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Title: An investigation on the factors affecting young Chinese consumers' decision-making behaviour towards casual wear purchase
Authors: Kwan, Chui-yan
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Holding nearly one-fifth of the world's population, the consumer market in China offers huge potential that cannot be neglected by international apparel marketers. However, there is a dearth of research on specific clothing buying decision-making patterns and the underlying factors influencing the purchasing behaviour of Chinese consumers. Basically, consumer decision-making behaviour concerns how consumers make judgments when choosing between product or service alternatives. In the study of consumer decision-making behaviour by Sproles and Kendall (1986), particular consumer decision-making styles were postulated to consistently dominate a consumer's approach when making shopping and purchasing choices. Furthermore, based on an extensive literature review, seven key constructs were identified as potential underlying factors influencing clothing consumers' decision-making styles: clothing choice criteria, personal values, lifestyle characteristics, self-concept, fashion involvement, social factors and cultural factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the specific decision-making styles governing young Chinese consumers' buying decisions of casual wear and to empirically examine the relationships between consumer decision-making styles and their potential underlying factors. A two-stage questionnaire survey was conducted with university students in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. The study focused on these particular sample groups because of the importance of domestic consumption, as well as relative group homogeneity. Data from the survey were statistically analysed by t-test, analysis of variance, factor analysis, multiple regression, cluster analysis and multivariate analysis of variance. Several important findings were identified. First, of the eight consumer decision-making styles proposed by Sproles and Kendall (1986), only seven styles including brand consciousness, recreational and hedonistic consciousness, perfectionism consciousness, confused by overchoice, habitual and brand loyal orientation, price and value consciousness and novelty and fashion consciousness held valid for young clothing consumers in China. In addition, the relative importance of individual styles was found to be different in the five cities. Significant influence of demographic characteristics, such as gender, number of siblings and birth order on several consumer decision-making styles was also identified. Second, four out of the seven factors - clothing choice criteria, lifestyle characteristics, fashion involvement and influence from socialisation agents - were found to be the major underlying factors in the different consumer decision-making styles. Among these four, lifestyle characteristics were considered the most important, while influence from socialisation agents was regarded as the least important. Third, by clustering the seven identified decision-making styles, five meaningful segments with a divergent combination of decision-making styles were found among young Chinese consumers. These segments are labeled as active brand buyers (24.3%), rational and confused by overchoice buyers (23.3%), value buyers (20.4%), trendy and hedonistic buyers (16.3%) and low concerned buyers (15.7%). Active brand buyers are recreational, unadventurous and brand-conscious consumers who prefer to buy reputable branded clothes and care about quality more than price. Rational and confused by overchoice buyers are perfectionistic, well-organised and information-overloaded consumers who intend to search for the best quality clothes at reasonably low prices. Value buyers are economical, fashionable and habitual consumers who consider price and value more important than brand. Trendy and hedonistic buyers are active fashion-chasing consumers who enjoy shopping, while low concerned buyers are apathetic consumers who show little interest in shopping for clothes. The findings from this study give valuable insights for academic practitioners and clothing marketers into young Chinese consumers' decision-making practices in terms of casual wear purchases. In addition, they also provide a basis for academic practitioners for investigating consumer decision-making styles in a more comprehensive manner.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Young consumers -- China -- Hong Kong -- Attitudes.
Sport clothes -- Marketing.
Pages: xvi, 373 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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