Exploring consumer decision making styles in online apparel consumption among Indian generation Y e-consumers

Sakshi, Shivam
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This research study emerged from an initial question of whether there is a set of consumer decision making styles that reflect Generation Y’s online shopping behavior or not. This question was further polished to formulate the research questions for the present study which is whether the decision making styles of consumer style inventory given by SPROLES and KENDALL in 1986 applicable for Indian university going Generation Y students in online apparel consumption. In this line, an empirical study was conducted to identify the online consumer decision making styles. The subsequent aim of this research is to provide marketers with a consolidated framework that can help them design their strategy in the space of consumer attraction in the online apparel markets. With the exponential increase in internet utilization for shopping in the present generation, it is essential for such kind of study which can help understanding e-Consumers. The research is conducted using primary data collected across many educational institutions in India. The primary focus was on university attending students who are according to many researchers the most important target group for online marketers. For this study, a questionnaire was designed which was inspired by Sproles and Kendall (1986) study of consumer decision making styles. 335 responses were considered for the study. For the analysis of data, SPSS 2.0 was utilized to perform factor analysis and cluster analysis to find out the consumer style inventory in online apparel consumption and to segment the consumers based on their decision making styles respectively. As a result of the data analysis through factor analysis, 6 online consumer decision making styles were discovered that are website orientation, hedonistic and incentive orientation, societal and external circumstances orientation, novelty orientation, impulsiveness orientation, price and style balanced orientation. Through cluster analysis, 3 consumer segments were identified that are, Balanced e-Consumer, Entice e-Consumer and Hasty e-Consumer. Through this research, it is identified that the consumer decision making styles are not purely personality trials but there are other dimensions to it such as website offerings, incentives, coupons etc. which are shown in the novel finding of the dissertation report. The principle aim of proposing a consumer style inventory suitable/matching for present day’s online shopping practices is achieved.
e-Consumer, online shopping, apparel consumption, consumer decision making styles, generation Y students