A profile of Koreans: who purchases fashion goods online?

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to classify internet users by fashion lifestyles, to profile the demographic and internet usage characteristics of each segment, and to examine evaluation for fashion e-retailers' attributes. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A total of 1,211 internet users who have visited an online fashion mall at least once participated in a web survey. Lifestyles were analyzed by factor analysis, generating five factors. Five segments were obtained by k-mean cluster analysis. Descriptive analysis, ANOVA, chi-square tests, and radar charts were employed. Findings ‐ Internet users were classified into Economical Shopper, Recreational Shopper, Fashion/brand Shopper, Fashion Follower, and Individualistic Shopper. Each segment presented different characteristics in demographics and internet usages. In addition, segments evaluated e-retailers' attributes differently. Fashion/brand Shopper presented the highest levels of overall satisfaction and intention to purchase fashion goods online, while Fashion Follower showed the opposite. Research limitations/implications ‐ A profile of each segment explained who they are and why they buy or shop for fashion goods online. Evaluation for e-retailers' attributes indicated how online marketers responded to potential buyers' needs and values. Originality/value ‐ The paper offers valuable recommendations to apparel e-retailers based on characteristics of each segment.

Keywords: Electronic commerce; Fashion; Internet shopping; Lifestyles; Market segmentation; South Korea

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13612020910939897

Publication date: February 27, 2009

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