [32]. Laurent et al. [33] also pointed out that consumer’s involvement of choosing products increases when the products’ price grows. While shopping, consumers tend to avoid negative consequences rather than take risks, and purchasing happens more often under the condition of consumer’s feeling less risk [34]. In-store shopping provides more opportunities for relative product information which can reduce consumer’s perceived shopping risks. In terms of tourists, Moutinho et al. [31] divided tourist perceived shopping risks into five categories which are ‘functional risk, physical risk, financial risk, social risk and psychological risk’; consumer’s shopping behaviors can be classified more specifically according to these different categories.

Immediate possession: Taking the fundamental purpose into consideration, consumer’s behaviors of looking for a purchase are mainly based on their fundamental needs or in order to meet their basic demands. Thus, obtaining products or services immediately has an immediate satisfaction and it becomes an important motive and a significant advantage for in-store shopping. According to the statements of McAlister et al. [35], one notable advantage for entity stores is that products and services are available for immediate possession. Rajamma et al. [24] described the process of shopping in physical store as that ‘once the purchase is made, the matter is settled. The consumer does not have to bother about when it will arrive, did the transaction go through, etc.’

New trend: In the variety of shopping motives developed by Tauber et al. [29], ‘learning about new trends’ is taken as an element in the category of ‘personal needs’. It is stated by Fiore et al. [36] that consumer’s perceived value of shopping experience can be indicated by the discussion of exciting new products explored during postshopping. In the study from Arnold et al. [23], ‘idea shopping’ is classified as one motive category, which refers to ‘shopping to keep up with trends and new fashions, and to see new products and innovations.’ Many consumers go to shopping in order to keep up with the latest trends, new products or available innovations.

According to these research findings, this paper puts forward hypothesis that consumers’ clothing store shopping motives are as follows: for enjoyment, for socializing, for physical activity, for risk reduction, for immediate possession, and for new trend.

Information source of clothing store shopping (IS)

Source of clothing shopping can be obtained from a variety of ways, such as magazines, newspapers, TV media, broadcasting media, directly mail advertising, and Internet, etc. Considering the particularity of outdoor clothing shopping, this research took outdoor media and point-of-purchase (POP) advertising as important source for consumers’ information search.

Outdoor media: Outdoor media, including forms such as signboards, neon lights, LED, light boxes, and traffic tools, mainly set around stations, business buildings, merchandise street, and underpasses. As they locate in advantageous locations, outdoor media are easy to attract the attention of consumers. During walking, waiting for the bus, or passing by some places in a bus, people are highly likely to be eased and relaxed, then once the arrestive outdoor advertisement appears, people are easier to catch them, understand and remember the contents of the advertisement in a short time [37,38]. With the help of high-tech materials and technology, outdoor media uses a variety of means to create rich sensory stimuli inorder to attract consumers’ attention [39]. Especially for clothing merchandise, outdoor media play dominant role on consumers.

Point-of-Purchase (POP) advertising: Point-of-purchase (POP) advertising includes store signs, window display, wall display, store shelf display, audio and video display, and product display. For clothing, the most notable POP advertising is window display [39]. Generally, window display uses product samples, models, words descriptions, lighting, colors, and settings inorder to form some particular themes or patterns, in order to get consumers’ attention, arouse their interests, and make them want to stay and explore in the store [40,41]. In some main shopping malls in Beijing China, consumers who view window advertisements account for 49% of all. Among those consumers, 61.7% were impressed by the advertisements, 81% consumers were aroused interests, and 60% consumers felt disappointed if products in window display are out of stock [42]. Therefore, window advertisements have great influence on consumers.

Evaluation criterions of clothing store shopping experience (EC)

‘In the context of consumer behavior, involvement was the degree to which consumers are engaged in different aspects of the consumption process, as it was related to products, advertisements and purchasing [43]. While Zaichkowsky et al. [44] described in-store shopping activity as an individual’s ‘perceived relevance of (an) object based on inherent needs, values, and interests.’

Physical sensations: Estlick et al. [45] pointed out that consumers were more cautious while shopping for apparel though e-commerce platform because of the lack of tactual experience. According to Jeong et al. [46], people have strong desire to try on, touch, and feel the clothing during apparel purchase. Workman and Caldwell [47] speculated that visual, as well as other sensory modifications such as taste, smell, sound, and feel are factors, contribute to consumers clothing shopping experience the most. Lindstrom et al. [24] claimed in his study that for tangible products such as clothes and shoes, although they can be chosen according to standard sizes and shapes, consumers need the experience of touching them, feeling them, as well as wearing them before making the final decision. Research from Taylor and Cosenza [48] which focuses on later aged female teens indicated that ‘fit, look and style’ are taken as three most important attributes they considered when shopping for clothing. From results provided in their work, color is also shown as an important factor to think about by later aged female teens. Rajamma et al. [24] stated that one advantage of entity store shopping is that the quality and the variety of merchandise can easily be seen by consumers through display.

Bargaining: Bargaining, which refers to asking for reduction of products price, can be considered as an important shopping involvement of consumer’s in-store shopping. According to Sherry et al. [49], consumers can obtain enjoyment when bargaining and haggling for products. She also claimed that for many consumers the enjoyable experience from bargaining is often more significant than the purchase of products. Cox et al. [25] pointed out that win of bargaining, which results in a decrease of paying price, can increase entertaining capabilities of shopping and make consumers feel excitement, pride and fulfilling. In Tauber’s et al. [29] study, the ‘pleasure of bargaining’ was classified as an element of social motive for going shopping. From psychological perspective, the phenomenon can be explained as a way of seeking success, striving to develop potential and enhancing self-esteem [50]. In some countries, bargaining is prevalent and the practice of bargaining is seen as an enjoyable experience [51].

Influence factors of purchase decision (IFPD)

Shopping environment plays a critical role in consumer’s shopping experience. It makes the influence in an intangible way which influences consumer’s shopping behaviors and their purchase decisions significantly. According to Fiore et al. [36], physical environment can be classified as ambient cues and design cues.

Ambient cues and design cues: Studies from Taylor et al. [48] showed that ambient cues contain factors such as music, lighting, scent and temperature; design cues contain elements such as architecture design, attraction of decoration, color schemes of the store, and overall design style. Some factors are influenced by several sub-factors. For example, the factors that influence music can be its style, tempo, volume, intensity, etc [36]. It also showed by Babin et al. [20] that a store’s tangible characteristics have strong influence on consumer’s level of excitement during shopping, which will directly influence their shopping expenditures and shopping value. It was stated by Bloch et al. [52] that the physical environment influenced consumers emotional states, which affected their behavioral responses. Gueguen’s et al. [53] experiment showed that pleasant ambient smells could have activated a positive mood in consumers. Wakefield et al. [44] stated that the effects of ambient factors are difficult to explain. However, according to Baker et al. [54], it was much easier for consumers to notice the unpleasant ambience rather than pleasant ambience. Therefore, in order to at least not leave an unfavorable feeling to consumers, Wakefield et al. [44] suggested keeping in-store lighting,temperature and other ambient factors in comfortable levels. Turley et al. [55] indicated that shopping atmospheric stimuli can lead to consumer’s intended reaction, and can be effectively manipulated by retailers. Nevertheless, the studies related to the influence of ambient scent on consumer behavior are only a few [56,57].

Social Cues (shop assistant): Research from Heung et al. [58] indicated that shop assistants’ service quality influences consumer’s shopping satisfaction the most in Hong Kong. From the model shown in Fiore et al. [36] work, ‘staff appearance’ is taken as one stimulus for consumer’s shopping behavior. In Yuksel’s et al. [59] research of consumer’s shopping experience, many factors related to service at shops were examined, which contained staff ability to provide customers with information (i.e., staff knowledge of products), ease of communication, and their quality of services. Some other researchers examined the influence of shop assistants from other perspectives. Cox et al. [25] took ‘like being waited on by salesperson’ and ‘like salesperson spends time helping me’ as two research factors related to attitudes of in-store service. Tauber et al. [29] once explained in his work that the reason which lead to consumers enjoying being waited or served is that they enjoy the ‘status and authority’ of being pampered by shop assistants. Tosun et al. [60] suggested that sales staff should be educated about communication skills in the context of shopping.

Products’ price: Products’ price is no doubt one main influence for consumers’ buying intention. Prior researchers have done many researches on the relationship between product price and consumers purchase decision. Lu et al. [61] indicated that before making buying decisions, consumers have a price in mind, when products’ actual price is closed to their price in mind, they show strong buying intention. Wang et al. [62] found out that consumers price in mind changes with the frequency of certain price appeared during shopping, once the showing frequency of certain price is high, consumers price in mind is closed to it.

Influence factors of post-purchase evaluation (IFPE)

Post-purchase evaluation can be taken as internal experience by consumers as their information source for the next purchase. It is an important reference for their next purchase intention.

Service quality and comprehensive experience: Many prior researchers have conducted a large number of studies about the influence of service quality on consumers buying decision [63-65]. Sampson et al. [66] have studied the relationship between service quality, consumer’s satisfaction, and buying intention in an early time. They found that service quality have a great influence on consumers satisfaction and their buying intention. Bernd pointed out that comprehensive shopping experience is the overall judgment combining consumers’ sense, feel, think, and act during shopping, which contributes important experience to consumers’ next purchase. The statement has been widely supported by many following researches. Chowdhury et al. [67] claimed that service quality is a company investment, which brings real economic returns. There is no doubt that service quality plays significant role on the long-term relationship between companies and consumers.

Research Methodology and Survey Instrument

Based on a comprehensive review of the relevant literatures [59], questionnaire was employed to this research. It was conducted through both paper copies and internet.

The questionnaire includes five sections which contain openended, multiple-choice and Likert-scale questions. The first section was aimed at knowing respondents’ descriptive characteristics. Questions in this section included gender, the age range of each consumer, and the frequency of visiting clothing stores per month. The second section was sought to understand consumers’ purchase motives of shopping in clothing stores. Six possible motives were examined, namely ‘enjoyment’, ‘socializing’, ‘physical activity’, ‘risk reduction’, ‘immediate possession’, and ‘new trend’. The third section was about the information source of clothing store shopping, which mainly focused on ‘outdoor media’ and ‘POP advertising’. The fourth section was about consumers’ evaluation criterions of shopping in clothing stores. Questions in this section explored issues related to ‘see the exact color of clothing’, ‘observe the 3D look’, ‘touch the materials or fabric’, ‘wear it or try it on’, and ‘bargaining’. The fifth section was about influence factors of purchase decision. In this section, four main elements were examined, i.e. ‘ambience’, ‘design’, ‘shop assistants’ and ‘products’ price’. The last section was about influence factors of post-purchase evaluation, which mainly contained ‘service quality’ and ‘comprehensive experience’. Answers in all sections were measured on Likert-type scales ranging from 1 to 5. A value of 1 was assigned to a response that rated strongly agree; and a value of 5 assigned to a response that rated strongly disagree.

The questionnaire structure with 5 measuring aspects and 19 measuring points is shown in Table 1.

Measuring aspect Measuring point
Clothing store purchase motives (PM) Enjoyment
  Socializing
  Physical activity
  Risk reduction
  Immediate possession
  New trend
Information source of clothing store shopping (IS) Outdoor media POP advertising
Evaluation criterions of clothing store shopping experience (EC) See the exact color Observe the 3D look
  Touch the materials or fabric
  Wear it or try it on
  Bargaining
Influence factors of purchase decision (IFPD) Ambience
  Design
  Shop assistants
  Products’ price
Influence factors of post-purchase evaluation (IFPE) Service quality
  Comprehensive experience

Table 1: Questionnaire variables.

Data Analysis

Sample analysis

1000 structured questionnaires were distributed to consumers who shop in clothing stores. A brief written explanation was given to respondents to guides on how to conduct the survey questionnaire. The survey was conducted from January 2017 to March 2017, for three months in total, from stores in ten bustling streets located in three prosperous cities in China, namely: four main streets in Shanghai, three main streets in Beijing and Nanjing. After eliminating incomplete questionnaires, 499 out of 1000 were subjected to further analysis; the overall response rate was 49.9%.

From the analysis of 499 questionnaires, sample descriptive characteristics are shown in Table 2; data of influence factors for each purchase decision stage were processed by SPSS 17.0 and results were shown in Table 3.

Variable Measurement Frequency  (n=499) Valid %
Gender Female 410 82.2
  Male 89 17.8
Age Less than 17 112 22.4
  17~25 170 34.1
  26~35 87 17.4
  36~45 71 14.2
  More than 45 59 11.9
Frequency of shopping per month Never 0 0
  One or two times 17 3.4
  Three to five times 301 60.3
  Five to ten times 113 22.7
  More than ten times 56 11.2
  Every day 12 2.4

Table 2: Descriptive statistics of research sample.

Factors SA (%) A (%) NO (%) D (%) SD (%) Standard deviation Rankinga
PM              
Enjoyment 27.1 42.9 19.6 10.4 - 0.930 1
Risk reduction 22.6 42.5 19.8 10.4 4.7 1.080 2
Socializing 15.6 41.5 32.5 5.7 4.7 0.978 3
Immediate possession 15.1 38.2 32.6 9.4 4.7 1.014 4
New trend 25.0 27.8 26.4 15.1 5.7 1.182 5
Physical activity 10.4 15.6 47.7 26.3 - 0.881 6
IS              
POP advertising 28.2 40.6 19.9 11.3 - 0.981 1
Outdoor media 15.7 40.1 33.8 5.7 4.7 0.815 2
EC              
Touch the materials or fabric 24.5 42.5 16.0 11.3 5.7 1.130 1
See the exact color 11.3 46.7 37.0 5.0 - 0.664 2
Wear it or try it on 16.0 41.5 37.8 4.7 - 0.795 3
Observe the 3D look 10.4 37.7 36.8 10.4 4.7 0.969 4
Bargaining 4.7 21.2 47.3 22.1 4.7 0.867 5
IFPD              
Products’ price 26.0 58.4 10.8 4.8 - 0.677 1
Ambience 17.5 50.0 21.7 10.8 - 0.873 2
Shop assistants 14.7 48.0 26.3 11.0 - 0.562 3
Design 4.7 57.1 33.5 4.7 - 0.653 4
IFPE              
Comprehensive experience 31.6 46.7 16.0 5.7 - 0.839 1
Service quality 22.1 40.1 27.4 5.7 4.7 0.657 2

Table 3: Statistics analysis of influence factors for each purchase decision-making stage.

Reliability analysis

To determine the reliability of measurement scales, items analysis and internal consistency were estimated. Internal consistencies of the total scores for each scale were assessed through Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients. Results are shown in Table 4.

Variable Number of items  Cronbach’s alpha
PM 6 0.764 0.857
IS 2 0.743
EC 5 0.896
IFPD 4 0.831
IFPE 2 0.735

Table 4: Discriminant reliability of items.

As indicated in Table 4, the value of each section was higher than 0.70. According to de Vaus (1996), ‘a rule of thumb alpha should be at least 0.70 before we say the scale is reliable’, therefore, there is an acceptable level of internal consistency among the variables, which means the questionnaire developed for this research was deemed reliable. Table 4 also shows the correlation matrices of each scale. As is shown, all correlation coefficients were lower than its Cronbach’s Alpha, indicating that items were highly discriminable.

Validity analysis

Content validity: Firstly, according to literatures, the answers of the questionnaire were measured on Likert-type scales ranging from 1 to 5. Secondly, before the formal version, a draft of the questionnaire was sent to professional marketing staff. Based on the feedback, the questionnaire was further enhanced by improving expressions, removing some items and adding new factors. Then a research test was implemented. Therefore, the questionnaire has good content validity.

Construct validity: Each item of the questionnaire was processed by KMO test and Bentley's sphere test. Results are shown in Table 5. It shows that the value of KMO (0.792) is over 0.5, which means the variables have low correlation. Therefore, the research has high construct validity.

KMO Test Bartlett’sTest
Chi-squared approximation df Sig.
0.792 1757.214 451 0.000

Table 5: Discriminant validity of items.

Hypothesis testing

Firstly, research results were processed by SPSS 17.0 data analysis software to calculate the frequency of each measuring aspect and each measuring point. Then, results were ordered by the frequency sum of ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ of each measuring points. ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ were considered as the most important choices for accepting the point. The rankings of the influence factors for each purchase decision stages were shown in Table 6.

  Measuring aspect   Measuring point Agree (sum) Disagree (sum)
PM Enjoyment
Risk reduction
349
325
52
75
  Socializing 285 52
  Immediate possession 266 70
  New trend 263 104
  Physical activity 130 131
IS POP advertising
Outdoor media
343
278
56
52
EC Touch the materials or fabric 334 85
  See the exact color 289 25
  Wear it or try it on 287 23
  Observe the 3D look 240 75
  Bargaining 129 134
IFPD Products’ price 421 24
  Ambience 337 54
  Shop assistants 313 55
  Design 308 23
IFPE Comprehensive experience
Service quality
391
310
28
52

Table 6: The rankings of the influence factors for each purchase decision-making stage.

Table 6 is based on the descriptive statistical method; however, it only reflected the attitudes of the 499 questionnaire respondents.In order to deduce a broad conclusion, hypothesis testing method was utilized. For each measuring point, it was assumed that each corresponding descriptive statistical result in Table 6 was its conclusion, and then set the conclusion as the test value, with 95% confidence interval. Data was processed by SPSS 17.0 to test whether the conclusion was also valid to most consumers.

Take ‘Enjoyment’ in ‘PM’ as an example, the hypothesis testing process was as follows:

According to the descriptive statistics, the frequency of ‘strongly agree’ was 135, which accounted for 27.1%, and the frequency of ‘agree’ was 214, which accounted for 42.9%. The test is to detect whether the sum proportion of ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ accounted for the majority in statistics.

H0: The proportion of NOT choosing ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ is 30.0% (=30.0%).

H1: The proportion of NOT choosing ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ is lower than 30.0% (﹤30.0%).

According to Table 7, Asymp. Sig. is 0.000, which is lower than a=0.05, therefore the null hypothesis is rejected. Test conclusion:The proportion of NOT choosing ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ is lower than 30.0%, which means the proportion of choosing ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ is higher than 70.0%. Therefore, the result that ‘the frequency of ‘strongly agree’ was 135, which accounted for 27.1%, and the frequency of ‘agree’ was 214, which accounted for 42.9%’ has statistical significance.

    Category   N   Observed Prop.   Test Prop. Asymp. Sig.
(1-tailed)
VAR00001  Group 1 0.00 150 0.30 0.30 0.000a.b.
           Group 2 1.00 349 0.70    
           Total   499 1.00    

Table 7: The binomial test of ‘enjoyment’.

All the 19 measuring points were tested by the hypothesis testing respectively, the conclusion is shown in Table 8. Results showed that ‘physical activity’ and ‘bargaining’ were removed from the important influence factors.

  Measuring aspect   Measuring point Important influence factor Statistical significance
PM Enjoyment
Risk reduction
Y
Y
Y
Y
  Socializing Y Y
  Immediate possession Y Y
  New trend Y Y
  Physical activity N Y
IS POP advertising
Outdoor media
Y
Y
Y
Y
EC Touch the materials or fabric
See the exact color
Y
Y
Y
Y
  Wear it or try it on Y Y
  Observe the 3D look Y Y
  Bargaining N Y
IFPD Products’ price
Ambience
Y
Y
Y
Y
  Shop assistants Y Y
  Design Y Y
IFPE Comprehensive experience
Service quality
Y
Y
Y
Y

Table 8: Hypothesis testing results statistical table.

Weight of each decision-making stage

After understanding the main influence factors of each decisionmaking stage, the research put forward the further study in order to understand the impact intensity of each stage on consumers’ final purchase decision. SPSS 17.0 was applied to figure out the weight of each stage and the factors under each stage. The calculation formulas were shown below:

equation

equation

equation

In the formulas, Y refers to purchase intention, Xi refers to each purchase decision-making stage, Wi is the weight of each stage, Xij is the mean value of each influence factor, and Wij is the weight of each influence factor. After calculating, the multiple linear regression equation of each purchase decision-making stage on consumer purchase intention can be expressed as:

Y=0.519+0.406X1+0.342X2+0.481X3+0.453X4+0.317X5

In the formula, dependent variable Y is purchase intention, independent variable X1 is PM, X2 is IS, X3 is EC, X4 is IFPD, and X5 is IFPE. The results showed that P﹤0.05 in all variables, which indicated that the coefficient of these variables have significant difference with 0 and these variables should appear as explanatory variables in the equation. The linear equation shows that the factors influence consumers buying intention the most are evaluation criterions of shopping experience (X3), influence factors of purchase decision (X4), and purchase motives (X1), followed by information source (X2), and influence factors of post-purchase evaluation (X5) with less significant influence.

Model Updating

After determining the main factors and the impact intensity of each stage, the original model was updated to the new consumer clothing purchase decision-making model in traditional form, with ‘evaluation criterions of shopping experience’, ‘influence factors of purchase decision’ and ‘purchase motives’ as very important influence stages (★), and ‘information source’ and ‘influence factors of post-purchase evaluation’ as important influence stages (☆). The revised model is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: The revised consumer clothing purchase decision-making model in traditional form.

Marketing Model and Managerial Implications

Marketing model

According to the consumer clothing purchase decision-making model in the traditional channel and main influence factors in each stage, this paper put forwarded the corresponding marketing strategies, and built a traditional clothing store marketing model shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: The traditional clothing store marketing model based on consumer’s purchase decision-making model.

Managerial implications

According to Figure 4, the marketing strategies for traditional clothing store are as follows: Firstly, in order to strengthen the attraction of the store and induce purchase motives, clothing managers are suggested to improve in-store shopping facilities, such as facility aesthetics, convenience, and comfort. In considering of socialization, rest areas can be added if there is enough space. Then, it is necessary for the clothing store to catch up with new trends and update the variety of in-store products for a fresh taste. Secondly, store advertisements coverage should be extended by increasing promotions as well as cooperating with more partners, to enhance the rate of attention from potential consumers. Thirdly, in order to expand the superior of the clothing store, managers should enhance consumers’ in-store shopping experience, and increase products perceived value. To be specific, clothing stores are suggested to increase clothing display, i.e. show product options as many as they can. Then provide information like fabric features, special techniques, etc. Also, making full use of fitting room mirrors to build 360 degree fitting experience gives positive influence on consumers shopping intention. The next strategy is building pleasant shopping atmosphere, offering timely service, and giving fair price. Managers should grab the opportunities to offer discounts or special price for certain reasons, such as holiday discount or anniversary special price, in order to gain attentions. At the same time, combining with the specific store style, the store manager should arrange pleasant in-store music, lightning, scent, and comfortable temperature. For example, store scent, which was easy to be memorized, need to be pleasant, novel, and harmonious with others; music including congruity, intensity, volume, style and tempo should be in a pleasant level. The store overall design need to be polished. Moreover, for improving service, regular staff training is necessary to enhance service quality and staff knowledge. Last but not least, other in-store hardware and software, such as zone arrangement, should be improved to enhance consumers’ comprehensive shopping experience.

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