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Title: Cultural changes and the impact of social influences in Saudi women's purchasing behaviour
Contributor(s): Alsubaie, Haya Nasser M (author); Valenzuela-Abaca, Fredy  (supervisor); Rindfleish, Jennifer M (supervisor); Adapa, Sujana  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The modern shopping environment in the capital city of Riyadh seems something of a contradiction to the casual observer. Since the proliferation of modern shopping centres and the relatively easy availability of western goods, the traditional conformation to the expectations of Saudi customers have changed considerably. In order to address these ever-changing dynamics in the Saudi shopping environment, the present research outlined the following three research objectives: 1) to understand the perceptions of Saudi women shoppers towards traditional and modern shopping centres; 2) to explore the nature and characteristics of Saudi women shoppers' apparel purchasing behaviour; and 3) to investigate the influence exerted by family members and friends on Saudi women shoppers' during the purchase of western apparel. This study focused on the examination of literature in the areas of consumer behaviour, specifically in exploring Saudi women's shopping behaviour towards apparel purchasing. These identified gaps in the extant literature points towards the influence of cultural changes, the impact of social influences on Saudi women's purchasing, and shopping behavioural patterns related to the proliferation of modern shopping centres in Riyadh. The present research investigated “how the introduction of modern shopping centres has an impact on the consumer behaviour of Saudi women and what are the influences exerted by culture and family on Saudi women shoppers' purchasing behaviour”, as these areas have been underexplored in the existing academic research. Therefore, the overarching aim of this research is to investigate the cultural changes and the impact of social influences on Saudi women's purchasing behaviour towards apparel at traditional and modern shopping centres in Saudi Arabia. In order to provide answers to the stated research objectives a qualitative research method was chosen. Saudi women shoppers undertook a qualitative in-depth interview at both traditional and modern shopping centres in Riyadh. The interviews set out to explore the impact of modern shopping centres on the consumption behaviour of women shoppers in Saudi Arabia. The views, opinions and perceptions of Women shoppers' were gathered and analysed in order to investigate the possible reasons for the success of the aggressive marketing of modern shopping centres. This analysis specifically aligned to understand the proliferation of high-priced prestigious/luxury goods and the impact of 'easy credit' purchasing arrangements within the Saudi society. This study confirmed the phenomenal uptake of high-end branded apparel impulsive purchasing by Saudi women shoppers from modern shopping centres in Riyadh. It is evident modern shopping centres have significantly influenced Saudi women shoppers' apparel purchasing behaviour, changing their overall perception of traditional shopping centres. Moreover, Saudi women shoppers tend to purchase more in modern shopping centres in comparison to the traditional shopping centres. Saudi women have a positive experience with modern shopping centres, which offered high-end apparel shops, clean restrooms, high quality services, advanced payment facilities, cafés, restaurants and places for functional and prestigious purposes. Whereas traditional shopping centres have a negative shopping experience, due to inadequate services and an uncomfortable environment for social interaction. Saudi women visited and shopped at traditional shopping centres only if they are alone or with family members, maintaining their position high amongst their friends and relatives. Influenced by primary reference groups to visit the most sophisticated and modern shopping centres Saudi women were influenced in their decisions related to purchasing expensive high-end apparel based on their friends' comments, fashion in season and current trends just to keep up their perceived position as high as their companions. The study offered some insights into observed relationships between purchasing behaviour changes and the impact of social influences in terms of proliferation of modern shopping centres in Riyadh. Six important changes involve ideologies, role of relatives and friends, shifts in needs, consumerism, the uncovering of female faces in modern shopping centres offering a place to exercise their freedom. These changes influenced by the increase of modern shopping centres where Saudi women could expose what they wear to others. Companies in the Saudi market should consider the unique characteristics of Saudi women consumers, the shift in their shopping orientations, and embrace the modern values emphasised by this segment for effective marketing of branded apparel. Saudi women expressed their affinity towards western apparel brands to ensure a high position amongst their relatives and friends in Saudi Arabia. They have clear desires and v needs for possessing high-ended apparel brands, which marketers engage with when targeting Saudi women or in designing and refining a brand image for upper-upper class people. This study revealed that friends would influence their purchases and decision-making process to buy only high-end fashion apparel from certain shops to maintain a positive position amongst their friends. Based on these findings, retail marketers and managers should focus on providing unique types of information and messages by identifying the above-mentioned sources when communicating their marketing messages to Saudi women. Future research should examine the relationships between cultural changes and the proliferation of modern shopping centres in Saudi Arabia and the subsequent impact on the traditional shopping centres. However, the findings obtained from this study cannot be generalised to other contexts, as this study focused only on Saudi women in Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. The conclusion is based on a sample of Saudi women in Riyadh and specifically their apparel purchasing patterns. and cannot be applied to other countries. This study could be expanded by inclusion of variables related to shopping orientation, shopping motivation and product involvement.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
150501 Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development
150503 Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 350699 Marketing not elsewhere classified
350601 Consumer behaviour
350603 Industrial marketing
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 910403 Marketing
910401 Industrial Relations
910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 150303 Marketing
150301 Industrial relations
Rights Statement: Copyright 2016 - Haya Nasser M Alsubaie
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:Thesis Doctoral
UNE Business School

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