Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Matter of Shoes: The Analysis of Desired Attributes of Shoes and Its Retail Shops from Bangkok Consumers' Perspectives

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Matter of Shoes: The Analysis of Desired Attributes of Shoes and Its Retail Shops from Bangkok Consumers' Perspectives

Article excerpt

Abstract

Through several statistical tests, this two staged research aims to study desired attributes of shoes and its retail shop. Four hundred fifty one samples were collected. In the first stage, the research analysed the level of importance of 50 factors drawn upon 6 retailing mix framework. The factors that were ranked "most important" and "highly important" were then selected for second stage analysis by using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). Based on EFA analysis, six new critical latent factors were grouped and named as, "Well Trained and Experienced Salesforce", "Product Quality and Functions", "Attractive Store and Product Presentation", "Price and Perceived Value", "Health and Comfort", and "Fashion and Trends". The research further explored if there was a significant difference of such factors on "Gender", "Income Level" and "Age" of consumers. "Gender" and "Age" were confirmed to be the other drivers that could alter consumers' perspectives toward the desired attributes of shoes and its retail shops. The shoe manufacturers and retailers are urged to take all these desired attributes into their consideration when they plan to develop and launch new shoe collections to market.

Keywords: consumer buying behavior, exploratory factor analysis, shoes, desired attributes, Bangkok

1. Introduction

In a modern day, shoes are not considered just items of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are viewed as items of decoration, fashionable products that are used to enhance self-image. The design of shoes, material selection, pricing, sale person, and attractive store have become important factors that underpin the buying decision of customers.

Despite its long development and contribution to Thai economy, research on footwear industry has not been widely undertaken. From a global perspective, shoes production worldwide has reached 20 billion pairs in 2010. The manufacturing sites are heavily concentrated in Asia, especially China and India. Those two countries alone accounted for 72.6% of the world shoes' production. From a national perspective, footwear industry and leather products accounted for 2.1 per cent of Thailand's GDP. In fact, this industry has grown up steadily over the past 20 years. Thailand was ranked seventh in terms of shoes production volume, after China, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Pakistan. In 2010, it was estimated that Thailand produced approximately 245 million pairs and exported 134 million pairs with its export values of USD 804 million. Also it is reported that domestic consumption of shoes in Thailand was among the top 20 with 163 million pairs (APICCAPS, 2011). However, more intense competition from oversea footwear producers, such as China, Vietnam, and Indonesia has lately been putting pressure on footwear exports from Thailand due to the advantage of lower wage production. Interestingly, APICCAPS (2011) reported that Thailand's domestic shoes consumption was among the world top twenty. Approximately 163 million pairs were sold in 2010 domestically. Corresponding with this fact, many of Thai footwear manufacturers have begun to increase their sales by developing their own brands for foreign and domestic markets.

Despites a wide array of consumer's behaviour research, there is very limited research that was conducted specifically on shoes worldwide. In a highly competitive market, it is important that manufacturers and retailers must reduce the psychological distance between consumers and themselves, and increase their ability to respond constantly changing consumer demands. Manufacturers must know the end consumers' specific product needs so well to reduce the lost opportunity to sell or to raise the level of consumer satisfaction, develop and maintain good relationships with their customers by listening and responding their demands with lowering costs and increasing quality of their goods and services (Endo & Kincade, 2005). …

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