Chapter Three Theoretical Framework And Research Design Marketing Essay

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This chapter explores the theoretical framework of the research, explaining the purpose of the research, problem definition, followed by research objectives. This chapter will provide a preliminary explanation of the proposed theoretical model describing the different variables (dependent, independent, and moderating) and the formulation of the major and minor questions into hypothesis. At the end the researcher will present the research methodology, the data collection instrument and the data analysis methods.

introduction

The objective of the research is to explore, recognize, and identify the different factors which affect the purchase intention of the customer towards Dermo-cosmetics in Egypt.

As seen before in chapter 2, the researcher found number of variables in different scholars that has been researched before on a global base, but there were a gap in the researches done in Egypt on the Egyptian consumer in particular for the dermo-cosmetic industry.

The literature showed the importance of certain variables in the study of purchase intention in general, among which are variables related to the product and manufacturer as the perceived quality (PQ) and country of origin (COO), Also there were variables related to the brand activities like the merchandising (SM) and the brand image (BI) and other variables related to the consumer including his past experience (PE) and demographics.

The researcher will try to test the effect of these variables which were compiled from different literatures with addition to one variable which is the pharmacist opinion which was raised as a concern from the SMEs. The researcher will propose a conceptual framework including these variables to examine their effect and the correlation among them on the decision of the Egyptian consumer to purchase Dermo-cosmetics.

Problem definition

It was evident from the literature that no study till today was published to explore the purchase intention of the consumer towards the dermo-cosmetic products in both the less developed and the developed countries. In USA there were few studies on the personal care product but it covered the purchase intention towards that of organic type only based on the theory of planed behavior (TPB) and only in relation with the green attitude and values of the consumer and his previous experience with other organic products, but there is no published studies on the Dermo-Cosmetic industry worldwide that covered the purchase intention of the consumer.

The Dermo-Cosmetic business in Egypt is a new business (less than 30 years old) and didn’t have the chance to be studied yet and there is a lack of information on the factors that drive the consumer to buy products without prescription.

Determining and exploring the factors affecting the consumer buying decision will help Dermo-cosmetic firms in Egypt to develop programs adapted to their customer needs.

Research objective

The purpose of this research is to explore the consumer purchase intention for Dermo-cosmetic products in Egypt and to determine and understand the factors which affect this purchase intention. This will allow companies working in that industry in Egypt to capitalize on these factors and helps them in optimizing their branding strategy for better communication with their customers. Also this research will guide companies to realize the factors that need to be focused on in order to succeed in the Egyptian market.

Theoretical framework

In this research, the model which is intended to be used is compiled from different literatures and adapted from different models and theories. The model aims at establishing the relationship between five independent variables together with other two moderating variables and their effect and impact on the consumer purchase intention towards dermo-cosmetics in Egypt. This model should provide information about the variables included that will allow companies working in the dermo-cosmetic industry to direct their strategies towards higher customer focus activities for better customer satisfaction and accordingly better sales in this highly competitive market.

Figure 3.1 (The conceptual model)

(Zeithaml, 1988; Dodds et al, 1991; Ozsomer and Cavusgil 1991; Churchill and Peter, 1998 Terrazas, 2006; Kim and Chung, 2011; Suki, 2011; Levy and Gendel-Guterman, 2012)

This research examines the relations among the following dependent, independent and moderating variables

Dependent Variable (Y)

VAR (V1): Intention to purchase (IP)

Purchase intention is defined in the marketing dictionary as the likelihood that a consumer will buy a particular product resulting from the interaction of his or her need for it, attitude towards it and perceptions of it and of the company which produces it. Other theories describe it to be a series of choices made by a consumer prior to making a purchase that begins once the consumer has established a willingness to buy (Dodds et al, 1991) Purchase intention is the outcome of the purchase decision process which is described to be a multistep process that begins with problem recognition when the customer perceive that there is a need followed by search for information seeking value that can fulfill the need and then evaluation of the alternative solutions present this is followed by the actual buying of that solution and then the post-purchase evaluation. (Kotler P. & Armstrong, 2001)

Independent Variable (X)

The researcher will attempt to explore five independent variables and study their impact on the consumer intention to purchase dermo-cosmetics. These variables are derived from different theories and models and were found in the literature as proposed in chapter two.

IN-VAR (X1): Perceived Quality (PQ)

Quality cannot be easily defined or measured but we have to differentiate and distinguish between the objective quality that can be measured and verified versus the perceived quality which is the consumer’s judgment about a product’s overall excellence or superiority (Zeithaml 1988). Perceived quality is an intangible multidimensional concept that reflects the overall feeling towards a brand (or product). The importance of perceived quality (PQ) on purchase intention was argued between different scholars to be either having direct effect (Zeithaml, 1993) or indirect by affecting the satisfaction (Taylor, 1992) while others argued that both effects exists (Tsiotsou, 2006). In this research the direct effect on purchase intention will be tested.

IN-VAR (X2): Country of origin (COO)

Country-of-origin is the country (often referred to as the home country) with which a manufacturer’s product or brand is associated (Saeed, 1994). COO image is the consumer’s perception towards the country’s representative products or brands. (Roth and Romeo, 1992)

COO effect on purchase intention depends mainly on the product category and the country image in that particular category. (Bluemelhuber et al., 2007)

IN-VAR (X3): Merchandising (SM)

Recently retailers are adopting increasingly sophisticated shelf management and audience measurement tools (Egol and Vollmer 2008). It is now thought that large increases in total shelf space will have effect on brand sales (Bemmaor and Mouchoux, 1991)

Merchandising means the variety of products (number, category and type) available for sale and the assortment or display of those products in a way that stimulate consumer’s interest and drives them to purchase. (Terrazas, 2006)

Thus merchandising in the research means product assortment, wobblers, occupied shelf space, shelf talkers and floor and counter displays.

IN-VAR (X4): Past Experience (PE)

Many scholars argued that consumers past experience can provide predictions of his behavioral intentions (Conner and Armitage, 1998)

This past experience can be shaped by either personal testimonial or use of the product or by opinion of an influential reference group, family or friends.

IN-VAR (X5): Brand Image (BI)

Consumers form images about product cues and use these images as basis for judgment in future evaluations. Images held in consumer mind are the result of the consumer believes about the characteristics of the product which is formed under the effect of communication and previous use (Erikson et al., 1984).

During the face to face interviews of the researcher with SMEs (pharmacists, pharmacy managers and dermo-cosmetic company managers) they mentioned that the brand image is important for dermo-cosmetic consumers purchase intention especially in higher social class urban areas.

Moderating Variables (Z)

MOD-VAR (Z1): Pharmacist Opinion

The term pharmacist in this research will be referred to anyone inside the pharmacy who is in charge of the cosmetic section inside the pharmacy and in direct contact with the consumer either he/she was pharmacist, cosmetic man or pharmacy manager.

The pharmacist can advise the consumer about the products upon asking and sometimes without inquiries from the consumer. During the interviews which the researcher conducted, it was mentioned that the pharmacist acts as market helper and an expert inside the pharmacy which denotes the importance of his/her opinion in moderating the consumer purchase intention.

MOD-VAR (Z2): Demographics

Demographics have long been recognized as important factors in case of doing the market segmentation and targeting specific customers. (Suki, 2011)

The researcher will use demographics especially age, gender and education as a moderating variable in the research as the SMEs draw the attention towards them. SMEs mentioned that the purchase intention for dermo-cosmetics and the intensity of willingness to buy depends on those factors due to the relative difference in importance of dermo-cosmetic and beauty products for the consumer according to their age and gender.

Research Assumptions

The following are the assumptions that the researcher made in this research:

A1: There is a good pharmacy based (OTC) market for Dermo-cosmetics in Egypt

A2: The researcher assumes that relationship exists between the model’s dependent variable (IP) and the independent variables (PQ, COO, SM, PE and BI), proven by multiple scholars (Levy and Gendel-Guterman, 2012; Suki, 2011; Dodds et al, 1991; Churchill and Peter, 1998)

A3: The researcher assumes that only class A, B and maximum C+ customers can afford to buy dermo-cosmetics

A4: The researcher assumes that the OTC dermo-cosmetic market is present mainly in the class A and B pharmacies

Research Limitations

L1: Research is limited to Cairo only for questionnaire data collection and time constrains

L2: The theoretical framework is only limited to the variables included in the conceptual model including the perceived quality, country of origin, merchandising, past experience and brand image.

L3: the research questionnaire will be limited to the customers inside the pharmacies

L4: The research will be limited to class A and B pharmacies where there is high traffic of

consumers and good OTC market

L5: Findings and results will be limited to the dermo-cosmetics in pharmacies only

research questions

Major Research Question

MjRQ1: What are the factors which affect the consumer purchase decision towards dermo-cosmetic product in Egypt?

By answering this question the researcher should be able to provide companies in the dermo-cosmetic business with information about the factors which affects the consumer purchase decision and thus they should direct their investment in the best way to improves the decision to their favor

Also the researcher will be able to provide results for marketers of dermo-cosmetic brands which will help them to focus their activities and adapt their marketing plans to positively affect the consumer choice towards their brands.

This research will help dermo-cosmetic companies to better understand their customers and help pharmacists to differentiate between dermo-cosmetic brands on basis of their customer focus strategies.

Minor Research Question

The minor research question will test the relationships that are in the form of hypothesis formulated by the researcher in this suggested research model for the factors which affect the consumer purchase intention for dermo-cosmetics in Egypt

MRQ1: To what extent does the consumer perceived quality about a dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand?

MRQ2: To what extent does the country of origin of certain dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand?

MRQ3: To what extent does the Merchandising (product assortment, visuals, position and display) affects consumer intention to purchase certain dermo-cosmetic brand?

MRQ4: To what extent does the consumer past experience with a dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand again?

MRQ5: To what extent does the image of a brand of dermo-cosmetic affects consumer intention to purchase this brand?

MRQ6: Is the relationship between the consumer’s past experience, product perceived quality, country of origin, merchandising, product image and the consumer intention to purchase the product/brand affected by pharmacist opinion?

MRQ7: Is the relationship between the consumer’s past experience, product perceived quality, country of origin, merchandising, product image and the consumer intention to purchase the product/brand affected by consumer demographics?

Research Hypothesis

IN-VAR (X1): Hypothesis 1

Null Hypothesis (Ho1)

There is no relation between the customer perceived quality of a dermo-cosmetic product and the customer’s intention to purchase that dermo-cosmetic product.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha1)

There is a relationship between the customer perceived quality of a dermo-cosmetic product and the customer’s intention to purchase that dermo-cosmetic product.

IN-VAR (X2): Hypothesis 2

Null Hypothesis (Ho2)

There is no relation between the country of origin of a dermo-cosmetic product and the customer’s intention to purchase that dermo-cosmetic product.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha2)

There is a relationship between the country of origin of a dermo-cosmetic product and the customer’s intention to purchase that dermo-cosmetic product.

IN-VAR (X3): Hypothesis 3

Null Hypothesis (Ho3)

There is no relation between merchandising of dermo-cosmetics and the customer’s intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha3)

There is a relationship between merchandising of dermo-cosmetics and the customer’s intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

IN-VAR (X4): Hypothesis 4

Null Hypothesis (Ho4)

There is no relation between consumer’s past experience with dermo-cosmetic products and the customer’s intention to purchase dermo-cosmetics.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha4)

There is a relationship between consumer’s past experience with dermo-cosmetic products and the customer’s intention to purchase dermo-cosmetics.

IN-VAR (X5): Hypothesis 5

Null Hypothesis (Ho5)

There is no relation between brand image of dermo-cosmetic brand and the customer’s intention to purchase that brand.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha5)

There is a relationship between brand image of dermo-cosmetic brand and the customer’s intention to purchase that brand.

MOD-VAR (Z1): Hypothesis 6

Null Hypothesis (Ho6)

Pharmacist opinion does not affect the relation between consumer’s past experience (PE), product perceived quality (PQ), country of origin (COO), merchandising (SM), product image (BI) and the consumer intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha6)

Pharmacist opinion does affect the relation between consumer’s past experience (PE), product perceived quality (PQ), country of origin (COO), merchandising (SM), product image (BI) and the consumer intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

MOD-VAR (Z2): Hypothesis 7

Null Hypothesis (Ho7)

Consumer demographics does not affect the relation between consumer’s past experience (PE), product perceived quality (PQ), country of origin (COO), merchandising (SM), product image (BI) and the consumer intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha7)

Consumer demographics does affect the relation between consumer’s past experience (PE), product perceived quality (PQ), country of origin (COO), merchandising (SM), product image (BI) and the consumer intention to purchase dermo-cosmetic product.

research Methodology

Research Type

This research is of analytical nature as it aims at defining the key factors affecting the consumer’s intention to purchase dermo-cosmetics in Egypt. The research lies in the quantitative paradigm as it will collect and analyze numerical data through structured questionnaire producing quantitative data; however as a secondary source of data in the form of qualitative interviews with experts is also used. The research will use a large sample size due to the large size of the population under study. The research is deductive as it uses literature based hypotheses and intends to test global variables among Egyptian customers

Finally the researcher will use a questionnaire to gather information regarding the factors which affects consumer’s purchase intention towards dermo-cosmetics in Egypt.

Face to face interviews with experts in the dermo-cosmetic market including pharmacy managers, marketing managers of dermo-cosmetic brands and chairman of the leading brand in Egypt will also be done as a secondary source of information.

Data Collection Instrument and Source

The researcher had two data collection instruments for the research.

The first one is semi-structured interviews with experts in the field of dermo-cosmetics, this instrument is used due to the lack of scholars for this type of business in Egypt so the researcher will use the expert interviews to confirm the research importance, validate the research problem, guide the research subject and verify the choice of the framework variables. The expert interviews will provide qualitative data which will give insights and understanding of the subject matter. (detailed interview will be attached in Appendix A)

The other data collection instrument will be a structured questionnaire which was used to test all the variables that are chosen in the suggested research model (attached in Appendix B)

The questionnaire was done in English language at first, and then to facilitate the questionnaire to the respondents sample and prevent its limitation to respondents who can answer in English only, the researcher had to translate the questionnaire to the Arabic language.

The questionnaire was conducted inside the pharmacies in Cairo and Giza regions and the respondents were customers entering the pharmacies looking for cosmetics or dermo-cosmetics.

The questionnaire will provide quantitative data to test the specific hypothesis and examine the relationships between the model variables.

The questionnaire is formed of two sections A and B. Section A including all the Dependent and independent variables in addition to one of the two moderating variables and was done on a 1 – 5 likert scale while section B consists of the other moderating variable and was done as a multi-choice answer. (Table 3.1 Mapping of the questionnaire and its scale)

(Table 3.1 Mapping of the questionnaire and its scale)

Research Question

Variable

Source

Section

Scale

To what extent does the consumer perceived quality about a dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand?

Perceived quality (PQ)

Zeithaml, 1993

Section A

Q1- Q5

1 – 5

likert scale

To what extent does the country of origin of certain dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand?

Country Of Origin (COO)

Roth and Romeo, 1992

Section A

Q6-Q10

1 – 5

likert scale

To what extent does the Merchandising (product assortment, visuals, position and display) affects consumer intention to purchase certain dermo-cosmetic brand?

Merchandising (SM)

Terrazas, 2006

Section A

Q11- Q15

1 – 5

likert scale

To what extent does the consumer past experience with a dermo-cosmetic brand affects his intention to purchase this brand again?

Past Experience (PE)

Conner and Armitage, 1998

Section A

Q16 – Q20

1 – 5

likert scale

To what extent does the image of a brand of dermo-cosmetic affects consumer intention to purchase this brand?

Brand Image (BI)

Erikson et al., 1984

Section A

Q21-Q24

1 – 5

likert scale

Is there an intention to purchase dermo-cosmetics?

Purchase Intention (PI)

Dodds et al, 1991

Section A

Q25 – Q27

1 – 5

likert scale

Is the relationship between the consumer’s past experience, product perceived quality, country of origin, merchandising, product image and the consumer intention to purchase the product/brand affected by pharmacist opinion?

Pharmacist Opinion (PO)

Cordell, 1997

SMEs Interviews

Section A

Q28

1 – 5

likert scale

Is the relationship between the consumer’s past experience, product perceived quality, country of origin, merchandising, product image and the consumer intention to purchase the product/brand affected by consumer demographics?

Demographics

Suki, 2011

SMEs Interviews

Section B

Q1- 4

Multi-choice

Sampling Methods

The researcher used two sampling populations for the data collection

Population 1

Judgmental sampling using semi-structured face to face interviews with experts in the dermo-cosmetic business in Egypt to collect qualitative data

Criteria for the SMEs selection include:

Being pioneer in the dermo-cosmetic industry

Experience in dermo-cosmetic business of more than 8 years

The SMEs should include views of all the participants in the dermo-cosmetic business

The researcher was able to interview 4 experts in this context who were the chairman of dermo-cosmetic Company, the marketing manager of dermo-cosmetic brand, the owner of a pharmacy and the purchasing manager of well known pharmacy chain.

Population 2

Non probability sampling method was used and according to sekaran (2003), the sample size should be in this case 384 at least as the target for this research is huge population

The researcher actually conducted 440 questionnaire of which 407 questionnaire were completed while the rest had incomplete data so the researcher depended on the 407 complete questionnaires in doing the analysis for the research.

The questionnaire was conducted inside about 15 pharmacies in Cairo and Giza areas through physical presence in the cosmetic section of the pharmacies using hardcopies of the questionnaire.

Pharmacies selected to conduct the questionnaire had to have medium to high traffic of customers and to have a cosmetic and dermo-cosmetic section in addition to the drug section.

The respondents were entering the pharmacies to purchase or looking for cosmetics or dermo-cosmetics and there were no specific criteria for their selection.

The questionnaire was conducted in the following manner:

All through the day starting from 10 am till 8 pm

In all weekdays as well as weekends

No selection to the respondent was done based on gender or age or appearance

Data Analysis Methods

The data analysis for the research had two phases.

The first phase was the compilation, filtration and analysis of the four expert interviews which helped in adding the moderating factors to the model under search and confirmed the validity and importance of other independent variables.

The second phase was the analysis of the quantitative data resulted from the questionnaire which began by loading the data into the computer for analysis then using the SPSS for analysis.

The researcher used both the descriptive and the inferential analysis

Descriptive analysis

The researcher at first performed a demographic analysis to show the sample distribution across different model variables, and then a Cronbach Alpha in the reliability test was done to check the consistency of each set of questions measuring the same variable. Then the model question data were described using descriptive statistics including the median, mode, minimum, maximum and frequency distribution and then the variables were statistically described including their minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation.

Inferential analysis

The researcher started the inferential analysis by the normality test to examine the distribution and decide which type of test to be used parametric or non-parametric.

The researcher then used Sperman correlation test to examine the relationship between each one independent variable and the dependent variable and assess the strength of the relationship in addition to its direction.

Moderating variables were then tested using Mann-Whitney test to examine the impact of the gender on the other dimensions, and then Kruskal-Wallis test was done for age, education level, income level and pharmacist opinion.

Linear regression test was then done to group all the independent variables into one equation to test their impact on the dependent variable.

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