In for consumers to express opinions on

In
this essay, the context will be focusing on fashion bloggers involvement on
Instagram taking the theoretical viewpoint of the decision-making process and
attention. To define Consumer Psychology, it is about “trying to understand why
individuals or groups engage in consumer activities and how they are affected
by them” (Jansson-Boyd, 2012, p.1). However, another large part of Consumer
Psychology is the cognitive and behavioural processes and how consumers act
when they purchase products or use services (Jansson-Boyd, 2012).

Furthermore,
Hoyer (1984, p.822) states, “In recent years, a considerable amount of effort has been devoted to
understanding the processes by which consumers arrive at some type of decision
(usually a purchase)”. Nowadays,
consumers are all living in an age of consumption; this means that they are making
decisions on purchases many times a day and on many social media platforms. Consumers
now have many ways that they can access and buy fashion items. For example such
as visiting physical stores but now consumers also have the option of shopping
online and even seeing fashion bloggers endorsing clothing can have an effect
on whether they go and find out more about a product or go even further such as
making a purchase.

As
the internet has become more important in consumers lives Halvorsen
et al., (2013, p. 211) states “blogging phenomenon has become an important marketing
channel, as it has enabled a new way of communicating and sharing information
through its user-generated content. Today the largest segment consists of
fashion blogs, i.e. blogs that focus on fashion brands, fashion products,
street style, and personal style.” For example, the rise of the social media
platform Instagram has made it easier for consumers to express opinions on various
clothing items and share views on content they like and content they do not
like as much.

If
a consumer expresses their opinion on a digital platform it is called
electronic word of mouth, Hennig-Thurau et al., (2004, p.39) states that
electronic word of mouth “as any positive or negative statement made by
potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is
made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet.”
Electronic word of mouth can be extremely influential as it provides fashion
bloggers with the chance to appeal and promote themselves by posting engaging
content followers will enjoy. It is very interesting as social media can allow
consumers to connect with users who have similar interests. Fashion bloggers
are now using electronic word of mouth skillfully to show their own opinions
about a brand or company to their readers, which in some cases can be
thousands.

This study will review if fashion bloggers have an influence
on the consumer decision-making process and if consumers pay more attention
when there is sponsored content or when there is not sponsored content. This
study will also show if fashion bloggers can generate awareness through social
media channels about the latest fashion trends and brands.

This study will review numerous academic articles and their
findings will be essential in finding out the influence that fashion bloggers
have on attention and the consumer decision-making process.

2.0 Main Body

2.1 Decision-Making Process

 

Why are some consumers motivated to choose a specific product
or service? Why do consumers choose one brand over another when some products
are almost identical? In addition, what keeps consumers loyal when there is
intense competition in some markets? (Joseph
Sirgy, Rahtz and Portolese, 2014). To answer
these questions numerous theorists have developed consumer decision-making models
that show the processes consumers go through before, during and after purchase.

Consumer
decision-making could be defined as the “behaviour patterns of consumers, that
precede, determine and follow on the decision process for the acquisition of
need satisfying products, ideas or services” (Du Plessis et al., 1991, p.11).
The theory of consumer decision-making is not a simple process and is more complex. There
have been numerous theories on the decision-making process. According to Kotler (1997), the model of the consumer
decision-making process is based on three components. The first component is
the outside stimuli, for example, consumers are exposed to outside stimuli that
is represented by the 4P’s (price, product, place and promotion). Furthermore,
the external environment that consists of economic, technological, political
and cultural factors (Kanagal, 2016).

When
a consumer views stimuli from a marketer or the environment goes to the buyer’s
black box, this is made up of two components, which are buyer’s characteristics
and the decision process. Finally, the observations are of the buyers
purchasing decision. This includes product choice, brand choice, dealer choice,
purchasing timing and purchase amount (Kanagal,
2016).

Schiffman
and Kanuk, (2014, p.368) describe the decision making process in five stages,
these are “Need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives,
purchase and post-purchase evaluation.” For example, when a consumer wants
something the decision process can involve all or some of the stages above. From
studying the black box model, it is clear that the decision process is deemed
as rational thought however there are many types of ­­­purchasing decisions.

Koontz and Weihrich, (2015, p.140)
state, “people acting or deciding rationally are attempting to reach some goal
that cannot be attained without action.” Starting in the 1980’s some theorists
started to question the rational decision process because for many products consumers
do not spend time in engaging in some of the activities suggested as important
in the consumer decision-making process (Erasmus, Boshoff and Rousseau, 2001).
The rational decision making process was further criticized by Bozinoff, (1982,
p481) who states, “Consumers are frequently engaged in non-conscious behaviour during consumer decision-making.”
For example, consumers may undertake no pre-purchase information search planning
prior to entering a retail environment. Furthermore, Subhash
(2015) states that consumers making a purchase in a retail environment may get attracted to a certain product because
of the marketing stimuli or thought processes however consumers may end up buying something instantly which
is based on information learnt in the past.

The Engel, Kollat, & Blackwell model (1973) was created to describe
the fast moving knowledge of consumer behaviour (Komal Prasad and Jha, 2014). The
model is further described by Viksne et al., (2016,
p.234) who states “This model shows decision-making process
stages which are affected by individuals characteristics (such as motives and