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Consumer perceived benefits and value in apparel m-retail

Tupikovskaja-Omovie, Zofija (2016) Consumer perceived benefits and value in apparel m-retail. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Within the UK retail sector, fashion shopping via mobiles is one of the fastest developing forms of online retail, yet recent research has shown that apparel retailers have been slow to implement appropriate mobile platforms into overall marketing strategies, thereby failing to satisfy consumer expectations and missing opportunities emerging through this channel. This research analyses mobile apparel retail from the consumer’s perspective. The aim is to understand fashion shopping experiences via smartphones. Research questions relate to the benefits fashion consumers are seeking through mobile shopping channels, how consumers shop, why they use smartphones and what influences their decision-making process. Consequently, a theory of interactive relationship between m-retail and consumer purchase behaviour has been developed. A mixed methods approach was adopted guided by Grounded Theory methodology complemented by experimental work. It applied 200 questionnaires, 1,313 mobile app reviews, 23 eye tracking experiments involving websites, mobile apps and mobile websites, 6 focus group discussions and 8 case studies. A conceptual model of Essential Features of Mobile Channel (EFMC) was developed by triangulating data gathered from a range of sources: eye tracking experiments, mobile app reviews and focus groups. Case studies of commercial platforms, implementing 43 features of EFMC, were used to evaluate mobile websites and apps developed by apparel retailers. This research contributes to knowledge by developing a Benefits-Value Theory (BVT), which addresses the relationship between levels of benefits and their influence on shopping involvement, by examining the ways consumers perceive mobile platforms and respond with distinctive behaviours and attitudes. This conceptual framework devotes what companies are doing on mobile and what consumers think about it. BVT provides a base for fashion consumer segmentation. Consumer profiles have been developed to account for shifts in consumer behaviour led by mobile technologies. This research proposes a model for diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of mobile platforms. Shopping journey and behaviour models establish how to segment the consumer base, capturing a complexity of their behaviours, by assigning value to fashion retail. This research helps apparel retailers to develop appropriate marketing strategies in m-retail focusing on maximizing customer benefits and satisfaction by fulfilling retailers’ value creation and delivery.

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