The influence of Internet Marketing on consumer shopping behavior in UK fashion stores
Desired outcomes 3 2. Research Questions 4 3. Introduction 4 4. Literature Review 5 4. Growth of the internet 5 4. Privacy and data mining on the internet 15 4. Consumer behaviour and internet marketing 15 4. Social media and fashion 17 4. Relationship between Internet Marketing and UK Fashion stores 21 Fig 4. Internet users in the UK 22 Table 4. Validity and Reliability of the Measuring Instruments 30 5. Method of Data Presentation and Analysis 31 5. Conclusion……………. Timetable of research 31 References 33 Appendices: Questionnaire 40 Project plan The research project will aim at accessing the influence of internet marketing on consumer shopping behaviour in UK fashion stores. The study objectives of this project will revolve around the research question which will be formulated and used a guide throughout the project. To examine factors that attract consumers to products advertised through internet. iii. 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. Advertisers are continuously working to develop ways through which they can inform the potential users of the products and services they have. 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 (Grabner,& Faullant, 2008). Increased use of internet to endorse products and services is linked to the fact that internet has the ability to capture the audience’s attention and consequently offers entrepreneurs a better platform through which they communicate their messages.
The use of internet attracts attention of many people who are always online doing their activities (Varma et al, 200). This helps to determine the success of online marketing and the emerging prevalence of online shopping (Stephen, 2016). Current literature on the relationship between customers purchasing habits and internet marketing identify factors that affect the willingness of consumers to act on the internet adverts. The domain of consumer research shows general models that can depict the process that consumers use in making decisions related to making a purchase. These models are essential to both researchers and marketers who are then able to not only explain and predict consumer purchase behaviour that would then help when making decision on what platform to utilize. Further literature analysis reveals details about changing consumer patterns and how these are influenced by Internet marketing (Zhang, Trusov, Stephen & Jamal, 2017).
technologies The development of social internet websites is referred to as the web 2. The users have been liberated from being merely the consumers of information but also the creators, making it participatory and dynamic(Tenenbaum, 2006). These technologies include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTubeamong others. It offers infinite possibilities to the consumers, who are targeted by firms seeking to sell their products. Communication theorist McLuhan (1964)posited that the medium is the message. The passivity associated with traditional media platform has been eradicated by the new technologies, whereby consumers are now personalising the content through blogs, content creation and contribution to the World Wide Web (Ward, 2011). The use of social networking sites is being widely used by both the private and public entities to increase the value of their brands and their images.
Ward (2011) argues that the usage of social networking sites internally in organisations is with the intention of increasing collaboration among the employees, and externally to attract and retain customers as well as making the brand more visible among its competitors. The popularity of social networking sites is linked with the fact that it is real time, similar to face to face communication. Social networks has 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. As a consequence of the internet, marketers have been forced to adjust their way of doing things, in order to reach the audiences that have migrated to the internet, which also means a new way of doing things.
The growth of the internet has also led to the development of e-commerce, which are basically online stores in which people can order, pay online and have the products shipped to their doorsteps. This is possible through social media networks, where adverts are targeted to specific groups of people, according to their various demographics, which have been determined over time through extensive research. The growth of the internet can also be attributed to the growth of the internet advertising and marketing, as well as e-commerce where businesses are exclusively conducted online, save for deliveries. Business entities intending to use the internet for business must be cognizant of the fact that the audience is no longer passive. Advertising The advertising industry affects billions of people globally.
The trends in advertising are increasing daily, and as a result, it is important that the advertising companies differentiate themselves from their competitors through coming up with very powerful advertising messages in addition to sponsoring events (Rossiter & Percy, 1987). For instance, in the United States, majority of their products are advertised through the online platform. In the UK, although there are various channels of advertisements that are utilized such as newspapers and televisions, online advertising has also gained influence and a significantly larger market share in the advertising industry. This is due to the presence of online stores like Walmart and Amazon whereby no any physical shop(Ellen Gordon & De Lima-Turner,1997). These qualities help them in coming up with a unique brand.
There are certain factors that firms always focus on when it comes to choosing the websites that they use. Some of the qualities that they consider include the popularity of the site among the targeted market, services of the site, and also the controls that are carried out so as to ensure that websites will deliver the required message to the clients. Neffinger and Kohut (2013) reported that some of the most important reasons why firms use internet to promote their products include; increasing attention to the products thus making their products to be widely known by the audience. Karimova (2014)stated that advertising is any form of non-personal communication that is aimed at an organization, product, idea, and service by any identified sponsor.
The adverts must thus not be a subject of annoyance where people do not want to be bothered or irritated. Another factor that makes an advert successful is the originality of the advert. Repeated content or copied ideas tend to bore the internet user who is on the lookout for fresh and unique content all the time (Schlosser, Shavitt, & Kanfer, 1999) 4. Forms of internet advertisement According to Dabner(2004), advertising on any platform, traditional or new media, is geared towards the following: building brand awareness, creating demand among the consumers and thereafter informing the consumers about their ability to meet and satisfy that demand, and lastly making sales. On the other hand, the way online advertisements are placed is quite different from the traditional media.
According Orfanos et. al (2002) it involves sending messages with information to selected potential consumers. It is more personal and care must be taken in regards to unsolicited emails, which sometimes end up as spam or junk. When one is signing up to an online store, sometimes the company asks for an email address, which is then added to the mailing list. From time to time, they keep sending emails about the offers they have. Beside the fact that many people visit and spend most of their time online, advertising their products and services in different platforms, there are some advantages and disadvantages encountered. Advantages of Internet Endorsements Advertising through internet is cost efficient. Using this method, no transport fee requires, most of common expenses in advertisement are not encountered therefore, this becomes the best method in saving cost of advertisement.
Some of advertisement links can be created free and the link reaches many clients (Chang, 2004). With use of ad-placed services for instance Google’s AdWords can help in realization of more significant savings. This is mainly due to the disruptive nature of online adverts which can be a nuisance to internet users especially when they are busy. The fact that the internet provides remedies of ways to ignore pop up adverts also serves as a disadvantage to the use of online advertisements. These remedies include ad banners and spam emails. As a result of these remedies, most of the online adverts fail to reach the intended target or are mostly ignored by the consumers. This is not the case with traditional advertising where users cannot block advertisements hence making these methods more effective in this aspect when compared to online marketing(Palanisamy & Wong, 2003).
This would automatically roll to the brand or product especially in the case of a recent advert. This can in turn affect the image or brand of the company to a wider extent of the audience. Advertisers are always seeking to utilize websites or internet platforms that have high traffic. However, high traffic websites and social media pages are expensive to use as advertising platforms. This is especially disadvantageous to small or upcoming business who may not afford the stipulated prices(Goldsmith & Lafferty, 2002). It involved data analytics company Cambridge Analytica, a company accused of meddling with the US presidential elections in the year 2016. The collection of data uses a technology known as cookies (Sableman, Shoenberger, & Thorson, 2013). These cookies keep a record of browsing data such as search words and websites discreetly, and can be accessed once connection has been established.
However, once the decision has been made, it can be rethought based on the perceptions of other people towards the product that has already been purchased. Other intervening factors include financial difficulties or bad customer service. When making a purchase, the consumer looks to minimize risks, such as breakage of products, fitness for use. That is the reason why other people’s opinions are highly valued, because the consumer thinks they know much of the product based on previous encounter or use. Things such as brand name, perceptions are what determine whether the product carries a risk or not (Kotler, &Keller, 2012). It offers customers and businesses to interact with each other, share ideas, thus building trust as well as creating awareness of the brand.
The internet offers a way of connecting the consumer with the producer, in more ways than traditional media would have. Social media networks such as Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube offers this endless opportunity to connect with customers, hence expanding customer base (Kim, & Ko, 2012). Most brands nowadays have internet presence, such as a website, and social media accounts in whichthey regularly update their customers on new things and offers. The most powerful tool in marketing is word of mouth as posited by Alreck and Settle (1995). Mohr argues that it also offers readers an opportunity to voice their opinions and challenge popular opinions as well as critics. The growth of blogging has seen fashion bloggers considered as journalist. They are the trend setters in the fashion industry, complete with agencies representing them as is the case in New York, United States.
According Mohr(2013), bloggers command a lot of influence which translates to six figures that brands pay them to advertise their brands through their internet channels. Fashion bloggers are no longer passive participants in the industry. Individuals fall into different segments, which are used by marketers to reach them. People’s behaviour is however changeable, and people are willing to try new products. It is the responsibility of marketers to reach them through online platforms that they frequently use, with the knowledge that it may not translate into tangible results. Each platform has its own unique characteristics; hence the marketers must use them differently to reach their targeted audience. Blogs and websites are dynamic, and can support all media, that is videos, texts, and photographs.
The challenge marketers face is creating a marketing strategy and come up with actions based on their needs. The actions and communication plans must be specifically oriented towards the influencers they have settled on. According to Cialdini (1984), once the influencer has been selected, the challenge becomes the channel to use. Considering the variety of channels available now, and considerable influence celebrities have across the social media channels, it is much easier especially with development of software and apps that synchronizes all social media channels making it easy to post promotional materials at once. Caldini (1984) came up with four factors that make contribute to the success of influencers, which extend to social media ones. With this knowledge, marketers therefore have to use messages that convince people to change their behavior, change their habits to reflect on their products(Cialdini, 1984).
An influencer works best in a group of people who can easily change their habits and consumption behavior. The fourth factor is ‘liking. ’It is the degree in which a person finds someone in resonance with their own ideals, beliefs and culture. In a way liking means that the other person espouses the ideals that someone admires. Lastly, Cialdini (1984) argues that marketers may resort to use opinion leaders in conducting promotions on their products. This because consumers tend to believe people who theyconsider knowledgeable in certain matters, therefore can easily be influenced if the leaders in the groups or communities speak glowingly of a product. Relationship between Internet Marketing and UK Fashion stores As analyzed earlier, with the growing influence of Internet in commercial activities, several industries have opted to conduct their marketing and sales of products and services through the internet.
The growth of Internet has led to globalization of activities making it easy to communicate to rest of the world regardless of your position. In this case, commercial activities get easier as industries strive to make the better part of using the Internet as a mode of promoting their products and services. 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%. The increase in the use of internet over the five years has been use to the desire of a more convenient method of shopping, to catch up with competition by the companies and the means of showing off to the public the products they have in store.
The means and use of Internet marketing by the fashion industry is in different forms which are discussed in the following section. GDP per capita per person 46, 297 USD Fashion market share 6% Employment in fashion industry 555,000 Retail sale of clothing 414,000 Foot wear and leather goods sales 59,000 Manufacture of apparel 34,000 Footwear manufacture 5,000 Table 4. UK statistics in the apparel industry First of all, Internet marketing is used mainly in advertisement of products. 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. Since the customers are the major targets for the fashion products, they have to be made according to their needs and preferences.
The companies therefore work hard to access information from their consumers. However, it is impossible to reach all consumers through physical means leaving Internet as the only option to gain information from consumers. Theoretical aspects and Statistics Internet advertising in the UK increased its share to almost 10. billion British pounds in 2017. Social media advertising is the most commonly used front and data indicate half of the advertising expenditure in the country is spent on online advertising. Generally, a lot of time is spent on online activities than the usual television and radio advertisements. Majority of people have digital accessories such as phones, computers and tablets that enhance the use of internet for marketing activities. The forecasted projection of online advertisement is supposed to reach 76% by 2020 in the UK.
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 reason 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. Research Design This study will utilize descriptive research design mainly because of its effectiveness in descriptive accurately the views and opinions of the participants. 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.
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 use of triangulation method will allow for both qualitative and quantitative research methods hence huge amount of data will be obtained. 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. 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 will involve all adults 18+ years within UK fashion stores. The two data collection that would be used in this study is; questionnaires and observations of sales change before and after exposure to internet marketing. Questionnaires will be posted to social media groups such as; WhatsApp groups, Instagram and Facebook pages. The respondents will fill them then return using the same platforms. Friends can help in administering the questionnaires. The questionnaires will have both closed, and open-ended questions. Method of Data Presentation and Analysis This study will use the descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics will be suitable in this case as it would provide basic features about the data under study. At the same time, descriptive studies will provide summaries about the measures and the samples.
The data will be presented in tables and graphs which will be easier to analyze. It will also employ the use of quantitative analysis method tools like percentages, and frequencies. People can be easily persuaded in the social media age, as well as easily dissuaded for using a particular product in the event of a negative comment. As such fashion stores should tread cautiously not to offend anyone because it would spell doom to their business Lastly, most people now can access the internet at the convenience of their own homes, or offices. percent of the people in UK can access the internet, either through their smartphones, which the leading, 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.
Time Table of Research Day Activity 1st Day • Preparing necessary tools for the study 2nd Day • Conducting prior visit to the areas and companies where the study will be carried out • Final preparation of the tools and study questions 3rd Day • Conducting Interview on the first set of respondents (20 respondents) 4th Day • Interviews on the second set of respondents 5th Day • Interviews on the third set of respondents 6th Day • Interviews on the fourth set of respondents 7th Day • Interviews on the fifth set of respondents 8th Day • Questionnaires submission to the rest of respondents through online means 9th Day (3 days later) • Collection of the questionnaire forms through online submissions 10th Day • Presenting the collected data for analysis 11th Day • Conducting analysis for the collected data 12th Day • Conducting analysis for the collected data 13th Day • Finalizing on the study through writing down the findings and their discussions 14th Day • Presentation of the complete study References 1.
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How often do you shop for clothes and accessories? a. Once a week b. Every two weeks c. It’s convenient b. It’s cheaper c. Personal preference d. Dealer acquaintance e. Other [Explain] 11. Above £1000 12. What is your main source of news information? a. Newspaper b. Radio c. Television d. Magazines f. Fashion blogs 15. Do you think advertisements influence your purchasing habits when it comes to fashion? Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree √ 16. How influential would you consider the internet on your fashion buying habits? Not at all Little extent Moderate extent Great extent Very great extent √ 17. 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 √ 18.
Physical store 23. Do you think internet marketing has made shopping easier for you? Yes [√] No [ ] 24. If given a choice, which method would you prefer to be receiving marketing information from your favorite fashion stores? a. Billboards b. TV Advertisements c.
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