Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Women Consumers in the China Cosmetic Surgery Market

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Women Consumers in the China Cosmetic Surgery Market

Article excerpt



This case is designed to direct students to learn how to analyze the data collected in a market survey. This case is deliberately kept sufficiently simple to direct students' attention to the use of research findings, not to the intricacies of research design and execution. The case is well suited for a marketing homework assignment.

The case can be studied to achieve the following objectives:

* Students should learn how to analyze the relationship between marketing variables, such as consumers' purchase intention, demographics, price sensitivity, and so on.

* Students should be able to identify the key characters of the group of interest by comparing it to the whole sample population.

* Students should grasp the correct way to understand tables and figures.

* Students should learn how to explain the facts and identify implications of the facts.


Q1. According to Tables 2 and 3, what can you tell between consumers' income and their purchase intention and price sensitivity?

There are actually two questions in Q1. The first is about consumers' income and their purchase intention of the cosmetic surgery, and the second is about consumers' income and their price sensitivity. In the case, Table 2 gives the income distribution of all respondents, while Table 3 contains the information of income distribution of potential users. Now all the data have been incorporated into the following table (See Table A). As for the first question in Q1, we conclude that consumers' income does influence their purchase intention.

Some students may argue that people with 1,000-5,000RMB income are mostly like to try the surgery, as suggested by the large number of potential users in these two income categories. However, this is due to the large percentage of the two categories in the whole sample population. Actually, as indicated in Table A, consumer categories with 5000 RMB above monthly income have higher proportion of potential users than other income categories.

In the main text of the case, we have given a cross-table (Table 3) which details the distribution of potential users in different price ranges in numbers and percentage. Therefore, the distribution of every income group across the four price categories will reflect how sensitive a certain income group is to the price. With a careful look at Table B and Figure A, we can conclude that:

Consumer income does influence how much consumers are willing to pay for the laser surgery.

Once consumers' incomes are above 2,500RMB, they are relatively insensitive to the price and there is no substantial difference in price sensitivity across income groups.


Q2. According to Tables 1 and 4, how does age and marital status affect consumers' interest in cosmetic surgery?

As we can observe in Table C, the potential user is quite evenly distributed among the five age groups. Therefore, we conclude that age does not affect consumer interest to try this cosmetic surgery.

Judging by Table 4 in the case, some students may conclude that women married without children are more likely to try the cosmetic surgery as indicated by the highest percentage of this group in potential users (115/394=29.2%). However, this is because the highest percentage of this group in the whole sample population (500/1339=37.3%). As a matter of fact, smart students should look at the numbers in a different way. It is helpful if students could calculate the percentage of potential users in every group as shown in the table above. If we merge the data from "single without a partner" and "single in relation with a partner" into a category named "unmarried in total", we could find that the interest towards the laser surgery of this category is higher than married women as indicated by the percentage 31. …

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