Online purchasing is not entirely a new concept in the market. It has been persistent in the background ever since the Internet was commercially available to the public.
Many companies have utilized the Internet as a channel for fashion retail marketing (Murphy, 1998). The significance for retailers to having a web site is that a web site is informational and transactional in nature (Murphy, 1998). The top categories of Online Sales according to ComScore Networks, (Freedman, 2002) are:
- Computer Hardware and Software
- Apparel and Accessories
- Office Supplies
- Books, Music and Movies
- Consumer Electronics
- Home and Garden
- Health and Beauty
- Sporting Goods
- Toys and Games
In a general view most consumers are still in heavy favor to shopping in stores. There are a number of reasons why consumers are discouraged to shop for clothing online. But the percentage of people purchasing clothing online is rising and it shows no signs of stopping. The factors that are influencing the online shopping pattern for Bangladeshi consumers can also be the determinant factors for the apparel shopping through online. A structured researched can be conducted to identify the critical factors that influence the online shopping pattern for consumers of apparel in Bangladesh. Statement of Problem:
The internet has revolutionized the lives of millions of its users since its inception. Our research explores one aspect of this revolution that is the growing use by businesses and individuals as a retail channel for apparel shopping in Bangladesh. Apparel Shopping is special in a sense that many predicted it would be difficult to sell online. There are several critical factors that influence the buyers to go for online shopping for apparel product through different websites. Thus this descriptive research intends to identify these influential factors on Bangladeshi consumers for online apparel shopping.
In this type research for factors identification the minimum size required is 500 respondents as a sample. From the related literature review, it was found out the researchers for other related researches considered sample size ranged from 400 to 1000. We have a time constraint for this study, thus we will fulfill the minimum requirement and survey 500 sample elements from the population.
Non probability sampling technique will be chosen as sampling method. We will be taking samples from online panels. These panels are composed by individuals who have expressed interest in participating in surveys, leaving out individuals who may be part of the target population, but are not available for interviewing through the panel. Since we will be posting a link to our survey on social network sites, it may not be representative of the target population. Here what we are doing is convenience sampling, not random sampling.
So the statistical accuracy cannot be measured. However, we will try to incorporate judgmental sampling. It is a form of convenience sampling but the researcher team will use their judgment to increase the representativeness of the sample. The elements will be selected on the judgment criteria, such as education, occupation, internet usage, fashion sense etc.
What is Online Shopping? Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce that gives consumers opportunity to directly buy goods or services from over the Internet using a web browser.
The first World Wide Web server and browser, created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, opened for commercial use in 1991. These days, the largest of these online retailing corporations are eBay and Amazon. om, both based in the United States. Immediately after, Amazon. com launched its online shopping site in 1995 and eBay was introduced in 1996.
In recent years as e-commerce sales have increased compared to traditional stores, many businesses and individuals have turned to online shops. Electronic commerce is now a means for business growth and expansion in relation to both small and large firms irrespective of their geographical locations. The popularity of online shopping largely depends on the accessibility of internet over different countries.
At the closing of 2008 almost 1,596 million people or 23. 8 % of overall populations of the global had access to the Internet. Asian countries news report for 474. 9 % increase, it has overall internet user stands at 657 million or 41. 2% of world’s full internet user. Only in China more than 420 million people are using the internet (Internet Usage and Population Statistics 2010). The internet population style of Bangladesh is also contributing to the development of Asian countries which assured 450% development in the period of 2000-2007.
Bangladesh has launched high-velocity internet connectivity through submarine superhighway in 2005. Establishing the internet procedure in 1993 it is still in its primary level. The growth of online shopping is increasing at a high rate over time. Online shopping for B2C product sales totaled $142. 5 billion, representing about 8% of retail product sales in the United States in 2012. The $26 billion worth of clothes sold online represented about 13% of the domestic market, and with 72% of women looking online for apparel, it has become one of the most popular cross-shopping categories.
Forrester Research estimates that the United States online retail industry will be worth $279 billion in 2015. There were 242 million people shopping on-line in China in 2012. On the other hand, for developing countries and low-income households in developed countries, adoption of online shopping along with conventional methods is limited by lack of affordable internet access. What influence the Consumers? : Freedman (2000) points out that there are different types of shoppers.
May shop from catalogues on an infrequent basis. Normally a technophobe by nature. Security central to their resistance to shop online. May test online shopping to keep up with the world. Cheung, et al. 2000) pointed out framework of online consumer purchase and showed that on line purchase intention, purchase adaptation and purchase continuance depend on consumer characteristics (life style, motivation, knowledge, innovativeness, involvement, demographics), product/ service characteristics (product knowledge, product type, layout, frequency of purchase, tangibility, differentiation, price),medium characteristics (web design, navigation, ease of use, interface usefulness, reliability, security),merchant and intermediary characteristics (service quality, privacy and security control, brand reputation, delivery /logistics, after sale service, incentive) and environmental influences (culture , subjective norm, exposure , attention, image). The main reasons why consumers prefer to buy online are cited below:
Customers are attracted to online shopping not only because of high levels of convenience, but also because of broader selections, competitive pricing, and greater access to information. Customers’ attitude towards online shopping also depends on his or her perception about the benefits, consequences, privacy, security and willingness of interactions (Limeyem, et al. 2000; Shih, 2004; Wu, 2003).
The life style and personality also affect the attitude of customer’s attitude towards online shopping (Wu, 2003). Business organizations need to focus on this issue of customers. The activities and services of the organization and security and privacy condition of online transaction will motivate customers for online shopping.
Out of personal privacy considerations, a great portion of the consumers has reluctant attitude towards online shopping (Wang et. al. 2008). Customer needs and expectations are different according to individual customers as age, gender; experience and culture are all important factors. For example, Japanese cultural norms may lead users there to feel privacy is especially critical on shopping sites and emotional involvement is highly important on financial pension’s sites.
Generally, higher levels of education, and personal income, correspond to more favorable perceptions of shopping online. Although external factors affected the personal conduct to some extent, the purchase would ultimately depend on the individual. These needs and esires must be satisfied by consume. Once consumers faced the appropriate context, consumer decision-making process would be initiated. (Wang, et. al. 2008).
To increase online purchases, businesses must expend significant time and money to define, design, develop, test, implement, and maintain the web store. Role of social culture and media is important for developing positive intention for online shopping (Limayem et al. , 2000). Advertisement, focus group discussion and role playing by socially respected and accepted person can be influential for developing social support for online shopping that ultimately motivate people. (Howladar, et. al. 2012).
Financial risk is significant for developing online shopping plan (Koyuncu & Bhattacharya, 2004; Swinyard & Smith; Shankar, et al. 2003). Security and privacy are also influencial variables that influencing the customers preference for online shopping (Miyazaki & Fernandez,2001;Vdo,2001,Shankar, et al. 2003;Zhou, et al. 2007). Product and services are also very important for motivating customers’ intention to purchase through online (Chiang & Dholakia, 2003). Online shopping pattern for Apparel Products: The Internet has emerged as a compelling channel for sale of apparel products (Beck, 2000). Online sales of apparel and accessories are now growing faster than any other ecommerce product segment.
The category is reponsible to help US retail ecommerce sales grow 15. 4% to $224. 2 billion in 2012, after stronger-than-expected sales took the market to $194. 3 billion last year. Measurement from Nielsen//NetRatings indicated that shopping sites were amongst the most popular destinations for women Internet users, particularly for clothing web sites. In Europe, more than a third, 35 per cent, of shoppers bought their clothes online in the last 12 months, up from 26 per cent the previous year, according to the report by Mintel, the market research company. In Western Europe sales are expected to reach 14 billion euros ($155. 7 billion), a growth of 11% percent annually.
Apparel, computers and consumer electronics will continue to be dominant purchases; these three areas make up 40% of the current online sales which won’t change in the near future. A recent survey by Google India and TNS has found that online shopping more than doubled in India in 2012. Lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home decor, beauty and cosmetics account for the highest search volumes on Google. Apparel and accessories are expected to overtake the online search for electronic goods in 2013. During 2013, eight of 10 people purchased apparels and accessories while seven out of 10 purchased electronic goods. Although online apparel shopping continues to grow worldwide, there are problems why consumers hesitate to shop for clothing online.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a developing country in South Asia. It’s an over populated country in the global village, people living in small physical size, social homogeneousness, forward-looking infrastructure and banking, the logistics, communications, and payment costs linked with ordinary and Internet-based shopping tend to downstairs and similar (Bhowmik, 2012). The Modern act allows people to apply local currency credit cards for online transactions within the country. Bangladesh government has announced information technology as a thirst sector of the country and launched country’s vision to build digital Bangladesh by 2021.
The political government has also realized some changes in the national ICT policy 1999 which restates establishing ecommerce by 2012 and e-governance 2014. (Bhowmik, 2012) Among the contextual factors medium characteristics and merchant & intermediary characteristics are the primary considerations to develop the online shopping culture in Bangladesh (Howladar, et al. 2012).
The telecommunication technology and internet technology is not developing in Bangladesh with satisfactory pace. Though Internet in Bangladesh has grown rapidly in the last few years but still the access to the internet is very limited for several reasons. Parvin et al. (2007) also mentioned that the commercial use of internet is limited due to the band width limitation.
Wood (2004) also specified that growth in internet use in several developing nations in the Asia pacific region (e. g. Bangladesh) has been stalled by lack of sufficient telecommunications infrastructure, inexperience, indifferent, and bureaucratic government. The Demographical characteristic in Bangladesh has mix of positive and negative feelings and also a critical factor for influencing online purchases. But young generation accounting for more than 35% of the total population gives Bangladesh an edge to choose online shopping (Laisuzzaman, et. al. , 2010).
The high income and educated people who are the major customers of online shopping live in major town in Bangladesh where network infrastructure is comparatively better. Physical, economic, educational and social cultural factors also influence the individual’s access to and use of ICTs in Bangladesh (Parvin et al. , 2007). These constitute environmental factors that influence online shopping behavior. Legislation is one of the important obstructions in our country to develop online shopping culture. Again, currently e-commerce vendors are not providing sufficiently reliable level of service to meet the expectations of their consumers, and this is leading to negative perception of the e -commerce shopping experience (Dey et al. , 2009).
In Bangladesh, sufficient IT experts are available, but need coordinated effort by the government, private and public organizations, and financial institutions to develop secured and effective internet infrastructure for better environment of online shopping. (Howladar, et. al. 2012).
DATA ANALYSIS PLAN
Exploratory Study was done for the literature review part to get initial insight of overall scenario. For further research work Descriptive study combining both qualitative and quantitative methods will be done. Information gained from Focus group discussion will be analyzed and interpret in such a manner that will help us to get insight on present scenario and thereby help us construct the survey questionnaire. From the self administered questionnaire resided in Google Docs Survey Application, data will be automatically entered into an excel spreadsheet.
With Excel, initial statistical information will be gained along with basic graphical representation. After that, the data will be entered into SPSS software for further analysis. The following hypothesis will be tested with the software. The hypotheses have been classified into two types: Hypothesis on consumers’ demographic and psychographic characteristics HypothesisTechnique Used Perceive ease of use, personal awareness of security, perceived usefulness, perceived risk and trust has no significant impact on attitude towards online shopping. Multiple Linear Regression There is no difference in attitude towards online shopping when segmented by genderIndependent t-Test
There is no difference in attitude towards online shopping when segmented by ageAnalysis of Variance(ANOVA) There is no difference in attitude towards online shopping when segmented by educationAnalysis of Variance(ANOVA) There is no relationship between attitude towards online shopping and online shopping intentioncorrelation Hypothesis on the consumers’ relationship with e-commerce sites This part of the study aims to identify factors influencing consumers towards online shopping. It seeks to examine and understand whether factors such as customer trust, website quality, internet knowledge and internet advertising influence consumer choice of online shopping.
HypothesisTechnique Used There is no significant relationship between customer trust and attitude towards online shoppingCorrelation There is no significant relationship between website quality and attitude towards online shoppingCorrelation There is no significant relationship between level of Internet knowledge and attitude towards online shoppingCorrelation There is no significant relationship between interactive internet advertising and attitude towards online shoppingCorrelation From the result of the hypothesis tests along with other statistical information gained from data analysis findings will be drawn and interpreted.
TIME PLAN FOR RESEARCH WORK
Budget In the course of conducting the research and eventually preparing the report it, there is a need to set and determine an estimate for the budget required for such an undertaking. It has come to light that the costs associated with such a research may vary in magnitude. Focus Group Discussion:
Focus group discussion will be held for one day to gather qualitative data from representative people. The discussion will require a substantial amount of expenditure. An overall estimated cost is 2300tk, including remuneration and refreshment. Printing and Binding: The need to print the questionnaire for offline survey and distribute it to people who might not fall into the online survey panel that would use a computer on regular basis to answer our online based questionnaire will need additional expenditure. Again after the completion of report writing, the printing and banding will also cost some fund. The budget for this is estimated around 400tk. Transport Expenses:
In order to reach the desired locations necessary for the data collection for our research, transportation costs is a major part of the whole process. The amount needed for it will depend on the urgency for the journey and the distance travelled. The amount can be estimated to be around 1000tk for all the researchers over the research period. Internet and Phone Bills: Since most of the work will be done through collaboration through online tools, it will be necessary for internet connection and the bill associated with it. Even though not all the amount will for the internet use regarding the research, it still can be estimated that for the researchers, the average internet cost will be around 300tk.