Consumer Behaviour for Green Products



Consumers are often assumed to be more highly involved when choosing "green" than "conventional" products, so objective is to find out whether adding a "green" attribute actually make so much difference for how consumers make choices and does it change the way consumers make decisions when buying groceries or do they just develop another, simple choice commonsense.

In order to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses, they have used a combination of methods:

(1) unobtrusive observation of participants when choosing drinking milk in a retail outlet,

(2) followed by a brief questionnaire-based interview focusing on the participant's choice tactics and experience with this type of purchase, and

(3) Concluding with participants filling out a questionnaire capturing their involvement in buying organic food.

Observations and interviews were carried out in May 2007 in a well-assorted supermarket (SM) and a discount store (DS) in the second largest city of Denmark, Aarhus (population ~ 300,000). The two locations were selected in order to reach a broad sample of the general population and to control whether the breath of the assortment in the store makes any difference. The assortment of the SM/DS contained 6/4 different brands of drinking milk of which 2/1 were organic milk. 8 Observations and interviews were made during two whole days in both stores in order to correct for possible effects of time of day or day of the week.

The study confirms the previous finding that consumers use very little time and effort on decision-making in the buying situation when buying a common repeat purchase product. It seems likely that it will also increase consumer involvement in the decision-making when a product alternative has a "green" attribute.

Five groups of variables' ability to discriminate between choice tactics groups was tested separately:

(1) Decision effort variables,

(2) Demographic variables,

(3) Experience variables,

(4) Attitudinal variables, and

(5) Perceived influence by marketing stimuli variables

India has witnessed rapid strides of development at sustained growth rates of more than 8% and has seen a huge spurt in consumption. Consequently, it has been estimated that the increased consumption may result in the country becoming one of the leading offenders relating to environmental pollution. The textiles industry in India is traditionally one of the worst offenders of pollution, with its small units following outdated technology processes. One opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of clothing industry in India is to concentrate textile production within environmentally certified or eco-labelled clothing. In the absence of existing research, this study investigates whether the urban Indian population would be interested in clothing with eco-labels

The study was carried out in two metro cities (Kolkata and Mumbai) and two non-metro cities (Guwahati and Bhubaneswar) of India. A systematic sampling design was followed and mall intercept method was used for data collection. To ensure the systematic sampling design, every fifth customer leaving a mall/shopping centre was approached to complete a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised a battery of scales chosen from available literature to assess the EC of consumers and their perception of certification importance (Importance), involvement in certification (Involvement) and their WTP premium for environmentally certified clothing.

A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed - of which 20 had to be rejected for incomplete data. Hence the total sample size for the study was 480. The Demographic details of the sample (in percentages) are provided.

The results suggest the existence of a segment of consumers who are positively motivated towards eco-labelled garments. The highest WTP for eco-labelled clothing is an obvious consequence of high EC, and perceived importance and involvement in certification

The dependent variable was the willingness to pay (WTP) score and the independent variables were the psychographic variables (EC, Involvement, Importance).






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