Firstly, I want to thank the almighty God for giving me such knowledge and wisdom with which I conducted this research work. Then I want to thank my parents and family for supporting me through the entire course work and helping me financially so that I can accomplish this research work successfully. Then I want to appreciate my supervisor for his support, guidance, encouragement and vast wisdom which has led me to increase my knowledge in different ways including this topic of research. Lastly, I would like to thank all the participants who gave their valuable time and took part in my research work and my colleagues who supported me and motivated me that I can do my research work successfully.
The aim of the study was to understand the impact of free trade on customer loyalty in the UK. The objectives are: 1.To review the models and theories related to the term ‘free trade’ 2. To review the models and theories related to the term ‘consumer choices’ 3. To review the existing researches and well-recognized studies to understand the implied effect of increased free trade on UK consumers’ income and choices 4. To analyze the impact of free trade on UK consumer choice by conducting interviews with UK businesses and survey with the customers in UK 5. To recommend the UK businesses and concerned authorities to boost up free trade facilities to increase consumer benefits.
To conduct the research several methodologies have been followed. As a research philosophy pragmatism philosophy was used. Descriptive research design and deductive approach were mainly used in the research work. As a sampling method, both probability and nonprobability samples were used by the researcher. To collect the data both primary and secondary and both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used. To collect the quantitative data the researcher used a survey and to collect qualitative data researcher conducted an interview. In the survey, 13 questions were asked to 100 customers of the UK. In the interview, 9 questions were asked to 10 business persons who are related to free trade. To analyze the quantitative data SPSS application, and to analyze the qualitative data thematic methods were applied.
In the finding and analysis, both the primary and secondary data revealed that free trade has an impact on products and service quality, price, availability, delivery and the live standard of the customer of the UK. In the survey and interview the customers and the business persons recommended that business and authority related to free trade of the UK that they should increase their knowledge on free trade to make better marketing and pricing strategy and gain better opportunities in the market. They also recommended that the countries should be more flexible and should eliminate the tariff on free trade in order to increase the free facilities to the customers of the UK.
Chapter 1: Introduction
For low-income families, free trade has some common benefits. Consumers get these benefits from different channels and in different ways. Several economists said that the usefulness of free-trade analyzed and measured, for example, GDP, to explain how financial expansion and the standard of living increase with business liberalization (Coats and Brady, 2015). However, very poor researches have been done on free trade and its impact on consumer choices in the perspective UK market (Langenfeld and Neiberding, 2015). Therefore, this study aims to analyze the impact of free trade on consumer choices in the perspective of UK businesses
1.1 Research background
The concept of free trade refers to economics that has no boundary. According to Peter (2008) countries have free trade when they drop their duties, quotas, tariffs and particular features related to imported products. In doing business with the partner countries, the contract of free trade is very essential to make the business easier. For this, the new marketers who are beginning their exporting or importing business should do their business with the countries that have free trade contracts.
As Ghose and Lowengart (2013) suggested, consumer behavior is the attitude of consumers related to products and service purchasing. According to marketing, consumer choice is the behavior done by the customer while buying any product or service. According to Moorman et al. (2013), in the age of globalization, with the rising of the world economy and the economical status of the customer, the demand for internationally known products is getting higher. Moorman et al. (2013) stated that, for this, international marketers are encountering more challenges and competition to launch their product locally. As Quelch (2010) disclosed, the international marketing image is affected by the escalated recognition of the global brand and the higher profiles of the customers who live in the big cities.
For this, customer behavior is affected significantly by free trade. Free trade has made the products cost-effective for the customer with average living. In addition, it has created the market more attractive and challenging. According to Pablo, Fajgelbaum and Khandelwal (2016), many studies show that free trade mainly affects the poorer customer. As the prices of the products are reasonable poor customers’ who spend most of their income to buy basic things, their life has become easier.
1.2 Research problems
There are journal and literature reviews present on the topic of international trade. According to Harvard issues, there are studies which stated that due to free trade the living cost in the USA and China got lowered by 7% among the year 2000 to 2016. As Amiti et al. (2016), according to a recent survey on free trade conducted by the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. Clarke and winters (2017) suggested that, for the UK, work by the UKTPO and the Resolution Foundation looked at the impact on consumer prices from a so-called “MFN Brexit”. The study found that UK would impose tariffs on imports from the EU at the same rate as on goods from the rest of the world. But, the study did not get enough information related to free trade and its impact on consumer choices in the UK market. Braithwaite (2017) also conducted a study on the benefits of free trade on US consumers. This study showed the impact on the consumers by the increasing income of theirs. However, there is not much literature or studies available which directly concentrate on the impact of free trade on UK customers. Most of them focus on the impact of trade combined with economical initiatives. However, the information provided by that literature can be utilized to find out the impact of free trade on customer behavior.
1.3 Aim and objectives
The aim of this study is to review the models and theories related to free trade and consumer choices, and existing researches and well-known studies to understand the impact of free trade on consumer choices. Then, this study understands the perspectives of UK businesses and consumers about free trade and its impact on consumer choices. Finally, this study recommends the UK businesses and concerned authorities boost the free trade opportunities to increase consumer benefits.
- To review the models and theories related to the term ‘free trade’
- To review the models and theories related to the term ‘consumer choices’
- To review the existing researches and well-recognized studies to understand the implied effect of increased free trade on UK consumers’ income and choices
- To analyze the impact of free trade on UK consumer choice by conducting an interview with the UK businesses and survey with the customers in the UK
- To recommend the UK businesses and concerned authorities to boost up free trade facilities to increase consumer benefits
1.4 Research questions
- a) What are the importance and challenges of free trade in the present business world?
- b) Which factors do affect the consumer choices in buying products and services?
- c) What is the impact of free trade on consumer choices?
- d) What actions should the UK business and concerned authorities take to improve free trade facilities to benefits consumer choices?
1.5 Research contribution
As Braithwaite (2017) suggested, Economists have revealed many advantages of free trades on customers. The products of free trades are cost-friendly, available in many varieties and are better in quality. Free trade not only improves the economy of the country, but it also increases the productivity of the local companies. To survive and compete with internationally recognized products, local companies have to increase their productivity, make standard products and give better customer service. Through free trade, local companies also get chances to import their product internationally and get popular. According to Lagerfeld and Neiberding (2015), despite many advantages, free trade has some demerits too. Though the customers benefited largely from the free trade, many workers have to change their jobs or they get unemployed. This study analyzes findings from several previous studies on the impact of free trade on consumer choices………..