...Attributes and Decision Making Style of Young Adults in Selecting Footwear
Ruby Jain1 and Arti Sharma2
Department of Home Science, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur 302004, Rajasthan, India
ABBRIVIATED TITLE- Footwear Purchasing Styles of Young Adults
KEYWORDS Consumer Style Inventory, Choice Criteria, Consumer, Information Source
ABSTRACT Footwear helps the modern day consumer to make his or her unique lifestyle statement. The objective of the paper is to explore the young adult consumer's information source, choice criteria and decision making style followed in footwear purchasing in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Data was collected from six hundred consumers within the age group of 21-35 years from Jaipur city with the help of questionnaire. Consumer Style Inventory (CSI) used by earlier author was used as a base tool for exploring decision making style. Present paper reveals that young adults prefer to choose specific criteria while purchasing footwear. This paper recommends the retail companies to circulate the relevant information through the popular sources of information selected by young adults, consider the products attributes which effect young adult's decision making styles for more growth of apparel industry.
With the emerging fashion trends over the past few years, footwear is a matter of concern as it is becoming an important part of the overall appearance. The footwear industry in India has been on tremendous growth and investment as foreign companies have captured the Indian market. India is itself one of the most leading shoes manufactures of the world. Today the young consumers spend their money spontaneously inspired by fashion, friends and culture. Young people spend most of their money on their clothes, cosmetics and for personal reasons. According to The Times of India, February 2014, the buying behavior of consumers in India has also changed. Education, age, income, economic scenario, media and technology play a tremendous role in shaping the way people shop.
India is the second largest global producer of footwear after China. India produces 14 percent of global footwear and different categories of footwear like leather shoe uppers, non- leather footwear and leather footwear are manufactured. In the last five years, footwear production in the country has increased by nearly 60 percent. Indian leather industry is the core strength of the Indian footwear industry. The Indian footwear market is expected to be worth INR 475 billion by 2025, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 7 percent. According to Euro monitor International, March 2015 in overall, India is expected to contribute over US $ 19 billion to the global footwear market by 2019.
Young consumers are conscious about their looks and so make efforts to be dressed in updated fashion. Besides clothing footwear is also one major part of young consumer's style and looks. Youth forms the major chunk of the consumers who are technology savvy, so information is their weapon to take purchase decisions. With the economic growth and literacy in India use of information source now days has become very important for purchasing any product. Buying is a compound process connecting a number of decisions to be made as to what to purchase, where to purchase, when and how much to purchase, this process is separable into stages such as attentiveness, information, application, check and acceptance, and consumers usually search for information to identify and compare alternatives.
Searching for information is a key stage of a consumer's decision-making process that may include search through internal and external environment. Internal information will be gathered from past experience or prior exposure to advertisement. External information may be collected from sources such as reference groups (e.g. peers, family members) and/or marketplace. Both internal and external information will reduce perceived risk and thus search behavior.
Humans often face situations in which decisions must be made quickly and based on a limited amount of information (Funder 2010). Consumers generally search for information to identify and evaluate alternatives. In the traditional shopping mode, consumers might visit stores, discuss the purchase with friends, talk to store employees, seek out ads, or just visit the mall to look around. Young Consumers are willing to spend more time and effort on searching for information when they are choosing from different categories of products.
Consumers use these information sources to evaluate the attributes of different footwear's and then make a decision. A product attribute is a characteristic of a raw material or finished good which make it separate from other products. Attributes include size, color, functionality, components and features that affect the product's appeal or approval in the market. Authors like Carpenter and Moore 2010; Swinker and Hines 2006; Klerk and Lubbe 2004; Kwan et al 2004 have classified these attributes as intrinsic and extrinsic attributes in their studies. Intrinsic cues are product attributes that cannot be changed or manipulated without changing the physical characteristics of the product itself; these are style, comfort, size, care, durability, colorfastness, safety etc. Product attributes that are not component parts of the physical product but that are applied by the manufacturer or retailer are extrinsic cues; these are price/cost of footwear, brand, store image and warranty etc.
After evaluating these products attributes consumers finally take decisions to purchase the product or not. Decision making is more complex and even more important for consumers today than in the past. Sproles and Kendall 1986 had developed a comprehensive instrument called Consumer Style Inventory (CSI) to measure consumer decision making styles. This instrument measures eight mental characteristics of consumer's decision making: perfectionism, brand consciousness, novelty-fashion consciousness, recreational, price-value consciousness, impulsiveness, confused by over choice, and brand-loyal/habitual.
The study is designed to find out the most suitable information source and footwear attributes which influence footwear purchase decision and further it explores decision making styles of young adults for footwear purchasing. Sproles and Kendall's CSI to access decision making styles was applied to see whether it can be used for footwear product. The study further examines correlation between decision making styles factors.
This study explores consumer's selection of information source, attributes and decision making style for footwear purchasing. The study was conducted in Jaipur city of Rajasthan state in India during February and March 2012. Jaipur is divided in 8 zones and the most populated 4 zones were selected for sampling of the study. Six hundred consumers 300 male and 300 female between the ages of 21-35 years were selected for the study, they were approached from public places like malls, parks, temples and local markets. Survey method was employed as the tool to collect information. Questionnaire consisted of 4 sections viz general information towards footwear, information source, attributes, and decision making styles. For decision making style of young adults for purchasing footwear the Consumer style inventory (CSI) by Sproles and Kendall 1986 tool was used as a base tool.
Factor analysis with cronbach alpha was conducted to find out the validity and reliability of CSI for footwear in Jaipur population. Bartlett's test of sphericity and Kiaser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure were both adopted to determine the appropriateness of data for factor analysis. The result of Bartlett's test of sphericity (0.00) and KMO 0.64 indicated that the data was appropriate for factor analysis. For reliability the cronbach alpha value 0.6 or > 0.6 is considered as acceptable level, as Hair et al, 2006 and other authors have considered 0.6-0.7 cronbach alpha as acceptable value. In the Table-1 the alpha ( ) values shown against the factor denote the cronbach alpha and values against each items are factor loading. Factors having cronbach alpha below 0.6 are excluded and in the selected factors items having factor loading below 0.4 are excluded as these do not represent the consumers of Jaipur.
Table-1 indicated that 6 factor model of consumer style inventory (Perfectionist high quality conscious consumer, brand conscious, habitual brand loyal, novelty fashion conscious and confused by over-choice) was applicable on Jaipur population for footwear purchasing.
The above 6 factor model was used for further analysis.
1. General Purchasing Behavior
Every person has a different concept and purchasing style which influences selection of footwear and this may be different from clothing. According to Table-2 almost 61 percent young adults prefer not to shop clothes and footwear at a same time. More than half (59.5 percent) young adult's respondents occasionally go for footwear shopping. Fifty percent respondents accepted that they took less time to purchase footwear compared to apparels whereas 40.3 percent young adults took same time to purchase footwear as apparel. Twenty five percent respondents spend 2000-3000 rupees, 25.8 percent spend 3000-4000 and 27.2 percent spend 4000-50000 rupees annually on footwear. This makes it clear that more than three fourth (79 percent) young adults spend between 2000-5000 rupees annually on footwear. Most of the young adults (78.2 percent) didn't have same pair of footwear as apparel on the other side 21.8 percent young adults have same pair of footwear as apparel.
Further the study explores the different source of information like electronic media, print media and word of mouth which are used by the youth to gain information about footwear.
Result indicated in Table 3 that 54.2 percent adults always prefer to take information about market trends from friends/family/relative about footwear and 45.5 percent young adults are affected by group influence as an information source for purchasing. It shows word of mouth is the favorite information source of young adults. Print media comes on second priority as 39.5 percent young adults prefer to choose newspaper as an information source and electronic media comes after print media as 38.5 percent adults choose TV as a good source of information. Results depicted that radio (60 percent) and discount messages on mobile (56 percent) are the source of information which is rarely or never used by Jaipur's young adults.
Thus the study indicated that young adults mostly use Friends/ Neighbors, Relatives group influence, newspaper, TV and catalogs. Around 43-60 percent of the population very rarely or never prefers radio, messages on mobile, pamphlets, hoarding, fashion shows and magazine as an information source for purchasing footwear. Thus Table-4 shown best 5 information source most preferred or least preferred by young adults for footwear purchasing.
2. Footwear Choice Criteria
To find out the choice criteria which influence footwear purchasing items were measured on a 5 point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Among the intrinsic factors size/fitting is the most important criteria for young adults with highest percent of respondents 97 percent agreeing for it. According to 96 percent comfort ability is the next most important criteria while footwear purchasing. More than 90 percent respondents agree for design of footwear as important criteria for selection and 88.5 percent consider that appearance is the fourth most important criteria for purchasing. Style and durability of footwear is also next important criteria for young adults (Table 5). Thus while choosing footwear the most important factor is comfort. Although with the changing trends people's perception about footwear is also changing but the comfort level provided by a particular brand of shoes does not change.
Thus the result in Table-6 reveals that 90-97 percent young adults show preference for intrinsic criteria's and 80-84 percent shows preference for extrinsic criteria's for footwear purchasing. Very less percentage for disagreement of young adults for footwear choice criteria shows that each and every criterion is important for young adults for buying footwear.
3. Decision Making Style
Table-7 shows that around 66- 69 percent usually try to buy the best footwear in overall quality, they try to get the very best or perfect choice when purchasing footwear and getting very good quality is very important for them. Thus 66-69 percent of total population of young adults reflected that they are perfectionist high quality conscious. At the same time 40-50 percent consumers consider that most advertised footwear brand are usually good choice, more expensive brands are their choice and they prefer to buy the bestselling footwear brands. Therefor young adults are replicating brand consciousness also.
On the other side 50-53 percent of young adult's shows Habitual brand loyalness in their nature for purchasing as they go to the same store each time they shop; they have favorite brands they buy over and over. According to them nice department and specialty store offers them the best footwear.
More than 50 percent young adults (52-63 percent) exhibit novelty fashion consciousness in footwear purchasing. Fashionable attractive style is important for young adults, they shop different store to get different brands, and they have one or more footwear of very newest style and its fun for them to buy something new and exciting.
More than 50 percent consumers reflected confusion by over-choices as they feel confused with so many brands, hard to choose which store to shop, all the information they get on different products confused them. On the other side 42-64 percent young adults shown price consciousness in their behavior while shopping footwear as they want to buy as much as possible at sale price whereas majority of young adults 64 percent find the best value for money.
Thus the percentage shown in above Table-7 indicated that young adults exposed different decision making style at a same time for purchasing footwear.
To find out the relationship between factors of decision making style for footwear correlations were drawn, it also analyzes the multicollinearity of the construct. According to Table-8 there is a correlation between brand conscious and habitual brand loyal with correlation value .386 which is significant at 0.01 levels. This shows consumers who are brand conscious can be habitual brand loyal. There is also a good correlation found between novelty fashion conscious and brand conscious with correlational value .390 which is significant at 0.01 levels and between novelty fashion conscious and confused by over-choice with correlation value .389 which is significant at 0.01 levels shows that consumers who are novelty fashion conscious can be brand conscious and can be confused by over choice
Young adults are particular about their selection of information source, attributes and their decision making style. After analysis of results it was found that word of mouth (friends/family and neighbor) is the best information source for footwear purchasing as majority of the young population using this information source frequently. For the selection of attributes present study revealed that among product attributes size and fitting are the main criteria for selection of footwear followed by comfortability, design and style of footwear, the same result were found in Saricam et al 2012 paper that fitting and style are the most favorable product attributes followed by price. Similarly Hassan, Hurran and Lanja 2014 also concluded that price, design and style are the most important criteria while product selection.
Present study concluded that young adults of Jaipur city exhibit perfectionist high quality consciousness, brand consciousness, habitual brand loyalness, novelty fashion consciousness, and confusion by over-choice and price consciousness at the time of footwear purchasing. Out of eight, six reliable factors were found in Jaipur young adults which shows CSI in its original form can be applied on Jaipur young adults. Jain and Sharma 2013 in their review paper concluded that five factors of CSI (perfectionist high quality conscious, brand conscious, recreational hedonistic, price conscious, confused by over-choice) are mostly used by many authors in different countries and in different cultures.
Bandara 2014; Mokhlis and Salleh 2009; Halfstrom et al. 1992 concluded in their studies that CSI had potential use across an international population. Researcher Godeshwar 2011; Gayan 2010; Ravindra et al. 2009; Patel 2008; Canabal 2002 worked on CSI in India also found five or six reliable factors which can apply on Indian population.
This study found information source popularly used by young adults of different age groups that will help to retail companies to broadcast their products in the selected information source to enhance their purchase. This study has adapted the consumer style inventory developed by Sproles and Kendall 1986. Literature review identified that CSI tool is generally used for apparel product. This study is an effort to use CSI on footwear products. Among all eight variables six factors viz., perfectionist high quality conscious, brand conscious, habitual brand loyal, novelty fashion conscious, confused by over-choice and price conscious were identified in young adults. According to the results it can be concluded that CSI in its original form (without modification) can be applicable but it will be better to modify this tool according to culture and demography.
Among all footwear information sources word of mouth is most desirable information source and in footwear choice criteria size/fitting of footwear, comfortability and design of footwear are the three most required criteria's for young adults. This indicated that intrinsic criteria's are more important than extrinsic criteria's and young adults shown perfectionism, brand consciousness, habitual brand loyalty, fashion consciousness, confusion and price consciousness in their footwear purchasing behavior.
Exploring the buying behavior of young adults in reference to information source, decision making style and criteria's selected for footwear purchasing, the study depicts a clear picture of young consumers purchasing behavior. On the basis of this the study makes following recommendations:
Market research in this area from time to time should be done so that the relevant data is there regarding the consumer choices.
Young consumers should explore other information sources except word of mouth to avoid mistaken store or product selection.
Young consumers should be clear about their preference for attributes in footwear to avoid confusion at the time of shopping.
Production or manufacturing companies should promote their products on other information sources (print media, electronic media) effectively, so that young adults should use other information source except word of mouth to gain knowledge about market.
Brand companies manufacturing footwear products should keep consumers decision making style in mind while planning their production strategy as young consumers have different decision making style for footwear.
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Table- 1 Cronbach alpha ( ) and factor analysis of Consumer Style Inventory n=600
S. No. Decision Making Style (CSI) 21-35 Years
Factor 1 Perfectionist high quality conscious consumer = .725
In general, I usually try to buy the best footwear in overall quality .495
My standards and expectation for footwear I buy are very high .453
A footwear doesn't have to be perfect, or the best to satisfied me .723
I make special effort to choose the very best quality footwear .595
I really don't give my purchase much thought and care .638
when it's come to purchase footwear, I try to get the very best or perfect choice .587
I shop quickly buying the first product or brand I find that seems good enough .562
Getting very good quality is very important for me .605
Factor 2 Brand conscious = .604
The more expensive footwear brands are usually my choice .694
The well-known national brands footwear are best for me .588
I prefer buying the bestselling footwear brands .625
The most advertised footwear brands are usually very good choice .625
The higher the price of a footwear, the better its quality .576
Factor 3 Habitual brand loyal consumer = .626
I change brands I buy regularly .764
Nice department and specialty stores offer me the best footwear .465
I have favorite brands I buy over and over .701
once I find a product or brand I like , I stick with it .416
I go to same stores each time I shop .728
Factor 4 Recreational hedonistic consumer = .343
shopping in store waste my time .654
I enjoy shopping just for fun .725
I make my shopping trip fast .613
Shopping is not a pleasant activity for me .700
Going shopping for footwear is one of the enjoyable activity of my life .678
Factor 5 Impulsive careless consumer = .227
I am impulsive when purchasing footwear .698
I take time to shop carefully for best buy .710
Often I make careless purchase I later wish I had not .741
I carefully watch how much I spend .662
I should plan my footwear shopping more carefully then I do .536
Factor 6 Novelty fashion conscious = .612
I keep my wardrobe up to date with the changing fashion .666
Fashionable, attractive style footwear is very important for me .656
To get variety, I shop different stores and choose different brands .585
I usually have one or more outfits of very newest style .664
it's fun to buy something new and exciting .632
Factor 7 Confused by over choice consumer = .643
The more I learnt about footwear the harder it seems to choose the best .622
there are so many brands to choose from that often I feel confused .718
Sometimes it's hard to choose which store to shop .519
All information I get on different footwear confuse me .578
Factor 8 Price conscious 'price equals money" consumer = .626
The lower price footwear products are usually my choice .860
I look carefully to find the best value for the money .989
I buy as much as possible at sale price .871
Table- 2 Footwear purchasing Details n- 600
S.N Footwear Purchase Details 21-35 Years
1 Shopping clothes and footwear at a same time
Yes 236 39.3
No 364 60.7
2 Prefer to go for footwear shopping
Never 10 1.7
Twice in a month 41 6.8
Monthly 98 16.3
Occasionally 357 59.5
Twice in a year 85 14.2
Other 9 1.5
3 Time spend on each trip of footwear shopping
Same to apparel 242 40.3
Less than apparels 305 50.8
More than apparels 46 7.7
Others 7 1.2
4 Money spent annually on footwear
1000-2000 130 21.7
2000-3000 150 25
3000-4000 155 25.8
4000-5000 163 27.2
5 Equal pair of footwear as garment
Yes 131 21.8
No 469 78.2
Table-3 Frequency and percent of Information source used by Young Adults n-600
Information Source Always Often Never
f % f % f %
TV 231 38.5 192 32 177 29.5
Internet 169 28.1 143 23.8 288 48
Movies 192 32 188 31.3 220 36.7
Radio 88 14.7 151 25.2 361 60.1
Discount messages on mobile 131 21.9 134 22.3 335 55.8
Fashion shows 132 22 203 33.8 265 44.2
Celebrities 197 32.8 224 37.3 178 29.7
Newspaper 237 39.5 135 22.5 228 38
Pamphlets 105 17.5 202 33.7 293 48.9
Fashion magazine 181 30.1 159 26.5 260 43.3
Hoardings 139 23.2 183 30.6 275 45.9
Catalogs 212 35.3 158 26.3 230 38.3
Word of Mouth
Shop keeper 181 30.2 225 37.5 194 32.3
Group influence 273 45.5 217 36.2 110 18.4
Friends/ Neighbors, Relatives 325 54.2 196 32.7 79 13.2
Store display 207 34.5 193 32.2 199 33.2
Table- 4 Rank of Information Sources
Rank Information Source
Preferred Not preferred
1 Friends/ Neighbors, Relatives Radio
2 Group influence Discount messages on mobile
3 Newspaper Pamphlets
4 TV Hoardings
5 Catalogs Fashion magazine
Table- 5 Footwear choice criteria of young adults n- 600
Choice Criteria Factors Young adults
Agree In between Disagree
Intrinsic Criteria f % f % f %
Size/Fitting of footwear 582 97 10 1.7 8 1.3
Comfortability 575 95.8 16 2.7 9 1.5
Design of footwear 548 91.3 36 6 16 2.7
Appearance 531 88.5 43 7.2 26 4.3
Care of footwear 498 83 70 11.7 32 5.3
Style of footwear 524 87.3 47 7.8 29 4.8
Durability of footwear 524 87.3 48 8 28 4.7
Color of footwear 522 87 56 9.3 22 3.7
Safety 502 83.7 68 11.3 30 5
Construction/workmanship 456 76 97 16.2 47 7.8
Price/cost of footwear 502 83.7 68 11.3 30 5
Brand label of footwear 457 76.2 102 17 41 6.8
Approval of others 485 80.8 72 12 43 7.2
Warranty (ease of return) 489 81.5 82 13.7 29 4.8
coordination with wardrobe 429 71.5 94 15.7 77 12.8
Salesperson's evaluation 379 63.2 124 20.7 97 16.2
Table- 6 Rank of Information Sources
1 Size/fitting of footwear Price/Cost of footwear
2 Comfort-ability Warranty
3 Design of footwear Approval of others
Table- 7 Decision making style for footwear n= 600
S.No. Consumer Decision Making Style Agree In Between Disagree
f % f % f %
Factor 1 Perfectionist high quality conscious consumer
In general, I usually try to buy the best footwear in overall quality 397 66.2 138 23 65 10.8
My standards and expectation for footwear I buy are very high 252 42 192 32 156 26
A footwear doesn't have to be perfect, or the best to satisfied me 243 40.5 130 21.7 227 37.8
I make special effort to choose the very best quality apparel 384 64 137 22.8 79 13.2
I really don't give my purchase much thought and care 280 46.7 126 21 194 32.3
When it's come to purchase footwear, I try to get the very best or perfect choice 408 68 132 22 60 10
I shop quickly buying the first product or brand I find that seems good enough 130 21.7 156 26 314 52.3
Getting very good is very important for me 415 69.2 117 19.5 68 1.4
Factor 2 Brand conscious
The more expensive footwear brands are usually my choice 248 41.3 160 26.7 192 32
The well-known national brands footwear are best for me 237 39.5 194 32.3 169 28.2
I prefer buying the bestselling footwear brands 303 50.5 162 27 135 22.5
The most advertised footwear brands are usually very good choice 244 40.7 147 24.5 209 34.8
The higher the price of a footwear, the better its quality 235 39.2 181 30.2 184 30.7
Factor 3 Habitual brand loyal consumer
I change brands I buy regularly 137 22.8 170 28.3 293 48.8
Nice department and specialty stores offer me the best footwear 326 54.3 144 24 130 21.7
I have favorite brands I buy over and over 319 53.2 140 23.3 141 23.5
Once I find a product or brand I like , I stick with it 229 38.2 189 31.5 182 30.3
I go to same stores each time I shop 301 50.2 202 33.7 97 16.2
Factor 4 Novelty fashion conscious
I keep my wardrobe up to date with the changing fashion 264 44 189 31.5 147 24.5
Fashionable, attractive style is very important for me 314 52.3 141 23.5 145 24.2
To get variety, I shop different stores and choose different brands 357 59.5 157 26.2 86 14.3
I usually have one or more outfits of very newest style 332 55.3 155 25.8 113 18.8
It's fun to buy something new and exciting 379 63.2 144 24 77 12.8
Factor 5 Confused by over choice consumer
The more I learnt about footwear the harder it seems to choose the best 285 47.5 216 36 99 16.5
There are so many brands to choose from that often I feel confused 337 56.2 167 27.8 96 16
Sometimes it's hard to choose which store to shop 350 58.3 167 27.8 83 13.8
All information I get on different footwear confuse me 338 56.3 176 29.3 86 14.3
Factor 6 Price conscious 'price equals money" consumer
The lower price footwear products are usually my choice 178 29.7 282 47 140 23.3
I look carefully to find the best value for the money 386 64.3 133 22.2 81 13.5
I buy as much as possible at sale price 255 42.5 106 17.7 239 39.8
Table- 8 Correlation between decision making styles for footwear
DMS PHQC BC HBC NFC COC
PHQC 1 -.027 -.044 .091* .012
BC -.027 1 .386** .390** .199**
HBC -.044 .386** 1 .190** .201**
NFC .091* .390** .190** 1 .389**
COC .012 .199** .201** .389** 1
PC -.006 -.018 .057 .098* .050
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