CONSUMER BEHAVIOR OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE APPAREL AND FASHION INDUSTRY IN THE UK AND JAPAN

CONSUMER BEHAVIOR OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE APPAREL AND FASHION INDUSTRY IN THE UK AND JAPAN

Chapter 1: Introduction, Research Question and Hypotheses

From the previous work on the same research topic, it was clearly outlined that the significant issue to understand the consumer’s behavior is including the demand of purchasing, the reason of purchasing; marketing mix and the market (Peter & Olson 2005, p. 120). The work also pointed out that the activities of physicality and mentality are factors that influenced consumer to decide, select, and purchase the products and services in order to satisfy the consumer’s demand. WHO/HBSC Forum, Mathieson & Koller (2008) articulate that in the entrepreneurial world, eyebrows have often been raised about the need of understanding consumer behavior. Companies must understand the behavior of the consumers of their products and services in order to ensure profitability, which is a major objective in several companies, is achieved (Vargas Garcia-ruiz & edwards 2011, p. 96). The other aspect that companies need to know is the factors that influence the decision making of consumers in all sorts of markets. For instance, in the apparel industry, age is a major factor that will influence the purchasing power of a consumer (Walker 1996, p .7). That is to say, a young individual would consider clothes or apparels that trend with the modern generation’s fashion while an old consumer would not consider such in order to buy a product (Sirgy 2001, p. 268). In respect to all these aspects, this project looks forward to identify or come up with the reasons why variations exist in consumer behaviors of young people in the fashion industry in different seasons. There are two hypotheses that have been formulated for the research. To start with, one hypothesis is that cultures, tradition, the way of life in both the UK and Japan, have an influence on decision buying. The other hypothesis of the research is that individual value also influences decision buying from the customer. Basing on improvement from the previous work, one would add that understanding consumer behavior would help enhance accountability in a good number of companies. Moreover, Zou & Fu (2011) point out that understanding consumer behavior helps companies read the situation in the international market.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Basing on the previous work, it is well articulated that consumer behavior is an aspect that is inside the human, and it is the human to decide which product is of their preference and if whether they purchase it, it will meet their needs (Steers, Sánchez-runde & Nardon 2010, p. 8). The previous work also points out that companies often give priority to their customers as they are the sole reason for the existence of the companies.

As an improvement from the previous work done, it would be worth noting that a number of researchers have previously focused on the same and have tried to come up with reasons that explain the variations in the consumer behaviors among young people in the fashion industry. Marieke De Mooij states that one of the factors that lead to the variation in consumer behaviors among the young people is culture (Reynolds 2010, p. 170). He further explains that ignoring the influence of culture among the young people has led to a good number of companies centralizing their operations and marketing which, instead of increasing efficiency, has led to a significant decline in profitability (Bigger & Ferrari, 2010, p. 185). Definitely, decline in profitability is not an objective in any company (Mooij & Mooij 2011, p. 96).

Jacob Hornik is the other researcher who previously tried to come up with the possible reasons for the variations in consumer behavior among the young people in the apparel industry. He opines that social influence has facilitated product involvement among the youths (Colman & Young 1989, p. 18). That is to say, the youths involve their friend and family members when they want to purchase products in the fashion and apparel industry Rutgers center of Alcohol Studies 2007, p. 932).

Chapter 3: Methodology

This chapter focuses on the methods that were used in conducting the research. The research was made on mix methods that were used to approach the data that are related to the research question. Thus, the research used both quantitative and qualitative means. The use of both means made the research very accurate and precise as the data came out very effectively. Quantitative tools were used during the research and they provided important information about the research topic.

As an improvement from the previous work, other methods were also used during the research. Questionnaires were handed to 20 students in the UK and other 20 students in Japan. Thus, the total number of participants during the research was 40. By filling in the questionnaires, the students from the two countries gave significant information concerning the variations in consumer behavior among young people in the two countries.

During the research, 5 students from the UK and 5 others from Japan were interviewed and they gave their opinions on the reasons for the variations in the consumer behavior of the young people in the apparel and fashion industry in the two countries.

Chapter 4:  Data Presentation, Evidence, Analysis and Discussion

As per the previous work, when research was done on the reasons why variations exist in consumer behaviors of young people in the fashion industry in different seasons, it was found out that there are a number of reasons that make young people behave differently in the two countries when buying products from the fashion industry during different (Soundarapandian, 2002).  The first reason for the different consumer behavior among the young people was found to be the apparel product attributes (Khan 2006, p. 10). From the data collected from the 40 participants who were given questionnaires, the response from a good number of them was that social influence is a major reason for the variation in the consumer behavior among the youths (Freedman 1970, p. 87). The 20 students from the UK confirmed that that most young people do not make decisions on their own but depend on their friends and members of their families to make decisions especially when it comes to making decisions in the apparel and fashions industry (Harper, Palen & Taylor 2005). Nearly all the students interviewed in Japan confirmed that the difference in age among the young people is one of the factors that influence their consumer behavior (Krishna naik & Reddy, 1999). After the research was done, the data that was collected from the participants in the UK and Japan was presented in form of graphs and pie chart. This is because the 2 methods of data presentation often encourage easy interpretation and understanding.

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusions

In summary, from the data collected among the youths in Japan and in the UK, it was found that some of the reasons for the existing variations in consumer behaviors of young people in the fashion industry in different seasons include difference in age, influence of culture and social influence (Baourakis 2004). Therefore, it would be worth noting that consumer behaviors among the youths must be taken seriously by companies in the apparel and fashion industry if profitability is to be achieved (Sumathi & Saravanavel 2003). In fact, young people are the major consumers of the apparel and fashion industry hence they must be prioritized (Lamb, Hair & Mcdaniel 2012).

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