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Online shopping behaviour — External influencing factors of online clothing industry Essay Example

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Online Shоррing Bеhаviоur — Ехtеrnаl Influencing Fасtоrs of Online Сlоthing Industry

External Influencing Factors

Consumers buying behaviours follows a definite buying decision process. In this case the decision process comprised of five main stages the need identification, information search, alternative’s evaluation, purchase and post purchase, determine the products and behaviour adopted. Therefore, factors influencing customer buying behaviours’ are factors that influence the respective decision making stages. Pandey, Pandey and Bahl (2013) conducted a study to evaluate these factors. In the study, the authors established that external factors such as demographics, lifestyle, household structure, group behaviour and influence, communication, social stratification and culture were key among the influencing factors.

Demographics and Lifestyle

Consumers’ demographics and lifestyle are key among factors influencing the buying behaviour in the online clothing industry. In this case, the consumer demographics represent factors such as gender and age implicate on a consumer’s buying pattern. On one hand, the young consumes are techno survey. Therefore, they are likely to purchase more of their clothes online than offline. On the contrary, the older generation had developed a habit o visiting physical clothes stores to purchase their wear. Moreover, the population is hesitant to venture into technology limiting their online purchasing probabilities. On the other hand, the consumers’ gender influences their buying patterns. The female gender is more inclined to make impulse buys on clothes than their male counterparts. In this case, on their online search they accidentally or intentionally bumping to online clothing store link they are more likely to follow the link and subsequently make purchases more often than male counterparts. Therefore, based on these faces, it is evident that consumers demographics impact on a consumers decision making process through establishing variances in the need identification decision making stage.

A consumer base lifestyle implicates on it overall buying behaviour. A lifestyle implies the way of living in a society that impact on their attendance to physical and social needs such as leisure. In this case, the consumer base, inclined towards social status and social life will increasingly purchase clothes from online stores as they seek to establish a lifestyle structure. On the other hand, the consumer base, with reduced hype for the lifestyle structure will often stick to traditional clothes buying, a behaviour that includes buying form physical retail clothes stores (Ndubisi, 2006).

Household Structure and Culture

In addition, the household structures impact on the overall consumer buying behaviours for the online clothing industry. In this regard, a household structure is categorized on the basis of earnings and financial potentials in the respective households. Moreover, household structures implicate on the overall running and governing of the households based on who makes decisions in the households. On one hand, with regard to the income level classification, the online buying platform is considered an expensive venture. This is because of the required electronic equipments such as access to online payment facilities as well as internet accessing equipments such as computers. Therefore, households with minimal overall earnings register reduced online purchases as they prefer the relatively cheap physical stores buying. On the contrary, households with relatively high incomes consider the online buying platform an ideal platform. In this case, the platform presents them with two merits, one convenience and the second one social status.

On one hand, as Sumathi and Saravanavel (2003) argue, the online platform reduces physical stores queuing and overcrowding challenges through requesting for home delivery of purchased products. Moreover, buying clothes from such platform sets the households apart from peers in the society. Therefore, it serves as a social status enhancement tool for the households. Therefore, in search of elevated social status, established households purchase their clothes online.

On the other hand, based on household decision making structures, this is determined by the respective consumers’ cultures. In this case, the cultures can be preservative or liberal. In the case of preservative cultures, household decisions are a reserve of the senior family members. Therefore, clothes purchasing is centralized in such households. As a result, the households rely on the traditional buying avenues such as physical stores. On the contrary, under liberal consumer cultures’, individual household members formulate their own decisions in the market. In this case, there is increased disparity in clothes buying with some purchasing from physical stores and other from the online stores. Conclusively, a liberal and changing culture allows for increased opportunities and probabilities for online clothes purchases.

Groups Influence and Social Stratifications

In addition, group influence plays a significant role in determining consumers buying behaviour. The society is comprised on diverse groups and associations in which society members seek to participate and be associated with. In this case, there exist a number of social groups such as belonging groups, association groups, as well as referent groups. In this case, the groups represent a platform in which the society members seek to identify with. It is these groups that influence an individual’s lifestyle and buying behaviours’ respectively. Every group has its virtual and way of life in the industry. As such, the consumers adopt these virtues in order to establish a sense of belonging as well as association. In this case, while some groups advocate for technology adoption and societal changes, yet others advocate for the traditional way of life retention in the society (Sarangapani, 2009).

In the case of advocacy for culture and traditional patterns retention, the customers’ online clothing purchases would be considerably reduced. On the other hand, for the culture change advocacy groups, customers in the industry would register increased online clothes purchases, stimulating growth in the industry. The presence of groups in the society influences the consumer decision making stage that involves evaluating alternatives between buying clothes online or from physical stores.


Finally, as Smith and Taylor (2004) state, a major external factor that implicates on consumers buying behaviour and pattern for the online clothing industry is communication. Market communication is described as the amount of product and process knowledge in the market. The consumer decision making process is a rational process whose second stage consists of information search. At this stage, consumers evaluate all available information in the market. Therefore, information not available to the consumers is not considered at this stage that eliminates such a purchase possibility in the decision chain. Therefore, the amount and nature of online information to the consumers ranging from merits and purchasing process for an online clothing industry available in respective markets influence the overall purchasing trends in such consumer basis.


Ndubisi, N. O. (2006). Marketplace behaviour of Malaysian consumers. Bradford, England: Emerald Group Publishers.

Pandey, B. B., Pandey, S., & Bahl, P. (2013). «A Study On Influence Of Brand On Habitual Buying Behaviour Of Consumers: With Special Reference to Raipur». International Journal of Marketing and Technology, 3(4), 8-24.

Sarangapani, A. (2009). A Textbook on rural consumer behaviour in India: A study of FMCGs. Bangalore: University Science Press.

Smith, P. R., & Taylor, J. (2004). Marketing communications: An integrated approach. London: K. Page.

Sumathi, S., & Saravanavel, P. (2003). Marketing research and consumer behaviour. New Delhi: Vikas Publishers