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Gender Differences in Consumer Buying Behaviour

Gender Differences in Consumer Buying Behaviour towards Casual Shoes


“You could tell an awful lot about a person by the kind of shoes they wear.”

A phrase that our hearings often do come across there is always being a tendency towards buying the perfect, fashioned, unique and excellent sate of personality demonstrating pair of shoes among people mostly youngsters. The relation between dressing up and the idea of individual expression is complex. As a common approach to establish understanding of consumer attitude and buying preferences based on gender regarding casual shoes this research has been conducted after studying different kinds of consumer behavior models, literature and theories of consumer behavior This research will focus on attitudes and behavior on the concept of gender differences in buying behavior of casual shoes also the decision making process differs from consumer to consumer based on demographic and psychographic factors.

As a convenient and accessible segment, university students have sampled to investigate the research objectives. For the purpose of investigating the research objectives, a combination of exploratory and descriptive research was used. A survey methodology using a self-administered questionnaire was justified to collect data, which sampled two groups (male=125 and Female=125) a total of 250 students at three different universities 1) Institute of Management Sciences 2) Qurtaba University 3) Cecos University of Science and Technology, clustered around Hayatabad Peshawar. Survey data was then analyzed and tested using specific hypotheses and measurements.

Also this research will prove to be beneficial for firms and stores to identify the differences and expectations from their shoe brands and also to leverage their promotion campaigns to satisfy what is expected from consumers.

Chapter 1. Introduction and Background of the study

Introduction and Importance of Study

Consumer behavior has a diversity of different study perceptions and functions as an interdisciplinary science. In this context, the understanding of consumer behaviour could appeals to a set of different areas of knowledge, such as psychological, cultural social psychological, physio-pyschological, genetics anthropology.” The main objective of this research is to study the consumer buying preferences with respect to gender differences in consumer buying behaviour of university Students in Peshawar when they go shopping to buy a pair shoe. To attain this objective a survey was developed and administered across Peshawar. This research with the presentation of the relevant literature in the area of buying behavior and then the research hypothesis is described. After that the methodology followed to develop the study is presented with a special reference to the sample method, data collection and statistics. Next, the results are presented and discussed and finally the conclusions are drawn.


Research and studies regarding consumer attitude and behaviour are a common approach in post-war marketing contexts in order to establish or acquire insight knowledge to guide marketing activities regarding the consumption behaviours of particular groups of individuals (Nicosia, 1966; Howard and Sheth, 1969; Bettman, 1979; Engel, Blackwell and Miniard. 1986; Schiffman and Kanuk, 1991). Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders and Wong (2002) stress that understanding consumer buying behaviour is central to marketing management; moreover, marketing management must begin with insightful understanding of consumers. Consumer has been elated with the kind of reception; they are getting from various companies these days. The reason behind a drastic change in consumer behavior is because the consumer is no more treated as a hire purchaser but, he is treated as the decider of the company’s fortune. Companies or marketers cannot hire any fortuneteller to guess the consumer’s attitude. Guessing or measuring the consumers attitude is not a cake walk but this is because predicting consumers attitude is as tough as predicting consumer’s mind (Bheri, 2004).

Consumers are continuously choosing among the various products though they are not aware of the products and usage, even though they are intentionally purchasing the various new brands without any knowledge about the new products, furthermore if new company enters into the market, for every consumer it is very difficult to understand the features of the news products and this makes confusion among the consumers to obtain the information. For example: If one local company enters into the market then to gain the knowledge about the features of the new product, it will take long time for the consumers to understand (Nelson, 1970).

The term ‘consumer’ can be described as a person who acquires goods and services for self satisfaction and his often used to describe two different kinds of consuming entities: the personal consumers and organizational consumers. The personal consumers buy goods and services for his/her own use. In this context, the goods are bought for final use by individual, who are organizational consumers, they encompasses for profit and not for profit business, government agencies, institutions, all of them must buy products, equipment and services in order to run their organization (Hawkins, Best and Coney 1998).

The consumer will respond according to the product quality and reliability, the fundamental understanding of products is necessary to understand the product features, products reliability and product benefits (Baker, 2004). The consumer is the end user for the product; consumers buy the products in market; in order to perform successful sales operations in the market an effective distribution channel and networks are required for the organizations. Distribution channels and networks play an important role in the consumer goods industry. Consumer is the ultimate user of every product, without any consumer there is no market as such (Baker, 2004).

Every region wise the different consumers are using different kind of products. Every consumer has their own tastes and preferences. So, every consumer’s opinions and preferences are different from one another. The local marketers have good idea about, what the local consumers are using (region wise). For example: The south Indian food habits and tastes and preferences are different, when compared to north Indian food habits (Thomas, 2004).

Based on above paragraph, direct marketing activities have big impact on every consumer, because through direct marketing every company knows about the behavior of every consumer in the market. Manufacturing companies, retailer and suppliers do not have an idea about the consumer behavior in the local market. So, author suggested that direct marketing activities should be left to the local market leaders, because the local market leaders have best idea of local market and local consumer behavior. This theory helps for the organization and sub-organizations to know the consumer behavior in different market environments, taste and preferences of the consumer behavior (Thomas, 2004).

McDonald’s would not have made a big impact in the Indian market had it persisted with its U.S. product line that included beef products, moreover, McDonald’s repositioned the brand as family-oriented and children-friendly, catering the traditional Indian middle-class segment that finds pride in its family culture and is especially conscious of childcare. So in this point of view Mc Donald’s have approached differently, because they identified that, which they followed earlier that will not get good impact on their business so, they immediately changed the business line to achieve the targets, thus, this is one kind of business strategy to achieve the set goals in huge populated countries (Dash, 2005).

For perspective of globalization we can not change the system of tastes and preferences of Consumers. Another instance demonstrating the ignorance of local tastes in the wake of globalization features the multinational Casual shoes makers, Nokia had tasted success with its soap-bar designed phones and ceased producing the flip phones that consumers found irritating to use (Zaccai, 2005).

The Chinese business people are giving importance to Chinese traditional, patriotic values; the business people are running their businesses by showing their traditional, patriotic advertisement and promotional campaigns to get the business from the Chinese people. The Chinese consumer’s perspective, by assessing their preferences amongst a host of advertisements and promotional campaigns, later on the business people are started the global Advertisement campaigns with status and social appeal, they sought immense pride in clinging to the traditional, cultural and patriotic values through the local campaigns, with this theory helps by knowing the Chinese consumer behavior and also they are giving same importance to traditional and patriotic values in the name of advertisements. Finally, they want the advertisements with traditional and patriotic values of Chinese culture (Zhou and Belk, 2004).

The consumers mind is different from one another in this as author said in the definition that according to the human psychology, demographical differences, age & sex and to understand people needs. (Kotler, 2004), to assess the influences of every consumer approach is different, in theory explained that consumer is treated as decider of the company, what ever the product comes to the market, the consumer is the ultimate purchaser for every product, some times the consumers are choosing, selecting and going for family decision making to choose differently, in one point of time the consumers differentiated and explained that they are going for personal and some of the them are using products for profit. Demographical differences make new food habits for every consumer the choice of variation for every consumer (Kotler, 2004).

The example of above paragraph, two countries, therefore Chinese consumers are giving respect to traditional and patriotic values, where as Indian consumers are more religious when they are using the products. These are influences that make the consumer to purchase different products; mostly those influences are more related to the physiological, demographical, social, cultural, economic, family and business influences.

According to Kotler (1994), consumer behavior is the study of how people buy, what they buy, when they buy and why they buy. It is a subcategory of marketing that blends elements from psychology, sociology, socio psychology, anthropology and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, psychographics, and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand people needs. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from group such as family friends, reference groups, and society in general (Kotler, 1994) for example while consumers purchase the shoe, then they go for family decision, comfort, satisfaction, price and quality. Every family member doesn’t have the same opinion to buy the same product; different family members have different choice to buy the product. So, in one family consumer behavior is different (Kotler, 1994).

Chapter 2. Purpose of the Study and Hypothesis formulation

The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to a better knowledge of consumer buying behavior towards purchasing the casual shoes.

The main objective of this research is to study the gender differences in consumer buying behavior of University students when they go shopping to buy casual shoe brands.

According to the literature and aimed at answering the research questions of this study (Which are the main differences in According to the literature and aimed at answering the research questions of this study (Which are the main differences in casual shoes consumer behavior between women and men?) the subsequent hypothesis (H1) is formulated: “There are differences in consumer behavior according to the Gender?”.

After testing this supposition, it follows a more detailed analysis of the main behavior differences between men and women according to: (i) what (what one buys, what one values the most in shoes); (ii) how Consumer behavior between women and men?) The subsequent hypothesis (H1) is formulated: “There are differences in consumer behavior according to the Gender based on Price, Quality, Branding, Comfort, style and Trend”.

Analysis model, variables and store identification and interdependency

For the purpose of gathering the important variables to this study a pilot test (see appendix) was prepared and floated before survey among the students and general consumers out side shoe stores in Peshawar. There were a number of attributes ranked five of the attributes were selected through highest frequency ranking.

The pilot testing also helped in store identifications for the interest of this study.

According to Pilot testing I selected variables 1) Price 2) Quality 3) Style 4) Comfort 5) Trend

From the Stores I had to select 1) Bata 2) Service 3) I-Shoes based from the Pilot test.

Secondary Objectives

The assessment of Store comparison of 1) Bata 2) Service 3) I-Shoes

To see for at what degree communication mediums Influences university students towards promoting their brands.

To study and identify the Demographic characteristics

Will university students be an effective segment shoe brand marketers

Research Question

The purpose of the study could be expressed by the following research question.

Q: Is there any Difference in buying preferences of Casual shoes because of Gender based on Price, Quality, Branding, Comfort, style and Trend?

Chapter 3. Literature review

The Definition: Consumer-buying behavior according to Kotler (2004, p.601) is defined as “The buying behavior consumers – individuals and house holds who buy goods and services for personal consumption.” the term ‘consumer’ can be described as a person who acquires goods and services for self satisfaction is often used to describe two different kinds of consuming entities: the personal consumers and the organizational consumers. The personal consumers buy goods and services for his/her own use. In this context the goods are bought for final use by individual, who are organizational consumers, encompasses for profit and not for profit business, government agencies, institutions, all of them must buy products, equipment and services in order to run their organization (Kotler, 2004).

Peter and Olson, (1993) mention that interactions between the peoples emotions, moods, affection and specific feelings is called consumer behavior, in other words in environmental events which they exchange ideas and benefits each is called consumer behavior . Buying behavior of people, who purchase products for personal use and not for business purposes (Peter and Olson, 1993).

Fishbein’s (1967) attitudinal model has also been widely used in the marketing context (Lilien et al., 1992), and this paradigm provides researchers with a useful lens for examining the factors explaining consumer purchasing intention and adoption. According to this model, behaviour is predominantly determined by intention. Other factors like attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control also are shown to be related to an appropriate set of salient behavioural, normative, and control beliefs about the behaviour. However, Fishbein’s model stops at the adoption level and does not capture other important factors that explain and predict consumer continuance behaviour (repurchase). The expectation-confirmation model (Oliver, 1980), on the other hand, focuses on the post-purchase behaviour. It is a widely used model in the consumer behaviour literature, particularly in explaining consumer satisfaction and repeat purchase. Satisfaction is the central notion of this model, which is formed by the gap between expectation and perceived performance. The expectation-confirmation theory suggests that if the perceived performance meets one’s expectation, confirmation is formed, and consumers are satisfied. Bhattacherjee (2001) stated that satisfied users are more likely to continue purchasing the same products.

The Physical actions of consumers that can directly observe and measured by others, by influencing behavior profit can be earned (kotler, Armstrong and Cunningham, 1989).

The study of consumer behavior has evolved in early emphasis on rational choice (microeconomics and classical decision theory) to focus on apparently irrational buying needs (some motivation research) and the use of logical flow models of bounded rationality (Howard and Sheth 1989). The latter approach has depended into what is often called the ‘information processing model’ (Bettman 1979). The information processing model regards the consumer as a logical thinker who solves problem to make purchasing decision (Holbrook and Hirschman 1980).

Compares the four major approaches to create successful inter-organizational relationships and integrates them into a single prescription for managing important inter -firm relationships (Palmatier, Dant and Grewal, 2007). Service fails, in satisfying the customers and developing customer loyalty over time in business to business markets.

Cyert (1956) may have been the first to observe that a number of managers in addition to the purchasing agents are involved in buying process, and the concept was labeled ‘buying behavior’ and popularized by Robinson (Faris and Win 1967). Webster and Wind (1972) famously identified five buying roles, they are: 1. users 2. Influencer 3.buyer 4. decider and 5 Gatekeeper (Webster and wind, 1972). Further categories have been suggested as the ‘initiator’ (Bonoma, 1981), and the ‘analyst’ and spectator by Wilson (Wilson, 1998).

The product purchase decision is not always done by the user. The buyer necessarily purchases the product. Marketers must decide at whom to direct their promotional efforts, the buyer or the user. They must identify the person who is most likely to influence the decision. If the marketers understand consumer behavior, they are able to predict how consumers are likely to react to various informational and environmental cues, and are able to shape their marketing strategies accordingly (kotler, 1994).

The consumer behavior influences are follows:

The consumer behavior influences in 3 aspects, they are acquiring, using and disposing. The acquiring means that how the consumer spends money on the products, such as leasing, trading and borrowing. Using means some of the consumers use the high price products and some of the consumer sees the quality. Disposing is nothing but distribution, order or places a particular product (Hoyer, Deborah, 2001).

By understanding consumer behavior deeply, different authors have given different information about the consumer behavior, how consumer buys the products, it involves four steps they are: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase behavior, the marketer can pick up many clues as and how to meet the buyer need and develop an effective program to support an attractive offer to the target market (Kanuk, 1990).

Another area of knowledge that has been used to a better understanding of consumer behaviour is the physio-pyschological one. Physiological psychology is the study of the interaction of the body with the mind. It is the study of the extent to which behaviour is caused by physical and chemical phenomena in the body (Morris 1996). Kroeber-Riel (1980) pointed out that cognitive and psychological processes originate from physiological ones. This field holds many promises for explaining consumer behaviour. For instance, the hypothalamus is that center of the brain which mainly controls consumption (Zimbardo and Gerrig 1996). The chemical changes due to the use/eat of the first product results in a blood borne input to the brain to activate further consumption. Thus, the individual would order one more product to use/eat. Such a behaviour is explained based on the research findings on the functions of the hypothalamus and other related areas of the brain (Valenstein, et al., 1970; Zhang et al. 1994). Physio-psychology provides fascinating ways to help understand consumer behaviour without looking into the consumer’s “black box” for hypothetically based variable explanations.

To explain consumer behaviour further, new frontiers in science were introduced such as genetics and anthropology (Demirdjian, and Senguder, 2004). According to genetics approach our genes direct our consumption behaviour. Perhaps humans are all programmed to act in certain ways in their consumptive and consumer-related behaviour. Is the presence of certain genes that compel us to consume certain kind of products. Genetic science may very well come up with definite findings to explain consumer behaviour and thus we may strike a vein of truth in finding explanations and laws of consumer behaviour (Feder, 1977). Business anthropology and its implementation in consumer behaviour studies have demonstrated to the business world that anthropological approach as new perspective will bring a new era for the consumer science. The applied anthropologists will become the hottest candidates for business related research jobs given the fact that anthropological methods are becoming more widely acceptable in the business world in general and in consumer studies particular (Demirdjian and Senguder, 2004). According to the literature and aimed at answering the

According to Kotler (1994), the Consumers buying decision process is influenced by four steps those are as follows:

Types of consumer buying decision behavior:

Consumer buying behavior decision-making varies with the type buying decision.

There are different types of buying behavior decisions.

* Complex buying behavior: Consumers undertake complex buying behavior when they are highly involved in purchase and complex buying behavior and perceive significant difference among the brands. Consumers may be highly involved when the product are expensive, risky, purchased in frequently and are highly expensive (Kotler, 1994).

* Dissonance – Reducing buying behavior occurs when consumers are highly involved with an expensive, infrequent or risky purchase, but sees little difference among various brands (Kotler, 1994).

* Variety – Consumers undertake variety seeking buying behavior in situations characterized by low consumer involvement, but significant perceived brand difference. In such cases, consumers often do a lot brand scrutiny (Kotler, 1994).

The buying Decision Process

Introduction of buying decision process

Consumers make many buying decisions every day. Mostly large companies do extensive research on consumer buying decision, to answer questions like what does consumer buy, where they buy, how they buy, how much they buy, when they buy and why do they buy a product, for this question to reorganize the decision different stages needed they are, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase decision etc., The consumer passes through all five stages with every purchase, but in more routine purchases, consumers often skip or reverse some of these stages (Hawkins, Coney, 1998).

The buying decision process: The buying process starts with need recognition, where as buyer recognize the need. The buyer’s decision is depending on his/her internal & external stimuli of consumer behavior. The internal and external stimuli of consumer behavior means that the consumer, which product should purchase, how much wants to purchase and externally which products are more reliable and usable. According to this internal and external stimuli’s the buyer will take the decision (Hawkins, Coney, 1998). The consumers are searching the information from the various sources those are information search, personal source, commercial sources, public sources and experimental sources; this is also process of the buying decision process before purchase of the product (Hawkins, Coney, 1998). The decision process model in the consumer market contains five stages since consumer decision was suggested as a response to a problem (Solomon, 1991), and in most cases consumers facing more than two or more alternatives in the market place which requires evaluations (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1978). During the evaluation process, information will be collected to assist consumers to make the purchase decision. Finally, consumer will take further action according to the level of satisfaction of the purchase decision as post-purchase evaluation. Moreover, Sproles and Kendall (1986) identified characteristics of eight decisionmaking styles as follow:

Characteristics of eight decision-making styles

1. Price/value consciousness: decision style that is concerned with getting lower prices. The presence of this trait means that the consumer is conscious of sale prices and aims to get the best value for their money

2. Perfectionism: decision style that is concerned with quality. Consumers with this decision-making style will not compromise with products classified as ‘good enough’

3. Brand consciousness: decision style that is concerned with getting expensive, well-known brands. Consumers with this style believe that the higher the price of a product, the better the quality. These consumers also prefer best selling advertised brands

4. Novelty/fashion consciousness: decision style for seeking out new things. This trait reflects a liking of innovative products and a motivation to keep up to date with new styles and fashion trends

5. Habitual/brand-loyal : decision style for shopping at the same stores and tendency to buy the same brands each time

6. Recreational shopping consciousness: decision style that views shopping as being enjoyable per se. Shoppers with this trait enjoy the stimulation of looking for and choosing products

7. Impulsive/careless: decision style that describes a shopper who does not plan their shopping and appears unconcerned with how much he or she spends. Consumers with this style can regret their decisions later

8. Confused by over choice: decision style that reflects a lack of confidence and an inability to manage the number of choices available. Consumers with this trait experience information overload.

However, it is worthwhile to point out that consumer decision process can take many stages, however, in low involvement purchase, consumer may skip or reserve stages (Kotler, 1994). For example, in low involvement conditions, consumer decision making can be a learned response to environmental cues such as in store promotion or extrinsic cue such as packaging. It means that the main decision process occur at the point-of-purchase, where consumer recognise needs, evaluate products and then make purchase decisions. In many cases, the purchase of bottled water fits into such description.

Information search: The consumer can obtain information from any of several sources, which includes:

Personal source: family, friends, neighbors, acquaintance etc.

Commercial sources: advertising, sales people, dealers, packaging, displays.

Public sources: mass media, consumer-rating organizations etc.

Experimental sources: handling, examining, using of the product.

Consumers receive most of the information about a product from commercial sources, which are controlled by the marketer. The most effective source however tend to be personal. Personal sources appear to be even more important in influencing the purchase.

Evaluation of Alternatives: The consumer evaluates all the alternatives available to him/her to arrive at a brand choice. The consumer will see the product as a bundle of attributes with varying capacities, which satisfies his or her needs. The consumer will pay more attention to those attributes connected with their needs. The consumer is likely to develop a set of brand beliefs about, where each brand stands on each attribute. These of beliefs held about the particular brand is known as brand image, according to the beliefs and preferences of the consumer, evaluates the alternative products instead of using existing products (Kotler, 2004).

Purchase decision: In the evaluation stage, the consumer ranks all the brands and makes a purchase intention. Generally the consumer purchase decision is to buy the most preferred brand, when purchasing a products, consumer will think about two things, which can be, purchase decision and purchase intention. The attitude of others and unexpected situation factors both directly or indirectly effects the consumer’s final decision to buy a particular brand. (Kotler, 2004).

Post purchase behavior: The buyers’ job does not end when the product is brought. After purchasing the product, the consumer will be satisfied or dissatisfied and will be engaged in post purchase behavior. The satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the purchase of a particular product depends on the relationship between the consumer expectation and the consumer disappointment, if it meets the consumer expectations, the consumer can get satisfied. And if it exceeds he/she is delighted (Gilly and Gelb, 1986).

Chapter 4. Theoretical Framework

Consumer Involvement Theory

The consumer involvement theory means that, how the consumer involving the purchase of various products in the market, after purchasing the product, how the consumer responding towards the products called consumer involvement theory.

The consumers get the information through advertising, for that they purchase, use, and react that they see and hear about the products that they buy (Barry, 1987).

Level of involvement an individual’s intensity of interest in a product and the importance of the product for that person, those are enduring involvement and situational involvement (Homewood IL & Irwin, 1987). Routinized response behavior is that the process used when buying frequently purchased low-cost items that requires little search-and decision-effort (Homewood IL & Irwin, 1987).

The consumer involved in purchasing of products and usage and, also, various aspects like high involvement and low involvement in process of purchasing of products. The consumer some times involves high and low in purchasing products, so, theory of involvement is explaining that the consumer recognizes the importance of the purchase and it considers that the degree of perceived risk, moreover, it reflects on self image perhaps information processing may be different from one another (Ray, 1973). The low involvement theory is explaining that the consumer would accept wide range of products with positive attitude with do-feel-learn strategy, firstly the consumer select any kind of product, use the product, if they are not sure about how to use the product, and they learn how to use the product. To purchase a new computer in market and using of the computer, if they are not satisfied then they go for learning of how to use the computer. The low involvement of consumer will be in manner that do-feel-learn strategy (Ray, 1973). In one of the consumer article author explained about the consumers, are influenced by television commercials and their relationship effectiveness of advertisements (Krugman 1987).

High involvement theory is rational and emotional, and it is explaining about the consumer’s participations in the context very actively without any hesitation, moreover, they look after extensive problem solving. In this theory of involvement the consumers learn about the product, use the product, if they are feeling that the product is comfortable to use it, and then they

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