Online shopping and the behavior of consumers in Denmark

The purpose of my fieldwork is to examine online shopping and the behavior of consumers in Denmark. My main idea behind this topic was because of my observation that Nordic residents and especially Danes prefer a lot to do their shopping online than in a physical store. So, as a consequence, the boundaries between e-commerce and physical commerce are starting to disappear. According to studies, it has been also noticed that there is an increase of consumers who either testing first the products in physical stores before purchasing them online or they are doing first a research online before making their purchases in-store.

Firstly, I believed that as an employee in an international company as Zara is, it would be easier for me to have access. For instance, I thought that it would be obvious for me to gather my data, see at first hand, how things work and how important it is both for a company and for a consumer to buy either from its physical store or its online platform.

In addition, as an international student who continues her studies and her research in Denmark and especially in a small city as Odense is.

Furthermore, I also found interesting this topic since my personal hobby is to do research according to my needs, to plan, investigate and after that to buy either from a physical store or from their e-commerce platform products that I want. According to my experience and the experience of my friends, I witnessed many successful cases of overseas purchasing with safe results as for example in New Zealand, the USA, and China etc.

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That is why I will try through my fieldwork to examine and analyze customer online shop decision-making and influencing factors for their buying behavior and buying decisions.

Finally, if it will be also possible, I will try to examine the issue from the perspective of business and discover either the convenience or the problems of creating a successful online shop, how an online shop can earn the reputation and how they succeed to satisfy customer’s needs and wants which are associating with the marketing strategy of the online store.

Research Question

During the preparation of my fieldwork, I understood the significance of finding the best research question for my research. I had to take into consideration all the parameters and it was something that made more difficult my process. Moreover, I had also in my mind that my research questions should be general but also specific in some parts. After doing some observations to the behavior of some consumers and reading some articles about the company and how the online purchases entered in our lives, I tried to formulate my research question.

All these thoughts resulted in my final research question as follows: “How do young-adult consumers in Odense navigate between different brands of fast-fashion, physical stores, and online platforms”? This question was formulated in order to give me some answers about the attitude of customers towards either physical or online shopping and the aspects that affect their decision.

I added some sub-questions, which I found interesting and I thought that they would help me to analyze all my themes of interest. “How do consumers experience Zara’s online in relation to the physical store”? “How do culture, social and personal factors influence their brand choice’s decision of fast fashion”? “What impact do these factors have on their shopping decision either in a shop or in an online platform”? “Which gender usually shop online”? “How Zara as brand attracts its customers and make them loyal to the brand”?

Danish Culture as Context

Denmark is one of the countries that are leading to the advancement of information through technology. This information means that “the rate of Internet usage by Danish people is high, and their mindset is more inclined to online shopping” (Wright, 48). “The number of Internet users in Denmark is high, which has led to the association that they use the Internet in most of their activities” (Ho, Kauffman, and Liang 411). Danish and International people, therefore, represent a large number in the field of online shopping. Estimates from the World Factbook showed that “there are about 5,4 million Internet of users in Denmark which means that this number represents the 96,1% of the total population”. Moreover, according to Eurostat who has indicated that” four out of five young adults shopped online and that the average annual spending per online shopper is 2,252 Euros”.

I have also noticed as long as I am a citizen of this country that Danish people are well known for their openness to new concepts and ideas. In addition, Danish people have high purchasing power, which means that “they are using the Internet in order to purchase goods and services and of course this power is not only limited to the low prices that may be offered by online shopping” (Mangiaracina et al. 566).

Fast Fashion

The term of fashion can be characterized as “a consumer behavioral phenomenon, surrounding both intangible and tangible contexts, within the domain of social influence and diffusion”. Fashion also appears as a sign to differentiate social identity, taste and cultural capital (Watson and Yan, 2013). Moreover, fashion can be considered as a reflection of culture and of the society that they live to. It can be characterized as the way that people define themselves and can be understood as a code that helps us to navigate and to decode the meaning. High street fashion or fast fashion is the concept of cheap fashion items made readily available.

Zara has also listed in one of the most marketable global brands and show us how the high street fashion brands are. This means that Zara search every day for new and innovative trends either in the streets or in the big and popular brands around the world. According to the Annual Report of Inditex “Zara’s sales reached 10.5 million euros in 2012 and besides a physical presence of almost 2000 stores in 86 countries, it is the high street fashion brand with most Facebook followers and the highest engagement rate” (Inditex Annual Report, 2012), (Euromonitor 2012) and (Facebook 2013).

Moreover, according to Inditex, none of Zara’s success is owed to advertising (Hansen 2012). Using Kotler and Keller’s definition as “any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor via print media, broadcast media, network media, electronic media, and display media”, Zara does not rely on this marketing mode (2012: 478). Unfortunately for its competitors, Zara does not engage in showy campaigns or collaborate with high profiled fashion designers and celebrities (Inditex Report, 2012).

According to Euromonitor International (2011) and their reports indicate that “fashion products are the second most popular among online purchases in Denmark”. Moreover, shopping fashion clothes is often seemed like an important socializing and pleasant activity that provides opportunities to the consumers because they have the opportunity to feel pleasure, to have fun, to enjoy the moments when they are buying a product (Kang, 2010). It is a process which you can do it alone or with your friends, where you can socialize with other consumers and ask their opinion. Considering the strong competition that exists among the companies and the plenty of information between sellers and buyers, there is a growing interest in understanding the basis of customers intention in online environments.

On the one hand, if we have to see either online or offline shopping from a seller’s perspective, customer retention and loyalty has been recognized as the key to be profitable and to survive in a competitive world. On the other hand, from customer’s perspective, because of the online accessibility that they have on every website that they desire, customers have the opportunity to visit the site of the company that they prefer, to search for the product that they need in every part of the world and finally they get confused by what they find. That’s why businesses need to focus more on their website and try to do it more attractive in order to get as many customers as they can.

Role of Branding

Today brands play an important part in marketing strategy in order to attract the intention and attention of consumers. That’s why through different consumers I tried to examine how they perceived Zara as a brand. Did they choose Zara because of the quality, the superiority of products or its services? Does the brand influence their purchasing decisions? Do they buy because they are familiar with this brand? Are they loyal to this brand or they buy and from other similar stores? That was only some of the questions that I had in my mind and I hoped that my participants will be answered to me.

All these ideas came to my mind because in our era it is evident that brands have become an important marketing component to the producer and a rich source of information for the consumer. On the one hand, for the producer, the brand provides a means of classification for an easy way of packaging and transporting their products and their services, and a process also of legal protection of unique features. On the other hand, from the consumers perspective, “a brand recognizes the source of a product, which in turn, assigns responsibility to the product maker and provides a promise or bond with the maker of the product” (Keller et al., 2008).

Moreover, brands are important especially when you have to create your individual style when you talk about shoes, clothes, fashion accessories, spirits with your friends etc. Trough brands, producers try o send messages to friends, lovers, and potential employers about who is the person that wears it or what would like to be. But are all of the ideas represent also my informants? Because each individual has its own style and identity which is based on their choices, experiences, and backgrounds such as social class, nationality, and ethnicity.

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Online shopping and the behavior of consumers in Denmark. (2021, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/online-shopping-and-the-behavior-of-consumers-in-denmark/

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