A South African study of consumers' perceptions of textile labels and their consequent purchasing behaviour / P. Maqalika-Mokobori
Maqalika-Mokobori, Papali Matsepiso Elizabeth
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Background and motivation: Consumers are faced with choices of textile products on the market every day, and it should be determined whether labels, being a major source of information at the point of sale, assist consumers in their decision making. Regarding the concept of labelling, the nature of a typical textile label was defined and the information to be included in a label was identified as the size of the product, care instructions, fibre content, country of origin, name of the manufacturer and the brand name. It was discovered from literature that consumer behaviour is influenced by the external factors and determined by the internal factors such as personality and self-concept, attitudes, perceptions, motivation and involvement, memory and learning and emotions. The aim of the study was to explore consumers' awareness and perceptions of textile product labelling and to determine the extent to which the consumers use the information on the textile product label when making decisions on or purchasing textile goods. Methodology: As very little is known about this phenomenon regarding the South African consumer, a qualitative, explorative, descriptive research strategy was followed. Focus groups were used for data collection and participants were selected by purposive sampling so that only the knowledgeable consumer with reference to the textile label was included. The research was made trustworthy by using the purposive sampling, and conducting a pilot test before data collection. In addition, peers and study leaders monitored all the processes of the research. Data were analysed using a qualitative thematic research analysis method. Identified themes and concepts were then discussed under the pre-determined categories of awareness, perceptions and the influence each of these themes has on the decision-making process when purchasing textile products. Results and discussions: The results revealed that the consumers were very aware of the existence of a label, they were even able to define it, and they could identify it in a number of ways. Consumers were also aware of the type of information provided by the textile product labels. The perceptions that the consumers have about the information found on the label and the nature of the label are discussed at length in the text. It was discovered that textile labels do influence the decision-making process of the consumers when purchasing textile products and the information on size is the most important to consumers.
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