The influence of Internet Marketing on consumer buying behavior in UK fashion stores
Internet marketing is also known as as digital marketing and involves the use of the internet to sell goods, services, adverts or even communication. The hypothesis seeks to answer how these internet marketing strategies influence the behavior of the consumer, i. e. , buying and usage of the commodities or services that are offered. Internet marketing may affect the consumers in different ways. Project aim 8 2. Objectives 8 2. Desired outcomes 9 2. Research Questions 9 3. Introduction 9 4. Disadvantages of Internet Endorsements 20 4. Privacy and data mining on the internet 22 4. Consumer behavior and internet marketing 23 4. Social media and fashion 25 4. Relationship between Internet Marketing and UK Fashion stores 31 4. References 46 Appendices: Questionnaire 49 Table of Figures Figure 1: Internet users in the UK 30 Figure 2: Graph Gender statistics of online shoppers 33 Figure 3: Gadgets used to access the internet.
35 Figure 4: Social Media Penetration in UK (Source; Statista, 2017) 36 Tables Table 1: UK Statistics in the Apparel Industry 32 Table 2: Reasons for Shopping Online 38 1. Project plan The research project aimed at accessing the influence of internet marketing on consumer shopping behaviour in UK fashion stores. The study objectives of this project revolved around the research question which were formulated and used as a guide throughout the project. This study utilized a descriptive research design to ensure that the views or opinions of the participants were viewed as accurately as possible. To investigate whether the use of internet marketing has any influence on consumer buying/shopping behaviour. Desired outcomes The main aim and desired outcome of this study is to showcase the influence of internet marketing has on consumers shopping habits.
This would be possible when the participants in this study all display changes in their shopping behaviours after exposure to internet marketing. Research Questions The aim of the study is to determine: i. What are the trends of consumer use of internet marketing in the UK fashion stores? ii. The messages are packaged in such a way that the users will feel that products and services are amazing and unique. The media is generally highly saturated with information about different products and services (Sunderaraj & Loheswari, 2015). The internet exerts a lot of influence and power over the society today. Due to this, the medium has also changed the way marketing is done, introducing the concept of e-commerce and e-marketing (Meng, 2010). The changes in brought by the social mediums such as social media sites, has also changed, in a big way, the way people communicate, interact and in the process changing the way people conduct business.
In Taiwan, 45% of adverts use celebrities (Ahmed & Ghouri, 2016). However, there is a great gap with these previous research studies especially on the exact influence of internet marketing on the psychological, social, and personal aspects of the buyers which determine how they make decisions to buy products and services. This research will seek to establish answers to these gaps. Literature Review Online marketing encompasses all aspects of internet advertising as a way of generating a response from the targeted customers. The use of Internet nowadays encompasses all dimensions of life which has drawn interest to understanding the impact of Internet advertising. It has also brought immense changes to the field of marketing and advertising, due to an increased audience reach. Over the last decade, there have been developments of mobile devices which can access the internet on the go (Strang, 2018; Trucano, 2018).
As such people can communicate wherever they are. There is also a great difference in the way people use the internet, whereby previously it was hard for people to engage in the internet. Advancements in the internet technology has made it possible for people to update internet pages, interact with each other, and offer feedback at a faster pace than it was before. Social networks have the advantage space and time, where people can get to know more about a product, a person or an entity without actually leaving the comfort of their homes or offices (Sullins, 2016). It is also fast, which Ahmed & Sarwar (2018) attribute to building trust a lot faster than when people get acquainted to something slower as it has been the case before the invention of social media.
Essentially, a social networking site creates a platform where people can meet, exchange ideas, information, share pictures, videos and basically get to know what is happening across the world through newsfeeds (Berthon et al. It is however important for marketers to understand that different social networks appeal to different demographics (Smith & Anderson, 2018). As such, care must be exercised when reaching out to people with the intention of marketing products to them. It will affect the business negatively, since people tend to trust what others say more than what the organisation says (Singh, 2015). This ability to create content, offer feedback in real-time places the business at a precarious position the moment it slips. E-marketing is however one of the crucial factors in any business or organisation (Linh & Tung, 2008; Oyza & Edwin, 2015).
It is almost unheard of to hear of a company that operates without having an online presence. The web pages have to be well-designed, provide adequate and detailed information, because they play a critical role in influencing customer decisions on whether or not to use the business (Lodhi & Shoaib, 2017). At the same time, online stores provide free advertising and give consumers the flexibility to shop at any location or time. This business model has become common in the past years and is an excellent example of how internet marketing influences consumer shopping behaviour and at the same time showcase aspects of internet marketing that makes it much more effective compared to traditional marketing models (Ahmed & Sarwar, 2018; De Vries, Gensler & Leeflang, 2012). The main reasons that brands or companies engage in advertising is to provide their products or services with more exposure.
Exposure in this case makes the product or service relatively well-known to the market which then improves its perforce in terms of increased sales volume (Chen, Yeh, & Lo, 2017). Advertisers always seek to utilize platforms that can provide them with maximum exposure hence better results for the process. It includes sales promotions, advertising and direct public relations. These methods are specifically used to increase brand awareness in the market, trigger a need among potential customers and lastly offer to fulfill that need. The most critical elements of the marketing include; product, place, price, and promotion (Lodhi & Shoaib, 2017). Businesses invest heavily in the promotion of the product, which is the placement of the product in front of the customer. Factors that determine effectiveness of internet advertisements Internet users go through plenty of content as they browse.
The most common among them is the use of banners. Advertisers or businesses seeking to advertise rent space in the most visited websites. These banners often contain web links to the advertiser’s page, where a potential customer can visit and acquaint himself further with the products he wants to purchase (Stephen, 2016). Ahmed & Sarwar (2018) argue that care must be taken in choosing the size of the image banner, as large files tend to take longer when loading. This can make the internet user impatient, and may resort to move to other sites and in the process not see the banner (Muñoz-Leiva, Hernández-Méndez & Gómez-Carmona, 2018; Lewandowska (Tomaszewska) & Jankowski, 2017). These were widely used previously. However, this form of advertisement was deemed annoying by users.
Nowadays, anti-pop up browsers have been developed that stop pop ups from showing as one browses. Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Endorsements Advertising is a type of marketing that involves the process of communicating to customers about the services, products and brands of a company. The internet is a global communication platform that offers unique services to user especially in the advertising front (Knoll & Matthes, 2016). That is, the internet and more specifically social media provides companies with a way to communicate with consumers in real time hence better customer relation and service. With adverts in the internet, marketers can get feedback through the comments made by the clients. Number of view as well shows the number of interested clients (Ahmed & Sarwar, 2018).
Disadvantages of Internet Endorsements One major challenge in viewing adverts online is that most of people are unfamiliar and they will only look at the website they were initially visiting and ignore any ad popping up or displaying on the same page (Strauss, 2016). Most of people do delete any new web popping regardless of how useful the page is to them. It is estimated that in some websites, hosting an advertisement may even cost over $100 per month (Ahmed & Sarwar, 2018). This increased cost challenges most of advertises from posting their ads for viewers. One common way of online endorsement is the use of celebrities (Ashley & Tuten, 2015). Although this method is in some instances effective, it may also be disadvantageous to the company in different ways.
For instance, consider a case where the celebrity is associated with negative publicity. This is different with television and magazine advertising where images cannot either be copied or replicates. This then means that online marketing despite its advantages can expose the company to cases of copyright infringement (Ahmed & Sarwar, 2018). Privacy and data mining on the internet One of the most sensitive issues that have come up recently concerning the internet is privacy. In order to target the right market for the products, companies have been collecting data and analyzing them to narrow down on specific demographics. Recently, Facebook has come under fire for selling data and in the process breaching privacy of thousands of people (Ashley & Tuten, 2015). Once a consumer establishes a need, he or she gathers information and develops alternative solutions.
From the alternative solutions, they made make a decision to buy a product and follow it up to establish if the decision was the best, which forms the basis of future purchases (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). According to Karimova (2014), consumer behavior is determined by both internal and external stimuli. They posit that the stimuli include social factors, cultural factors as well as personal factors. Personal factors include perceptions, motivations, and memory which all determine how consumers respond to marketing stimuli and eventual purchase or rejection of a product (Karimova, 2014). It involves making a decision on whether the product will be able to meet the need that was triggered by the stimuli. Through evaluation, the buyer is looking for attributes that best satisfy the need.
The attributes are what marketers search for when targeting potential consumers (Karimova, 2014). They differ from one demographic group to another, hence it critical to find out what attributes a certain group of people is looking. The fourth level of consumer buying process involves the actual process determining if a product is fit for use, based on the need. The internet, earlier stated, is dynamic and ubiquitous. The levels of consumer buying process are determined by the feedback of the consumers who have used the product before. As such, when one is searching for information on a product that he or she has decided may meet his or her needs, reviews on the product will come in handy when making that decision.
One single negative comment may be enough to discourage a buyer from buying a product. Social media and fashion The growth of the internet was one of the technological aspects that a business would not simply afford to ignore. This creates a daily fashion style for the LA people, determined by social media through influential celebrities (Mohr, 2013). The internet has opened up space for people to share their fashion tips and ideas mainly through blogs. Blogs are personal websites where people maintain regular updates and commentary on the subjects that are of interest to them (Mihaela, 2015). These blogs offer a platform for people to challenge the critics in the fashion industry, due to the strong individual points of views, which are personal, and sometimes elitist (Mohr, 2013).
Mohr argues that it also offers readers an opportunity to voice their opinions and challenge popular opinions as well as critics. These luxury fashion players each have adopted a style that minimizes comparability between each other, by developing completely unique styles that are identifiable with them (Ahmed & Ghouri, 2016). Social media marketing is not a sure-footed form of product promotion. Not all the people who are targeted by advertisements are interested in the products. Conversion may be immediate or instant, but it does not imply that everyone who receives the information is interested in the products. Individuals fall into different segments, which are used by marketers to reach them. It is based on the premise that one person can influence a large group of people, and can be used along with social media networks, as well as blogs and websites to get the best of the innovation that is the internet.
Marketers must understand the audience demographic needs in order to select the one which can be influenced by a certain prominent person. Most of the influencers being used to endorse products include celebrities in the form of actors, singers, and sports personalities (Erdoğmuş & Cicek, 2012). Influencers can also include bloggers who have curved a niche for themselves in the area brands target. One of the challenge facing marketers is creating a marketing strategy and come up with actions based on their needs. As such it helps when it comes to segmentation of the groups since people are easily influenced by the community in which they belong. The selection of an influencer seems to be the best choices if he or she reflects the ideals of a particular segment of them group (Lodhi, S.
, & Shoaib, 2017). The third factor is known as commitment and consistency. Sivasankaran (2017) posits that it means making a consumer change their behavior, through adoption of new habits such as allegiance to a new product, and maintaining the behavior, which in this is to keep using the product for a long period of time. It is easier for an expert to be trusted, and on occasions that he or she is endorsing a product, it registers to people’s minds that he or she has enough knowledge that can be trusted (Chen, Yeh, & Lo, 2017). As a result, consumers will take their words as the truth and use it when faced with choices between products. Experts can also change people’s buying habits. Once the experts have triggered people into believing the product is the best, the next stage is to make them think that the product is rare, of superior quality.
Consumers may then rush to have this rare product in their hands before other get it. The industry has gained popularity in both local and international markets following the quality of products made by the companies within the industry. The fashion industry is also popular since it is dynamic and changes with the tastes and preferences of the consumers, meaning it will never die away as it also provides products regarded as basic needs to mankind. The growth of fashion industry in the United Kingdom has resulted to a lot of competition among the firms that participate in production and sales of the fashion products and services. This has also led to increase in the utilization of Internet marketing as a means of reaching out to majority of the consumers.
The fashion industry use of Internet marketing has grown tremendously over the recent past, from 2012 and doubling up its consumption by 2017 from staggering 21% to 42% (Statista, 2017). After advertising their products, the fashion stores open up platforms in which buyers can order their preferred products and await delivery. The sales activities ease the movements of consumers to and from the stores as delivery services are also conducted (Jenyo & Soyoye, 2015). The trend of conducting delivery services has promoted internet purchases of products since consumer desire more comfortable shopping experiences. The competition to build up more online platforms for Internet marketing and sales activities has led to the massive growth in the use of Internet by the fashion industry. Moreover, the use of Internet marketing is also to explore more and better ideas from the customers.
The UK is among the majority users of Internet marketing services where it follows closely on a second position after Norway among the European countries. The use of Internet Market as it has dominated the fashion industry and the stores of UK have led to easier lifestyle among the users as indicated earlier (Ashley & Tuten, 2015). The modes of incorporation of Internet marketing in the fashion stores have made it a reliable service for both the consumers and the fashion stores. Theoretical aspects and Statistics Internet advertising in the UK increased its share to almost 10. 5 billion British pounds in 2017 (Statista, 2017). The forecasted projection of online advertisement is supposed to reach 76% by 2020 in the UK (Mihaela, 2015). It is because of the tendency of individuals spending majority of their time and paying less attention to their television.
It is also impossible for all companies to share their advertisements in the available television service providers. It is for this reasons that majority use the Internet marketing criteria to reach out to their consumers. To be more specific, the major use of Internet marketing is on the social media which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, twitter and LinkedIn among others. This research design can be considered most appropriate in searching for information about people's habits, opinions, attitudes or any other variety of education or social issue (Shamoo, & Resnik, 2013). The descriptive research design is also appropriate as it reports things the way they are. Questionnaires and interviews will be used to collect data from the primary correspondents. The rationale of selecting the descriptive research method is due to its ability to provide step to step information of a concept.
The method is advantageous when illustrative information is required which is applied to this study. Also, the research method allows for validity of data as secondary data can be used to provide more information regarding a concept in the study. The method also provides accurate data analysis process where validity is the major concern (Shamoo, & Resnik, 2013). This is done through identification of accurate information throughout the data collection methods and the repeated trials of the same concepts. Study Population The study involved all adults, 18 years and above within UK fashion stores. The choice of the study population included adults mainly because of their buying power. Questionnaires were posted to social media groups such as; WhatsApp groups, Instagram and Facebook pages. The respondents filled and returned them using the same platforms.
Friends helped in administering the questionnaires. The questionnaires had both closed, and open-ended questions. Observations on the other hand would involve looking into shopping levels of participants and also their reactions to internet marketing. Descriptive statistics were suitable in this case as they would provide basic features about the data under study. At the same time, descriptive studies would provide summaries about the measures and the samples. The data is presented in tables and graphs which are easier to analyze. It also employed the use of quantitative analysis method tools like percentages, and frequencies. These methods were used to analyze the data from the questionnaires. Clearly, most people are conveniently using the internet to make purchases from online stores. In addition, most brands have established internet presence through websites and social media accounts in which they regularly update their customers on new things and offers.
The development of social media sites has boosted this form of marketing, especially among the luxury brands of the world. It is possible due to the power of interpersonal communication whereby product information is easily and quickly shared between the brands and the consumers. With the internet, word of mouth travels so fast that within a very short time, consumers have plenty of information that it even becomes difficult to select the truthful ones. Most people now can access the internet at the convenience of their own homes or offices; about 87% of the people in UK can access the internet, either through their smartphones, which is the leading platform, or through their personal computers. For that matter most people are now looking to the internet for shopping especially if it meets their expectations such as convenience, price, and quality of service.
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(Please Specify) Age 18-24 [ ] 25 -30 [ ] 31- 36 [ ] 37-42 [ ] 42-47 [ ] 48-54 [ ] 55-above [ ] How often do you shop for clothes and accessories? Once a week Every two weeks Once in a month Once in every 3 months Once a year Other Where do you like to go for shopping for clothes? Super market Mall Traditional shop Online shopping Why is this preferred shopping method? It’s convenient It’s cheaper Personal preference Dealer acquaintance Other [Explain] On average how much do you spend on each shopping trip? Less than £100 £200 - £300 £300 - £400 £400 - £500 £500- £600 £600-£700 £700-£800 £800-£900 £900-£1000 Above £1000 What is your main source of news information? Newspaper Radio Television Online newspapers Social media How updated on fashion would you consider yourself? Not updates at all Slightly updated Updated Highly updated Extremely updated √ How do you get information on new fashion trends and brands? T.
V. Shopping Mall Posters Newspapers Magazines Fashion blogs Do you think advertisements influence your purchasing habits when it comes to fashion? Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree √ How influential would you consider the internet on your fashion buying habits? Not at all Little extent Moderate extent Great extent Very great extent √ How often do you go online to check on the latest fashion trends? All the time Very often Often Once in a while Not at all √ How many times has an online search or marketing ad led you buy an item from the store this year? 1 2 – 5 5 – 10 Over 10 How many hours do you spend on social media 1-2 hours 2-4 hours 4-6 hours 6-8 hours 8-10 hours √ What do you look out for when shopping online? Convenience Ease of purchase Home delivery Do you sign up to receive promotional material through the email? Yes No Where do you spend your money more? Online shopping store Physical store Do you think internet marketing has made shopping easier for you? Yes [√] No [ ] If given a choice, which method would you prefer to be receiving marketing information from your favorite fashion stores? Billboards TV Advertisements Social Media Internet marketing Fashion shows Magazines (hard copy) Online magazines Do you think internet marketing is going to improve your shopping experience? Yes [√] No [ ] What are your expectations on online shopping? Fast deliveries Trust in transactions Privacy of data What products do you prefer to purchase online? Shoes Shirts Jewelry Income Level (Annual) below £15,000 [√] £15,000- £30,000 [ ] £30,000- £50,000 [ ] £50,000- £75,000 [ ] £75,000- £100,000 [ ] Above £100,000 [ ].
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