Table of contents
CHAPTER I /Introduction…………………………………………………………..…………………..…….3
1.1 Background of Research……………………………………………………………………………………….……..3
1.2 Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………………………………..5
1.3 Rationale of Research………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
1.4/1.5 Research Questions/Hypotheses……………………………………………………………………………….7
1.6 /1.7 Aims and Objectives/Research Methodolgy……………………………………………………………….8
Chapter 2: Literature Review/Introduction……………………………………………………………………….9
2.2 Subject Matter of Research………………………………………………………………………………………..10
2.3 Brand awareness of Zara on social media……………………………………………………………………11
2.4 Customer’s engagement in ZARA Social Media Campaigns…………………………………………..15
2.5 Customer Behaviour theories………………………………………………………………………………………19
2.6 Social Media Promotions and Women’s Buying Behaviour………………………………………………21
Chapter 3: Methodology/Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..23
3.2 Research Philosophies……………………………………………………………………………………………….24
3.3/3.4 Justification of the Adopted Philosophy/ Research Design…………………………………………25
3.5 Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection………………………………………………………………..26
3.6 Research Methods and Justification…………………………………………………………………………….28
3.7 Validity and Reliability………………………………………………………………………………………………28
3.8 Ethical Considerations…………………………………………………………………………………….29
3.9 Limitation of Research…………………………………………………………………………………….29
In recent times, it is impossible to negate from the fact that internet plays a significant role towards contributing in daily activities of people all around the world. The traditional media’s reign has been turning obsolete and unproductive, which does not stimulate communication among consumers and brands. Ultimately, it enables communication, where information or matter of self-interest is shared such as social networks. In the history of commerce, the emergence of Web 2.0 is considered as one of the massive development that has brought the evolution of social media (Ioanăs, & Stoica, 2014). This revolution critically influences the traditional marketing approach turning a new era for marketers. The upheaval of social media utterly enriched the relationship among marketers and stakeholders. The emergence of social media in today’s date and time is shifting the power from the marketers to consumers. The democracy provided over social media networks allow the users or consumers to exchange information or contact regarding the products or services (Schivinski, & Dabrowski, 2016). This has pushed the marketers to change their traditional strategies or ways to address consumer’s new needs. Thus, marketers are now opting social media networks as a marketing channel in form of word-of-mouth and paid advertising.
1.1 Background of Research
In order to quest the purchasing behaviour of customers towards social media promotion strategies, this study has aimed to focus on Zara. The reason behind this selection is due to the product differentiation of clothing brand in assorted regions including France, USA and Portugal. Indeed, Zara is a component of the group inditex and; therefore, it is regarded as a second largest clothing brand internationally. Zara’s clothing has become popular worldwide, which is evident from its inditex sales, revealing more than 65% in 2013. The commitment of Zara is classified among customers as a fast fashion brand instead of quickly adopted and high fashion styles at a reasonable price. The success of Zara is based on its novelty, efficacy and flexibility among its products, which retains its position throughout the market. The demands of customers are preferably met by strategies of Zara with vertical integration.
The objective of its advertising is to influence the way consumers perceive them and how their buying decisions are affected. The advertising channel and message conveyed by Zara greatly impacts on the buying decision of consumers. The consumer generated content and consumer encouraged content are considered as a key to social media that eventually influence the image (Napompech, 2014). Zara is focusing on the trend of social media marketing and strategically use it for advertising and promoting their brands. Popular social media networks have huge number of visitors like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and these have been deemed as essential hub to market products or services (Evans, 2010).
Social media advertising has become increasingly common as, brands feel more connected to their target. Rather than knocking and showing ads on every TV channel, marketers have now opted better digital strategy that is digital advertisements. The most trending subject that influences consumer purchase decision in online advertising and Facebook advertising is considered as the most effective one. Various organisations strive to indulge themselves into Facebook advertising to get various responses. But, there are various factors that make the online advertising successful. Such as company profile, products and customers (Xie, & Lee, 2015). Across the globe, the diverse use of Facebook has made it an important advertising platform and provides the ability to businesses to advertise their ads in order to reach the prospective customers. This is because Facebook has provided the benefit to businesses for targeting specific customer and promoting products. A study argued that Facebook facilitates multiple manufacturers and service providers to reach customers according to their demographics and interests (Forbes, 2013).
It has been stated that the retail trade and product image is highly affected by social media (Kumar, Kumar, & Narayana, 2016). The e-commerce business operations use the applications of social networks for creating customer and trade networks. This is done through opening distribution in form of customer to customer (C2C) trade via social media networks. With the excessive popularity of e-commerce across the world, Zara has also adapted the social media marketing tool to promote their brands and influence the purchase decision of people. There have been extensive researches in past years regarding online purchases on clothing (Alhabash, Mundel, & Hussain, 2017; Ioanăs, & Stoica, 2014; Cha, Yi, & Bagozzi, 2016).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There are various statistics available for using advertising. Statistics like visitors, page views, frequency of visits and click through rates are completely unsuitable. This depicts the basic failure in order to capture information regarding the advertisement effectiveness of social media. Social media promotions influence the consumer buying Behaviour to a greater extent (Alhabash, Mundel, & Hussain, 2017). Businesses use the strategy of social media advertising to spread the word-of-mouth and increasing their brand reach to target the audience. Word-of-mouth marketing is regarded as a dominant feature on the internet and consequently it influences on the awareness and purchasing decisions of customer. Traditional marketing has been approached by marketers to escalate the consumer’s influence towards the appealing products. The assessment of word-to-mouth is observed from the offerings of social media network, providing tools for their ease. Clothing industry including branded and local, all rely on the power of social media helping them in acquiring their sales target (Park, & Jun, 2003).
To attract consumer over the social media is not an easy task where, the marketers should identify the appealing factors influencing consumer buying decisions. Thus, the digital messages designed or drafted has to be strong enough to attract and influence the buying Behaviour of a consumer. To influence the buying behavior of consumers on social media networks, it is important that the marketer should be aware about the likes and dislikes and the attributes that affects the buying decision. To measure the factors that influence the buying decision, there should be a balance generated in quantitative and qualitative insights.
1.3 Rationale of Research
The advertising power is underestimated in traditional era. However, it is considered as the most effective medium to attract and communicate with customers. It has the power to convince and power to influence the mind of consumers (Alhabash, Mundel, & Hussain, 2017). It has both short as well as long term power that makes the product prominent for longer time. This study significantly contributes in identifying the motivational factors or strategies that Zara used to promote their clothing brands on social media networks. Moreover, the study highlights regarding the changes in buying behavior of consumers and what are the consequences after a consumer feel attracted towards the products of Zara. The long-term power of advertising helps in conveying brand image, promotes emotional values to brands and also helps in building positive reputation.
Additionally, the study helps the marketers as well to know the most effective marketing strategies on social media networks to make a consumer feel attracted towards the brand. Also, how further buying behaviour can be influenced and generating sales for them. The clothing company can understand the power of advertising before making and implementing any strategy over the social media hubs. Effective advertising and promotion is the key towards the success and long term competitive edge that marketers and businesses look for. Suggestions and recommendations giving by friends or relatives over social media help consumers in altering their buying behaviors. Such recommendations help a product attitudes and advertising attitudes. The more appealing response a product gets, the more attractive and positive influences are generated on buying behaviours. Thus, most of businesses noticed it earlier and started focusing on social media marketing.
Following are the research questions identified that helps in acquiring the research objectives:
Question 1: How brand awareness of Zara attracts consumers?
Question 2: How social media campaigns of Zara engage consumers towards an apparel brand launch?
Question 3: How social media of Zara affects the purchase intention of consumers regarding clothing?
The following hypotheses has been designed in order to investigate how social media promotions of Zara influence the buying behaviour of consumers.
H1 = Brand awareness of Zara on social media networks directly impacts the consumer buying behaviour.
H2 = Consumer engagement in Zara social media campaigns influence their purchase decision.
H3 = Social media promotions of Zara mostly influence women buying behavior.
The present study has been conducted to evaluate how marketing promotions of Zara on social media networks influence the buying behaviour of consumers. Consumers and businesses all around the world are extremely connected with each other in the existing era. Acknowledging the fact that consumer behaviour is a wider and common topic; thus, gathering and analysing the data is quite a challenge.
- To recognise potential factors that help during the promotion on social media and influence the consumer buying behaviour in UK.
- To investigate consumer experiences after they experienced the promotions on social media networks.
- To identify the opportunities and pitfalls a business experience while influencing consumer’s buying behaviour.
Literature review will discuss the strategies of social media as well as customer buying behavior. Based on the objectives, this section also discusses the brand awareness, social media campaigns and social media influence on customer decisions in regards of Zara.
Research methodology focuses on the data collection and analysis procedure. In addition, quantitative and qualitative approach is used in this study to analyse the social media impact numerically as well as obtain the awareness of customers towards promotional campaigns and their decisions and behaviour.
Data analysis will be based on quantitative and qualitative approach. For quantitative part, research questions will be analysed using SPSS version 20 whereas thematic framework will be instigated to analyse qualitative data collection.
2.1 Introduction of Chapter
The last chapter has discussed the background and significance of the social media promotions as well as the buying behaviour of customers towards trending fashion industry. In this regard, this research has specifically selected Zara for exploring the impact of its social media promotions on purchasing decisions and buying behaviour of its customer. The considerations of prior chapter were also on the research gap, which require compelling focus on the social media promotion strategies opted by Zara. By considering these parameters, this chapter focuses on the objectives devised for investigating the impact of research matter.
By focusing purely on the research matter, literature review is further sub-divided into objectives, which comprehensively discusses the significance of social media promotions of Zara in the evidence of prior studies. In addition, this chapter addresses the brand awareness and purchasing behaviour of customer. This chapter comprehensively focuses on the social media promotions and marketing strategies along with customer buying and purchase decisions.
2.2 Subject Matter of Research
Social media and buying behaviour is the most dominant aspect in the fashion industry internationally. The consideration is explicitly focused on the branded company where influence of brand awareness and social media is extensively observed on buying behaviour of customers. On daily basis, high street retailers focused to retain their customers by providing high accessibility of services and promotions. In this regard, they purchase and stock on weekly basis which leads to introduction of new stock. This approach is healthy in satisfying the needs and requirements of customer. In the case of Zara, high retention and satisfaction is highly observed from deployment of social media approaches (Aviv, Wei, & Zhang, 2015). It has been assumed that the overall cost of the products declines due to decreased manufacturing and labor costs which ultimately causes equal higher volume. For instance, Zara previously manufactured all its good in Europe which yielded products of better quality, but now it outsources 13% of its manufacturing to Turkey and China. In order to entice customers for paying high prices, Zara engage in-house designers to produce eye-catching designs (Azevedo, & Sanchez, 2015). In addition, fashion companies do not defer gratification until the arrival of year-end sales. When there are tight delivery demands, these fashion companies involve high-paid labors and expedited shipping methods to meet demand of their deliveries. The current costs are eventually outweighed through the future financial returns (Berthon et al., 2012).
To purchase new trend products, the enthusiastic customers are observed to visit the fashion stores every three weeks. The combination of technology industry and fast fashion industry have evolved to produce improved and attractive products (Caro, & Gallien, 2012). The fashion stores need to add new productive features and trends for customer satisfaction. Eventually design aesthetics and limited designs resulted in reduced satisfaction among the customers. As compared to other industries, the fashion industry take undesirability as its main approach. Thereby, it is essential for Zara to opt effective strategies to mitigate the stakes found in the company.
The desire for fast fashion among the young generation customers is associated with availability of credit. The offering of trendy designs and immediate gratification have resulted in exploitation of the young generation by these fast fashion companies. The fast fashion industry is also known as “McFashion” as it has the ability to provide gratification with great speed. However, the fashion industry sustains the constant emerging desires by introducing new trends and styles which replaces the old (Caro, & Martínez-de-Albéniz, 2015).
2.3 Brand Awareness of Zara on Social Media Networks and its Impact on Customer Buying Behavior
2.3.1 Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the probability of recognition and accessibility of product and services of a company. Brand awareness construction is based on numerous steps to promote a product. The importance of brand awareness specifically attributed the instigation of trending products and services (Centeno, 2014). In the perspective of company, brand awareness is regarded as products and services of a company, which differentiates it from its competitors. The pyramid model is used to elaborate the efficacy of brand awareness in the promotion of products and services, which is associated with brand loyalty and brand attitude. Brand awareness is fundamental aspect for customers in order to make effective decisions towards their purchasing (Chan et al., 2014).
Brand awareness can be observed in several forms such as recall and recognition. Brand awareness is reflected from the recognition of customer’s ability in recognition approach. On the contrary, recalling reflects the need of customer once the product is recognised. The salient feature of brand becomes prominent in order to reflect recognition and recalling. Brand attitude is directly associated with brand awareness, which demonstrates the associations and attitudes towards the product and services (Choi et al., 2014).
2.3.2 Brand Awareness of Zara
In the perception of Zara, brand awareness refers to the degree at which customers recognise its products by target market and customers. The specific approach of repurchasing and word of mouth opted by Zara has comprehensively reflected the brand awareness of its products among customers (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2016). The products of Zara are considerably approached by differentiation strategies. Customers of Zara are highly contended with the costs, quality and image of products provided by the company. It has been identified that strategies of Zara specifically attracted new customers in order to enhance revenues and also to mitigate the expenses. Company has certainly established strategic thinking and market knowledge in order to construct strong brand (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2017).
According to the study, it has been observed that all associations between company and customers are linked with benefits offered from the brand (Crofton, & Dopico, 2012). The selection of brand is often based on the lifestyle of customers, which is highly attributed with the product differentiation. The willingness of customers is purposefully increased when they got their desired lifestyle (Duffy, & Hund, 2015). It has been notified that Zara sustains and organises its alliance with customers and their preferred lifestyle. This approach assists Zara to maintain its social identity among customers to accomplish vigorous symbolic asset. The position of Zara among target market is based on the perception and purchasing of customers. Thereby, brand awareness of Zara has provided much depth to increase its efficacy among customers and target market (Gamboa, & Gonçalves, 2014).
2.3.3 Zara and Social Media Networks
Social media networks allow a company to explore the brand differentiation and multitude of platforms. The content on social media platforms are specifically varied for products and services (González, 2017). It has been focused that social media platforms significantly assess the experience of customers and; therefore, improves the purchasing decisions of customer (González, 2017). By considering this aspect, brand marketing on social media networks is specifically associated with the communication and trustworthiness. According to the study, it has been observed that customers acknowledged the perception of brands in order to approach the offline and online media networks used by customers (Hitt, Jin, & Wu, 2016). The communication between company and customers are developed from the brand experiences and involvement of marketing strategies. Opportunities are provided by company to explore the queries of customers and to respond positively in order to sustain effective social media platforms (Islam, & Rahman, 2016).
Zara has considerably acquired in-depth information regarding preferences and lifestyle of customers to enable customised content and to entail the brand in cultural conversation (Islam, 2016). In this approach, customer is directly associated with the purchasing and selection of products as it involves itself in the cultural conversation. It has been assumed that traditional customer relationship management is presented from the strategies of customer engagement (Jin, & Rashad Yazdanifard, 2015). In the case of Zara, the company has provided an augmented comprehension of customer by considering the traditional customer relationship management. Interesting challenges have been posed by the company to attract customers using social media networks (Kapferer, & Bastien, 2012). Therefore, Zara has comprehensively drives the communication and reflection of brand allowing customers to focus on social media strategies. The products of Zara would be provided with the platform where social media enables the customer to be the center of attention (Kim, Jung Choo, & Yoon 2013).
2.3.4 Social Media and Buying Behaviour
The dynamic aspects of social media have allowed Zara to reveal revolutionised practices including advertising and promotion. Customer behaviour is specifically influenced by these aspects, which dominates the purchase behavior and dissatisfaction statements regarding product (Lee, 2014). Social media is regarded as a prominent channel of Zara in recent years to attract its customers. The involvement and interaction is being provided by Zara to explore the buying behaviour of customers (Melero, Sese, & Verhoef, 2016). These aspects further persuade an augmented intimation of customers, which constructs significant associations with market and customers (Miles, 2013). The differentiation of company and brand awareness have persuaded through these channels, which indicated the positioning of the specific product (Momany, & Alshboul, 2016). It has been assumed by marketers that social networks and online environment are aggressively promoted by Zara. By using different social media channels such as twitter, Facebook and Myspace, Zara has developed greater value among customers as well as create effectiveness in their buying behaviour (Mustafah, Khalid, & Ismail, 2015).
Business promotion through social media sites serves as an appealing proposition because of diverse amount of stable traffic that arrives each day. Social media networking due to vast advancements have turned to be an extremely successful medium to develop relation with consumers and influencing their buying behaviours (Berthon et al., 2012). Many products or brands design provides an appealing campaign to create a buzz over social media that ultimately stimulate consumer interest towards the viral product. It has been stated that campaign’s success greatly depends on ability of marketers to tempt the users on social media who discusses and promote the product (Xie & Lee, 2015).
2.3.5 Brand Awareness and Buying Behaviour
The behaviour of customers is affected by assorted aspects including brand awareness, brand attitude and brand loyalty (Prasad, & Arifuzzaman, 2016). It has been explored that brand awareness is the most prominent aspect for affecting the buying behaviour of customers. The loyalty of customers towards specific brand can be judged from the dynamics of customer behaviour (Rana, 2016). It has been adhered that brand awareness of Zara explicitly develops sense of status consciousness in order to lead the sense of recognition using social identity of a brand (Rath et al., 2014). The customer buying behavior is further affected from the status and conspicuous consumption. By acquiring appealing innovativeness, competition is massively increased for Zara to compete in the market. In order to reveal the efficacy of conspicuous consumption, different products are portrayed to explore the dynamics of customer buying behaviour. Thereby, this approach makes Zara a competing brand focusing comprehensively towards the buying behaviour of customers (Reeves, Love, & Tillmanns, 2012).
2.4.1 Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is preferably observed in fashion industry through social media channels, which drives the relationship between customer and company. Therefore, customer engagement is regarded as an important component for Zara (Roberts, & Zahay, 2012). Customer engagement is regarded as a concept, which demonstrates the instigated relationships, constructed emotional and cognitive occurrence and physical interaction with the product (Thomas, & Carraher, 2014). Customer engagement is more appealing as it becomes more attractive in affecting the ultimate final decision using an online environment. Thereby, the notions of customer engagement are adhered explicitly from assorted aspects. The relationship between the brand and the customer is revealed from the positive customer engagement (Turker, & Altuntas, 2014). On the other hand, customer engagement is further regarded as an extent of involvement, association, influence and intimacy of an individual, which prefers the brand over extensive period. The significance of customer behaviour and purchasing power is emphasized from the holistic appreciation of customer activity (Viardot, & Nylund, 2017).
It has been indicated that customer engagement is represented with a strategic imperative, which generates improved corporate performance such as competitive advantage, profitability and sales growth (Azevedo, & Sanchez, 2015). Furthermore, these assertions undermine the contribution of marketing activity by considering and providing suggestions for certain services, products and brands. An important role can be played by engaged customers in developing product and services. The conceptual roots of customer engagement are demonstrated by portraying interactive experiences as well as value concretion throughout marketing relationships (Caro, & Martínez-de-Albéniz, 2015).
2.4.2 Customer Engagement of Zara
Due to the involvement of dynamic technologies and social media, Zara has been interacted with customers in order to engage those using marketing actions and social media campaigns (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2016). The interaction between customer and company is lasted for a long-term on the basis of these marketing actions and promotional campaigns. Thereby, this capability of customer engagement is considered as a significant aspect, which contributes in product adoption, which drives brand loyalty and sales (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2017). Behavioural manifestation is regarded as a most promising approach in terms of Zara, which goes beyond the transactions of company or product. In order to focus duly on the long-lasting relationship, Zara has entailed different aspects for sustaining customer engagement relationship (Crofton, & Dopico, 2012). These aspects include blogging, recommendations, word-of-mouth activity and marketing. By considering these aspects, Zara measures the level of engagement as well as user interaction to indicate the performance and brand awareness of its products (Gamboa, & Gonçalves, 2014). Purchasing behaviour is also a significant aspect in customer engagement, which drives the value of customers for a company. Therefore, Zara has been focusing on its customer engagement policies to offer comprehensive evaluation and contribution to the company in assorted ways (Hitt, Jin, & Wu, 2016).
According to the study, customer influence behaviour, customer knowledge behaviour, customer purchasing behaviour and customer referral behaviour are significant dimensions that strongly contributes in increasing the value of customer engagement (Jin, & Rashad Yazdanifard, 2015). By using word-of-mouth activity, Zara has shared information about its products and services to acquire attention of new and retained customers. This approach has been effective in the purchasing behaviour of customers. Furthermore, the involvement of viral marketing is led from the consequences of word-of-mouth activity, which augments the interaction between exponential growth and word of mouth (Kapferer, & Bastien, 2012). It is a fact that customer engagement is a platform where individuals can share or express their suggestions and experiences regarding a brand or product, which develops a positive exchange of information (Melero, Sese, & Verhoef, 2016).
2.4.3 Social media campaigns and customers
According to the study, it has been notified that Zara is deeply involved in conventional business practices using social media platform (Momany, & Alshboul, 2016). The dependability and credibility of its products is based on the customer and their buying behaviour. On the other hand, the deployment of digital technologies has provided in-depth value to construct strong relationship between customers and products (Mustafah, Khalid, & Ismail, 2015). Thereby, social media campaigns are now becoming a dominant tool for Zara to revitalise its products and concentrate on new trends. In addition, the anticipation of fashion and buying behavior can be undoubtedly revealed from the use of social media campaigns (Reeves, Love, & Tillmanns, 2012). It has been observed that there is significant impact on fashion industry due to the involvement of fashion bloggers. This platform has further assisted Zara to modify everything from printing to publishing and making brands consequential among customers (Thomas, & Carraher, 2014).
Zara is explicitly focusing on the involvement of bloggers to support in constructing new fashion designs with their developed network of followers. These social media campaigns have illustrated a positive civic image for the brand by entailing fashion marketing promotions and designing strategies (Turker, & Altuntas, 2014). The emergence and use of social media campaigns has mitigated the impact of retail outlets, fashion designers and promising stylists (Viardot, & Nylund, 2017). Therefore, target audience is essential in constructing the value of brand or products using social media campaigns. The reason behind this assertion is fundamental due to identification of customers and organisations. The communication and construction of brand’s culture is surrounded by investigating the accomplishment of brand awareness (Aviv, Wei, & Zhang, 2015).
2.4.4 Social Media Campaigns and Purchase Decisions
It has been comprehended purposefully that social media campaigns are vital in asserting the impact on buying behaviour of customers. In the case of Zara, social media has explicitly explained the dominance in the purchasing decisions of customer (Caro, & Martínez-de-Albéniz, 2015). Social networking has become an important paradigm for Zara due to its developing interests and communication platforms. According to the study, it has been identified that the impact of social media campaigns of Zara is comprehensively high on customer purchase decisions (Gamboa, & Gonçalves, 2014). The exploration of information regarding the product as well as the comparison of accessible alternatives are significantly required in sustaining the customer purchase decisions. Due to technology progression, social media campaigns provide appropriate information to the customers in order to modify or influence their purchase decisions (Islam, & Rahman, 2016). It has been recognised that approximately 66% customers are influenced from the social media campaigns of Zara. This assertion allows to focus on the appealing dimensions of social media utilisation associated to customer purchase decisions where customers can integrally increases the brand awareness and brand loyalty. Twitter is the most dominant platform for Zara, providing authentic information to its customers (Jin, & Rashad Yazdanifard, 2015).
2.5 Customer Behaviour Theories
Customer buying behaviour has been approached significantly by numerous models. These theories have been significant in determining the adaption of luxury buying behaviour.
2.5.1 Stimulus-Response Model
The perception of buying behaviour is reflected considerably from the strategies of marketing and environmental stimuli, which illustrates the features and decision-making process of customers (Melero, Sese, & Verhoef, 2016). It has been indicated that this model is associated with the attributes and factors of brand and products, which influences the buying behaviour of customer. Theories have sufficiently expressed the appropriateness of buying behaviour of luxury products. Therefore, buying behavior models are dependent on the notion of luxury goods and customer buying behaviour by considering the identification of luxury buying behaviour (Mustafah, Khalid, & Ismail, 2015).
According to the study, it has been determined that marketing stimuli in customer buying behaviour is associated with 8 p’s of luxury goods marketing. Public figures, pedigree, performance, persona, paucity, pricing, public relations and placement are the significant factors that affect the customer buying behaviour (Reeves, Love, & Tillmanns, 2012). On the other hand, customer buying behaviour is further associated with environmental stimuli, including cultural, economic and technological stimuli. These aspects enable an individual to focus on the product and consequently purchase a product (Turker, & Altuntas, 2014).
Performance and durability of products is measured through technological stimuli, which portrays the significance of luxury goods. Price and value for money is illustrated from the significant dimensions of economic stimuli (Viardot, & Nylund, 2017). The value of money is identically revealed from the perceived value of customers; therefore, price is evidently important in clothing industry (Berthon et al., 2012). Status and social belonging of a brand or product is undermined in social stimuli where information related to luxury goods are investigated properly. In order to show the brand status, customers often portrayed their lifestyle and brand loyalty to acknowledge their value. The self-image and emotions of customers are encompassed from the psychological characteristics of personal stimuli (Chan et al., 2014).
2.6 Social Media Promotions of Zara and Women Buying Behaviour
2.6.1 Consumption Pattern
It has been assumed that buying behaviour of customers is significantly influenced by service, quality, style, option, image, availability and price. Assorted variables and behavioural mechanisms are associated with the importance of purchase decision process, which are dependent on the involvement of a product of brand (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2016). According to the study, it has been revealed that homogeneity of customer buying behaviour is differentiated on the basis of their lifestyle. Lifestyle and product quality is essential in assuming the consumption pattern of customers. On the contrary, the consumption pattern is changed as preferences and patterns are modified in accordance to the time (Cook, & Yurchisin, 2017).
In regard to fashion clothing assessment, it has been explored that attitude and confidence of a customer represents the comprehension and capability towards a specific product (Centeno, 2014). Positive and assertive attitudes are firmly constructed when customers are loyal towards the brand and prefer the products in accordance to their lifestyle. According to the study, it has been notified that high level of involvement enables customer to develop positive attitudes towards a specific brand (Chan et al., 2014). On the other hand, it has been witnessed that major factor that influences the customer buying behaviour and purchase decision is his/her liking and disliking. The customer comprehensive evaluation as well as customer behaviour is well-acknowledged from the attitudes towards a specific brand (Choi et al., 2014).
Customer can create greater preference towards the brand or product if he/she explores the certain image projection of a particular product. By using assorted dimensions in fashion, customers can duly fulfil their needs and requirements towards a specific brand (González, 2017). The relationship between branded clothing and customer involvement is highly associated with positive brand attitude. According to the study, customer buying behaviour and purchase decision is positively influenced from the preference of symbolic value (Islam, 2016). The incentives of symbolic value allowed customers to possess and consume greater preciseness towards the brand and required attributes. Therefore, willingness of a customer and involvement is reflected from the possession of symbolic value and product attributes. It has been asserted that product involvement and willingness towards specific brand is regarded as an important concept in buying behaviour and purchasing decisions (Lee, 2014).
2.6.2 Women Buying Behaviour towards Zara Products
According to the study, fashion and clothing products is regarded as a gendered activity and; therefore, the presence of women in this industry is extensively emerged (Miles, 2013). On the other hand, there are several factors, which create differences in the buying behaviour and purchasing decisions of male and female customers. The perception of male shopping is very restricted as compared to female shopping. Clothing industry has entailed extensive gender role attitudes, which is considered as a feminine activity (Rana, 2016). It has been observed that the focus of men is considerably on the functional benefits whereas women adhere product as a self-identity (Rath et al., 2014). Femininity is much more associated in terms of fashion as compared to the masculinity. The demonstration of women buying behaviour is usually associated with unique products and brands, seeking dynamic styles and fashion trends. The sensitivity of women is observed significantly towards clothing needs and awareness (Roberts, & Zahay, 2012).
It has been investigated that approximately 75% of the revenue of Zara is generated from middle class women despite the fact that target audience of the company entails men, women and children. The independence of female autonomy has been accomplished by Zara in order to compute the awareness among the customer and the position in which Zara is situated. The psychological symbolism of women buying behaviour and purchase decision is emphasized from the predominant shopping extent. Therefore, the process of purchase decision is vital in following the needs and requirements of women when buying their clothes (Momany, & Alshboul, 2016).
3.1 Introduction to Chapter
This chapter is intended to explain the steps taken for data collection and analysis of obtained data. For the execution of these steps, this chapter demonstrated the justification of adopted research philosophy by following several different types of philosophies. The objective of this study is to examine the significance of social promotions on clothing impact customer buying behaviour. Zara has been selected as a case study to acquire the objective. This methodology has thus explained the data collection procedures, research design and research methods to execute the analysis. In addition, justifications for the selection of these methods are provided in this section. Theoretical justification is further involved in this chapter to give emphasis to the selection of these methods. Ethical considerations following the validity and reliability of data is also discussed in this section. In short, this chapter discussed all the procedures and techniques comprehensively.
3.2 Research Philosophies
A research philosophy is a credence that explains the approach used to collect, investigate and utilise the information. Thereby, two major research philosophies have been identified that explains the philosophy of analysis such as positivism and interpretivism. Positivism is an intellectual approach that demonstrates the objective notion of research. According to Collis & Hussey (2013), the phenomena of positivism should be isolated and must repeat the observations. Positivists usually include positivism in quantitative research whereas interpretivism is mainly involved in qualitative studies. The intention of positivism apparently explains the differentiation of reality and value judgment. Potrac, Jones & Nelson (2014) demonstrates that interpretivism is an ontological approach that argues the positivism of natural science. The nature of interpretivism is associated to epistemology and ontology that deals the multiple and relative reality. The information acquired in this approach is mostly dependent on social construction as compared to objective determination. In addition, the intention of interpretivism is to comprehend and discuss the generalisations of causes and effects.
Structured questionnaires, social surveys and official statistics are employed in positivism approach as this approach provides opportunity to explore association between two or more factors. On the contrary, structured interviews and participation of respondents are entailed in interpretivism approach.
3.3 Justification for the Adopted Philosophy
The objective of this study intends to examine the significance of social media promotions on clothing impact customer buying behaviour. Thereby, positivism is used as an adopted research philosophy. The reason behind employing positivism is the nature of this study that allows adopting this philosophy rather than interpretivism. The major advantage of adopting positivism is that this philosophy significantly depends upon quantitative information or numerical data. As compared to interpretivism, positivism is more scientific in nature and in-turns provide reliable and trustworthy outcomes. Thereby, the adoption of positivism is made to acquire quantitative data and to make scientific assumptions.
Another reason behind the deployment of positivism is its structure, which is based on specific laws and rules. Scientific assumptions are thus rooted on the basis of these aspects. As this study entails social media promotions and buying behaviour of customers, theories-related to these factors enforce to adopt positivism for establishing scientific assumptions. The focus of this study is towards deductive evidence rather than inductive; therefore, the chances of variance and variable changes reduce due to the structure of specified philosophy. Thereby, this approach allows staying focus more on mathematical and scientific tools.
3.4 Research Design
Research design is referred as a comprehensive strategy that is selected to incorporate assorted aspects of the research in a logical and consistent approach. Therefore, the adoption of justified research design is essential in comprising the foundation of data collection, measurement and investigation. Numerous research designs exist on the nature of objectives and nature of the problem. Explanatory research design is based on the ideas and personal imaginations of researcher. The formulation of hypothesis is not necessarily required in this specific research design. Diagnostic research design comprises of diagnosis and problematic conditions of the research.
Descriptive and experimental research designs specifically focus on the quantitative nature. The reason behind implementing descriptive research design is the cause and effect association between two or more variables. Therefore, this study has entailed descriptive research design to examine the significance of social promotions of Zara on the buying behaviour of customers. The reason behind adopting the specific research design is the nature and structure of this study. As Zara is opted as a case study; therefore, descriptive research design assists in occupying better approach to collect data to endow statistics regarding customer buying behaviour and social media promotions. Statistical information helps in understanding the social media strategies used by Zara to attract and retain its customers.
By adopting descriptive research design, this study gathers statistical information from primary and secondary sources. Moreover, the focus remains on life experiences of customers towards the social media strategies and promotions of Zara. Therefore, descriptive research design has been adopted to develop emphasis on research question, the purpose of the study, the time dimension, the focus of the study, and the ability of the investigator to develop effects in the variables that are being studied.
3.5 Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection
Quantitative research is an effective approach to identify the results by testing the hypothesis derived from the theory, which enables to estimate the phenomenon of interest. Collation, analysis, synthesis and collection of quantitative and qualitative data are analysed by using different tools, sources and methods. It is the foundation of rapid required assessments that permit decision makers to propose an appropriate, timely and coordinated responses for emergency. Qualitative and quantitative techniques provide adjustments between the generalisability and targeting the limited population (Ritchie et al., 2013).
The data collection done through the quantitative methods are often supposed to produce more precise and objective information because they are always gathered using standardised procedures, which can be analysed using different sampling techniques. The snow ball sampling technique has been employed in this study. A snowball sampling is also referred as chain referral sampling, which can be considered as a type of purposive sampling. In this method, informants or participants with whom contact has already been explored by using their social media networks to contribute and participate to the study. Snow ball sampling is often utilised to recruit and find the hidden populations and the groups, which are not easily accessible through other sampling strategies (Ritchie et al., 2013).
The present study has employed qualitative and quantitative analysis based on 100 sample size. The data was collected through a closed-ended questions survey, which was distributed among the consumers. The sample size for the study was 150 consumers, who assisted to explore the influence of social media promotions on buying behaviour. The deductive approach was also implemented to proceed in the opposite manner, as it begins with the general principles and reality of faith and implement them on the existing experiences. This approach begins with the general idea and ends with some particular arguments based on the observation and experience (Soiferman, 2010). It assisted to explore the faith of consumers and their experiences using the Zara Fashion brand.
3.6 Research Methods and Justification
The procedure of data processing was implemented before the analysis, after completing the procedure of data collection. The process of data preparation consists of editing, coding, transcribing and checking. The questionnaires were counted after being collected from the consumers in order to achieve the required sample. The data collected through questionnaires were checked in order to ensure that the information provided by the consumers was completely filled or not. After the procedure of data preparation, coding, entry, editing, and transformation of the data was done for the questionnaires.
Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to code the data. The code was assigned to the response of each consumers. The data was entered into the database of SPSS, after all, the responses of the questions been coded. Central tendency measures were adopted to identify the demographics of participants. Multiple regression analysis and Pearson correlation coefficient were selected for inferential analysis. These tests were used to inspect the association between independent variables and dependent variable. 5-points Likert scale was implemented for all dependent variable and independent variables.
3.7 Validity and Reliability
Validity and reliability are two significant features of behavioural measure, which are referred to as psychometric properties. It is imperative to accept that validity and reliability are not an all or none issue but a matter to focus. Errors of measurement that disturb the reliability are errors of measurement and random errors that disturb the validity, which are constant errors or systematic. A pilot test has been conducted on 20 participants in order to ensure the reliability of the questionnaire. A Cronbach’s Alpha test has been implemented through Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) to test the reliability of questionnaire.
3.8 Ethical Considerations
The research committee had provided the ethical approval for the research. The informed consent was approved by the research committee. The data acquired from the consumers were kept strictly private. The research committee was alert of each step that was occupied towards execution. Furthermore, all the standard guidelines were followed in order to maintain high standards of ethical considerations.
3.9 Limitations of Research
Few limitations had been obtained in research while conducting the survey. It is noticed that questionnaire was not completely answered by some consumers and not showing interests. The consumers had insufficient time as well as interest in completing the questionnaire on the spot, as most of the questionnaires were distributed among consumers working hours. The accuracy of the responses was questionable due to this reason. In this research, a small sample size is used to carry out the survey. In the last, the survey was only conducted in London due to time constraint. The data was not collected from all outlets of Zara while conducting the survey. Therefore, the results had a chance to be not consistent enough.
This chapter has explained the steps of the data collection procedure and its analysis. The significance of social promotions on clothing impact customer buying behaviour has been explored by focusing on the Zara fashion brand. The case study of Zara has also been observed qualitatively in order to have a better picture of the social promotion significance. The study focused on Zara to attain the objective, which is to recognise the potential factors, which assist during the social media promotions and affects the buying behaviours of customers in United Kingdom. The research has employed quantitative and qualitative research approaches to attain the outcomes regarding the significance of the study. The effectiveness of the traditional marketing approaches, and brand awareness among the customers have been analysed using qualitative and quantitative research designs. This strategy assisted to identify the factors that are favored by the consumers and the fashion brands must promote to gain the consumer’s satisfaction. Closed-ended questionnaire has been used as a research instrument to collect the data from consumers.
The collected data or the responses collected were then coded using SPSS Software. Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis have been used for inferential analysis. These tests were implemented to explore the relationship between the dependent variables and independent variables. Deductive research approach and survey considered as research strategy assisted to evaluate the significance of the study. 100 participants were finalised after the data collection, who gave complete responses to all the questions. Snowball sampling technique has been found appropriate to deal with the population, where the participants are not easily approached.
An ethical approval was taken from the research committee and informed consent form was also approved by the research committee. An informed consent form was filled by the consumers, which ensured the confidentiality of the data collected. All standard guidelines were followed to maintain the standard of ethics. A pilot test has assisted to identify the reliability and validity of the data collected from the consumers concerning the promotion strategies of Zara. The survey was limited to the UK, due to the time limitation.
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