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Online Consumer Behavior - Fashion Apparels

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Chong Hor Yee, Lim Hooi Huang, Muhammad Hafiz, Kho Hock Seng, Margaret Yong Shu Wen. (DIM Friday 830-1130)Task 1Topic : To determine the influences of social media and its tools for online shopping purchasing behaviour for fashion apparels. IntroductionThe ideology of fashion was imposed mainly as a luxury item or status before the birth of the digital age and internet era. Before this, people had to wait on the day of launching to actually witness the latest designs, but now, people could access the latest fashion from the palm of their hands. With the birth of the internet coupled with the economy of scale and with ease of access to the internet, fashion is no longer an elites game. Technology has helped the fashion industry grow tremendously over the past years. This research essay is undertaken to analyse the influences of social media and its tools towards online purchasing behaviour for fashion apparels.Research Rational The main discussion of this research is to identify the effects of social media towards consumer online purchase behaviour. In addition, this research explores how influential social media can be towards customers fashion purchase decision. This research also explores the psychological and behavioural drivers of online fashion purchasing. Moreover, the research argues on how fashion brands use social media to promote online shopping apparels. Last but not least, the research analyses the changes in trends of purchasing fashion apparels before and after the birth of online shopping.

Task 2Research Questions1. To what extent does social media and its tools influences customer online fashion purchase decision?2. What are the psychological and behavioural drivers of online fashion purchase? 3. How do brands promote their online shopping of fashion apparels?4. What are the changes in trends of purchasing fashion apparels before and after the birth of online shopping?

Research Objectives1. To explore the extent of the influences of social media towards online fashion purchase decision.2. To explore the psychological and behavioural drivers of online fashion purchase.3. To identify marketing strategies used to promote online shopping of fashion apparels.4. To identify the changes in trends of purchasing fashion apparels before and after the birth of online shopping. Task 3 : Literature searchTitle: Information availability on US apparel merchant Web SitesJournal :http://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=13612026&volume=6&issue=2&articleid=858521&show=htmlThe research problem of this journal is online merchant Web Sites provide only limited product information to the customers, hence, increase the risk perceived to purchase clothing on the Internet. The objective of this journal is to explore the availability of product and customer service information of a Web Site affects the intention to purchase on the Internet. According to Lin and Lu (2000), the main finding of this journal is the quality of a Web Site, which described by information quality, response time and system accessibility. Therefore, this journal is related based on to explore the extent of the influences of social media towards online fashion purchase decision.Title : Psychological and behavioural drivers of online clothing purchase.Journal: http://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=1361-2026&volume=8&issue=1&articleid=858569&show=htmlThe research objective of this journal is to examine psychological characteristics that lead consumers to buy clothing online. The main findings of this journal imply that online apparel buying is motivated more by Internet innovativeness than by clothing innovativeness. This journal is related based on the objective of the research, which is to explore the psychological and behavioural drivers of online fashion purchase.Title : Social network online communities: information sources for apparel shoppingJournal : http://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=0736-3761&volume=29&issue=6&articleid=17050939&show=htmlThe research objective of this journal is to understand the effects of social network online communities towards information seeking behaviour and purchase decision for online apparel shopping. The main findings of this journal confirms the positive effects of social network online communities towards consumers purchase decision. This journal is related based on the objective of the research, which is to explore the extent of the influences of social media towards online fashion purchase decision. Title : Online Branding Strategies of UK Fashion Retailershttp://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=1066-2243&volume=19&issue=3&articleid=1795284&show=htmlThe research objective of this journal is to explore the strategies of online branding by UK fashion retailers. This article analyses how online channels are used, including communicating brand identity and presence, as well as building brand relationships. The main findings of this article is, fashion retailers offer online transactions and able to achieve consistency on visual identity for both online and other channels. However, these fashion retailers have an underdeveloped online channel. This journal is related based on the objective of the research, which is identifying marketing strategies used to promote online shopping of fashion apparels. Title: Understanding designer clothing purchases over the internetJournal : http://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=1361-2026&volume=14&issue=3&articleid=1875533&show=htmlThe research objective of this journal is to understand designer clothing purchases over the internet. Based on (Lee and Littrell, 2005; Park and Kim, 2007) , the article discussed that by having a competitive price and having product in stock, it influences the attitude and buying perception of customers over the internet. Designs of clothing can contribute to purchase through internet but there are only several studies that are researching on the similar topic. The article states also states that individual are most likely to search for information if they have the intention of buying. This proves that intention to purchase over the internet is mostly based on the behavior of an individual and how they judge the product. This journal is related to the objective of the research, which is to identify the changes in trends of purchasing fashion apparels before and after the birth of online shopping.

Title : Internet retailing: the past, the present and the futureJournal : http://elib.segi.edu.my:2057/journals.htm?issn=09590552&volume=38&issue=11/12&articleid=1895952&show=html

With the growing popularity of the Internet, online retailing has become a new electronic market place to promote products and services. Online retailing is a part of marketing channel which regularly used by most of the marketers to extend product lines, improve cost efficient and customer relationships. Besides that, the research objective of this journal is to determine how online retailing transforms the shopping habits of the society based on the traditional promotional strategies. Meanwhile, online retailing has become a vehicle for promoting products and services and capturing sales. The main finding of this journal is to identify the advancing of social media nowadays is replacing the one-to-one marketing strategy. This journal is related based on the changes in trends of purchasing fashion apparels before and after the emergence of online retailing.

Task 4 : Literature ReviewOnline Fashion PurchasingIn this millennial era, the internet and technology has made it possible to purchase fashion apparels from home. The total amount of spending on the Internet has increased tremendously and is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2003 (IDC, 1999). The percentage of US Internet users reporting they have purchased clothing online has grown rapidly, doubling from 8 percent in September 1999 to 16 percent in May 2000 (Pastore, 2000). Despite the rapid growth in online sales of apparel, some consumers are reluctant to shop for clothing on the Internet (Park and Stoel, 2002). A recent trade study showed that these non-purchasers perceive risk to exist due to their inability to try on garments, feel the fabric, and read information on care and content labels (Pastore, 2000). Research has shown that intention to search for information on the Internet has a direct effect on intention to purchase on the Internet (Shim et al., 2000). If a customer is satisfied with the information provided by the retailer, they are more likely to make a purchase (Park and Stoel, 2002). The Internet can be used to provide consistent and comprehensive product and customer service information (Park and Stoel, 2002). In addition, customer service over the Web is likely to be more consistent than traditional retailing because the online retailer can provide more detailed and extended information to any shopper at any time (Silverman, 1998). Perceived Risk for Online Fashion PurchaseSimpson and Lakner (1993) found that four dimensions of risks may exist when consumers make decisions regarding apparel selection and purchase apparel using mail order: social/psychological risk (e.g. concerns with fashion innovation, acceptance, planning purchases, conforming to others), economic risk (e.g. concerning prices of apparel, possible financial loss), performance risk (e.g. style, durability, or wear life of a garment), and physical risk (e.g. bodily comfort, discomfort, appearance). ). For the most part, consumers perceive more risk associated with in-home shopping than with in-store shopping (Donthu and Garcia, 1999; Schoenbachler and Gordon, 2002; Vijayasarathy and Jones, 2000).Psychological and Behavioural Drivers of Online Fashion PurchaseIn 1999, clothing accounted for 13.3 percent of retail sales online (US Census Bureau, 1999). In 2001, more than one third of online purchases were clothing (Goldsmith and Lynn, 2004). Nowadays, retail merchants focuses more resources on the Internet in an effort to increase the protability of their Web sites (Grimes, 2002). For the most part, consumers perceive more risk associated with in-home shopping than with in-store shopping (Donthu and Garcia, 1999; Schoenbachler and Gordon, 2002; Vijayasarathy and Jones, 2000). However, this risk lessens with experience of shopping through direct channels (Hawes, 1986). This scenario seems to be playing itself out with regards to online shopping as well (Miyazaki and Fernandez, 2001; Vijayasarathy and Jones, 2000). A recently published study (Goldsmith and Goldsmith, 2002) found that online apparel buyers could not be distinguished by their demographics or their purchase of more apparel by other means. They shared similar attitudes toward online shopping with non-buyers but were not more innovative toward clothing and fashions than the non-buyers. Online apparel purchasers, however, did use the Internet more and were more innovative toward using the Internet than non-buyers were. These ndings imply that online apparel buying is motivated more by Internet innovativeness than by clothing innovativeness (Goldsmith and Lynn, 2004). It appears that being an Internet innovator and an experienced catalogue shopper are more predictive of online clothing shopping than an interest in fashion (Goldsmith and Lynn, 2004).Influence of Social Network on Online Fashion PurchaseSocial network online communities, such as Facebook.com and Instagram.com, serve as platforms where millions of consumers all over the world are connected with one another and exchange opinions, ideas and information (Park and Cho, 2012). In the case of Facebook.com, there were 55 million users as of December 2008 (Arrington, 2009) and the number increased to over 500 million in 2011(Facebook.com, 2011). Shared information among community members forms strong e-word of mouth effects that signicantly inuence retail sales and brand images (Brown et al., 2002; Flavian and Guinaliu, 2005). Utilizing the social network online community, retailers keep track of changes in consumers demands and shopping behaviors (Flavian and Guinaliu, 2005). Particularly, fashion and apparel shopping is suggested as one of the most popular discussion topics among social network online community members and apparel retailers could gain direct feedback from consumers while monitoring the discussions in social network online communities (Thomas et al., 2007). Many consumers visit a social network online community to gain apparel shopping information (Thomas et al., 2007). Social network online community as an information sourceOnline community was rst dened by Howard Rheingold (1993) as a social aggregation of people carrying out public discussions long enough, with sufcient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace (p. 146).Bagozzi and Dholakia (2002) explained that an online community is the computer-mediated social space in which content is produced by members through continuous communication processes. A brand community, often established in virtual spaces, is developed by admirers of a specic brand, which can be either individuals or the company (e.g. Harley-Davidson, Apple Computer, i-Village, Nike, etc.)(Park and Cho, 2012). Brand communities for apparel products were often hosted by retailers who target for young generations (Kim and Jin, 2006). The major interactive communications tools in the communities were bulletin and message boards which induce the consumers participations (Park and Cho, 2012). Discussions about brands, designers, and retailers make the online community as an information center by creating strong word of mouth effect (Park and Cho, 2012).The importance of a social network online community as an information source will be more signicant because of the current size of the community users and the growth (Park and Cho, 2012). To current consumers especially those who are savvy to technology, a social network online community may serve as a major place to share and garner shopping information. One good example of this would be lowyat.forums.com.my where the users exchange information within their community. Marketing Strategies of Online Fashion ApparelsAn online brand is defined as a brand that has an online presence (Rowley, 2009). Chaffeys (2008) denition of online branding to propose that online branding is: How online channels are used to support brands, which in essence are the sum of the characteristics of a product, service or organization as perceived and experienced by a user, customer or other stakeholder. The growing recognition of the value of brands, especially in the retail industry (Ailawadi and Keller, 2004) and the status of brands as one of the four most popular discussion topics within a fashion and style discussion forum (Thomas et al., 2007) suggests that it may be timely to explore online branding in fashion retailing in more detail(Rowley, 2008). There is evidence to suggest th...

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