This research aims to critically analyze the impact and effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool on the consumer buying behavior and purchase intention in the UK luxury fashion industry. This study also explores how the consumers in the UK luxury fashion industry react and response to the social media tools used by luxury brands in UK. Finally, this study aims to provide recommendations for the marketers in the UK luxury fashion industry so that they can improve their social media marketing tactics and strategies to attract target customers, understand consumer buying behaviors, and influence customer purchase intention.
In this investigation, pragmatism philosophies along with abductive methodology, descriptive and explanatory research design are effectively used to meet the study goals. Both primary and secondary information sources are utilized alongside quantitative and qualitative information accumulation strategy. A survey which comprises of 21 questions is utilized to gather information. Non-probability sampling technique is connected in this examination to conduct survey. The sample size used in this survey is 100 participants that come from central London from different store fronts of Morison. These participants include both male and female. They come from several age groups that are 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55+. ME Excel and SPSS application has been used to store, manipulate and process data collected through the survey questionnaire. Content and thematic analysis techniques are used to analyze qualitative data.
A large number of customers thinks that social media is helping business to create an easy marketing plan to promote products. Many customers’ beliefs that social media are very much effective to use as a tool to promote their luxury fashion brands of UK. Many researchers also stated that digital marketing is now consider as a successful marketing strategy to influence the attitudes of the customers towards the luxury fashion brands. 25% respondent agreed that social media is the essential stage to collect reliable information on specific fashion products of luxurious fashion brands of UK. 35% responded agreed that they are influenced by social media in order to purchase the luxury fashion product from brands. The secondary research also stated that social media help to improve the brand image of the luxury brands and help the customers to make proper buying decision and intention. 35% of the responded said that the uses Facebook as a social media platform to purchase luxury brand fashion products.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Social media as marketinng tool has come under deep consideration to the marketers in the UK luxury fashion industry. This is because social media can successfully pull in and attract countless customers with minimal costs and within short time in contrast to the conventional advertising channels (Higdon, 2016). However, many luxury fashion brands in UK are facing difficulties in using internet-based marketing channels including social media to influence customer buying behavior and intention (Taube, 2017).
In result, luxury fashion brands in the UK need to take more effective comprehensive initiatives and expand progressively broad perception on how social media marketing can affect customer buying intention to the luxurious items (Siebels, 2015). Thus, the key aim of this study is to analyze the impact of social media marketing to luxurious fashion products of UK. This chapter gives an outline of this study by, first, focusing research background, research problems, and research rational. Then, this chapter outlines research aims, objectives and research questions along with research significance and research structure.
1.1 Background of the study
In the present era of technological innovation, web-based channels including social media have become a key piece of purchasing way for online customers. A study by Statista (2017) disclosed that the uses of social network sites are typical and fundamental part of UK people. According to Statista (2018), the social media users increased from 0.97 billion in 2010 to 2.62 billion in 2018 that is estimated to increase to 3.02 billion by 2021. Chaffey (2019) stated that social media users in 2018 were 3.196 billion that was 13% higher than the previous year. Gray (2016) characterized social networking means combination of several online-based apps which operate about technological as well as innovative creations of the Web 2.0, and allow the usage of client-based contents.
For a long time, the conventional marketing channels dominated the advertising and marketing sectors. However, the introduction of social media as marketing channel has changed the approach of attracting customers dramatically. Organizations are watching out approaches to learn and utilize different online networking sites and strategies to increase customer base and gain competitive advantage (Mangold and Faulds, 2014). The accessibility of the web-based channels and internet have given people a chance to utilize in every viewpoint, it is essential to send messages to operating Facebook and Twitter, and to unite the customers devoid of any physical meeting (Duffett, 2017).
Social media has extraordinarily turned into an essential instrument for UK fashion industry due to its capability to achieve an incredible number of people with less expense in compare to the traditional marketing channels (Solomon, 2013). Keegan (2017) stated that social media as marketing tool is an effective two-way communication channels that plays significant roles for both marketers and consumers to communicate and interact with each others. Therefore, the UK fashion industries are adapting different types of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as marketing tools. Kim and Ko (2015) stated that luxury brand that is the fashion industry leader in UK are using various social media as marketing tool to attract new and potential customers and influence their purchase intentions.
However, Keegan (2017) said social media embraces diversity creating dilemma for the luxury brands in the UK fashion industry. A study by Mckinsey disclosed that about 50% of luxury goods are sold online by influenced through social media marketing. Therefore, the luxury brands in the UK fashion industry are spending lots of time in using social media as marketing tools to deal with business dynamics as well as meet consumer changing needs and expectations (Sashi, 2013). Hence, this research looks into the matters how the tools of social media marketing impact the consumer buying intention in the luxurious products of UK’ fashion industry.
1.2 Research problem
Kim and Ko (2015) stated that due to innovative and appealing business management and marketing luxury brands in UK fashion industry have been able to dominate industry and influence consumer buying behavior and purchase intentions. However, Ko and Aello (2016) said the economic fluctuation in UK and new entrance in the UK luxury fashion market are giving hard time to the luxury brands to meet their organizational goals and objectives. Thus, as Le and Kembele (2013) notes, luxury fashion brands in UK are adapting more social media as marketing tool than ever before to attract their target and potential customers. Hietanen (2016) said Facebook and Twitter are most importantly being adapted in the marketing activities of UK luxury brands. However, Jung and Yoon (2013) said UK luxury brands challenges to maintain their integrity and brand image. This is because luxury brands are closely related with uniqueness as well as exclusivity, whereas social media users can openly criticize and share negative comments about any brands affecting brand image and integrity.
Mount (2014) stated that the success of social media marketing on how effectively, cheaply and quickly marketers can communicate with customers. Luxury brands has got huge benefits from the social media as marketing tools because new and innovative technologies have promoted consumers and the luxury brands to come closer and build up relationship. In contrast, Jung and Yoon (2013) said luxury brands still observe unavoidable risks. Heitanen (2016) stated that widely use of social media sites as marketing tool are promoting luxury brands to empirically analyze the effectiveness and impact on customer buying behavior and purchase intention. However, there is scarcity of available literature on the impact of social media as the marketing tool on customers’ buying intention in luxurious fashion industry of UK. Therefore, this study critically analyzes the impact of social media marketing on the consumer buying behavior and purchase intention for the UK luxury fashion brands.
1.3 Research Rationale
A study by Chattalas and Shukla (2015) disclosed that social media as a marketing tool has transformed traditional one-way correspondence into interactive multidimensional communications. According to Li and Kambele (2013), social media creates brand correspondence because consumers can interact and share ideas with one another that is not possible through the traditional media like newspaper and TVs. Jung and Yoon (2013) said social media marketing is more transmissible and interactive than traditional marketing channels. Other study by Gallagher (2018) shows that luxury fashion brands in UK are moving more forward digital marketing channels including social media to attract customers, influence their purchase intention, and understand consumer buying behaviors.
The digital marketing expenditure of luxury brands increased to 63% since 2013 to about £1billion in 2016, whereas expenditure of traditional marketing declined by 8% in this time period. Additionally, Kim and Ko (2015) stated that social media marketing plays important roles to build up long-term relationship with customers of luxury products and their purchasing intentions. However, Jung and Yoon (2013) said social media marketing has both positive and negative impacts on the customer buying behavior and purchase intention of luxury products in the UK fashion industry. Thus, it is a significant issue for UK luxury fashion brands to deeply understand the impact of social media marketing on the customer buying behavior and purchase intention. Therefore, this research critically analyzes the impact and effectiveness of social media as marketing tool on consumer buying behavior and purchase intention in the UK luxury fashion industry.
1.4 Research Aims & Objectives
This research aims to critically analyze the impact and effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool on consumer buying behavior and purchase intention in the UK luxury fashion industry. This study also explores how the consumers in the UK luxury fashion industry react and respond to the social media tools used by luxury brands in the UK. Finally, this study aims to provide recommendations for the marketers in the UK luxury fashion industry so that they can improve their social media marketing tactics and strategies to attract target customers, understand consumer buying behaviors, and influence customer purchase intention………………..