Older female consumers' quality perception of clothing during pre- and post-purchase decisionmaking
Coelho, Danielle Carmen
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During the decision-making process consumers establish expectations regarding the performance of the product under consideration. These expectations are usually connected to certain product attributes inherent to the product, which are evaluated during both the pre- and post-purchase phases of the process. The clothing industry may mistakenly focus on insignificant clothing attributes when aiming to improve clothing quality, or may not have sufficient knowledge regarding the most important clothing attributes. In addition, no literature could be located which pertains to older female consumers’ quality perception regarding certain clothing attributes. As older female consumers have been defined as a vulnerable consumer group, research aiding and contributing to the possible improvement of their well-being is essential. If older female consumers’ needs are not being fulfilled with regard to clothing quality, recommendations can be made to improve these attributes. The current study investigated the quality perception of older female consumers with regard to certain clothing attributes during both the pre- and post-purchase phases of decision-making. The objectives of the study were to determine older female consumers’ expectations regarding the clothing attributes; as well as to determine the perceived performance of these attributes; and lastly to make recommendations to the clothing industry to improve the relevant attributes based upon the findings regarding their expectations and the perceived performance of the attributes. An exploratory research approach was followed by means of a quantitative survey in the form of a structured questionnaire. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents rated clothing attribute expectations as being of high importance. However, the performance of the attributes was rated as poor or neutral. Therefore, by indicating high expectations but low performance, older female consumers’ needs are not being fulfilled with regard to clothing and negative disconfirmation takes place. Negative disconfirmation often leads to dissatisfaction. There is thus an opportunity available for the SA clothing industry to enhance these clothing attributes in order to improve clothing for these consumers. The clothing industry has the potential to launch a new and improved range just for these consumers. By providing older female consumers with a range specifically tailored to their needs, retailers could potentially gain more loyal customers who will purchase clothing as it is more suitable for them. It can therefore be concluded that this research is not only beneficial to the clothing industry and SA, but more importantly, to older female consumers.
- Health Sciences