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A Comparison of How Online Influencers Affect Fashion Purchasing Behaviour Between Generation Y and Generation Z Consumers in Taiwan

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According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (2014), Taiwanese consuming power is expected to grow from US$324.1 billion in 2013 to US$370.0 billion in 2018. The Ministry of Economic Affairs reports that retail sales in Taiwan increased 0.42% year-on-year in October of 2016

The current economic growth in Taiwan is partly due to the increase of tourists from mainland China since the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010. In addition to retail sales, e-commerce in Taiwan has experienced tremendous growth as a result of high internet penetration and the widespread use of smartphones.

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Nine in ten Generation Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues. The inclusion of the latter is a departure from the views of the previous generation of millennials, which had a greener focus. The change is reflected in the higher profile of social issues and in campaigns such as #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and #timesup, all of which have entered the mainstream lexicon over the past couple of years. The views of Gen Z and millennial consumers are critical. Together, these cohorts represent around $350 billion of spending power in the United States alone (approximately $150 billion spent by Gen Z and around $200 billion by millennials); additionally, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of global consumers by 2020

But concern over environmental and social issues is not restricted to younger consumers. Some two-thirds of consumers worldwide say they would switch, avoid, or boycott brands based on their stance on controversial issues. Half of these regard themselves as activists, driven by passion. The other half are less dogmatic, tailoring their decision to the situation at hand.

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When discussing influencer marketing, influencers appear to be divided in two main categories:celebrity endorsement and social media influencers. Companies seem to be shifting from a strong belief in the use of celebrity, to another approach for their brand, by using multiple socialmedia influencers to impact the decision-making of their customers (Dizon, 2015). This pointof view is also shared by individuals who tend to follow more lifestyle/fashion influencersrather than celebrities.Companies have a large panel of different social media platforms which they can choose from,but Instagram is succeeding in the field

In 2017, Instagram witnessed around 800 millionmonthly active users, which is 10.5% of the total world population. This result is placingInstagram third on the social network ranking (Millions, 2018; Dreamgrow.com, 2018). Newways of communication are emerging, and interaction is changing with, for example the use ofeWoM (Online Word of Mouth which stands for the 2.0 version of WoM (Word of Mouth)),but it is necessary to understand how different generations are apprehending this change insociety.

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In a word, shopping behavior is not oriented only to ‘online world’. Significant part of this generationalcohort searches information offline as well as makes purchases in the brick-and-mortar stores.Men more likely use online sources of information and finish their purchase online

Generation Y members consider online shopping to be faster than shopping in the brick-and-mortar stores.The decision making process starts with the choice of a specific product, the choice of suitableshopping place follows afterwards.

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Digiday. (2018). The rise of 'micro-influencers' on Instagram - Digiday. [online] Available at:https://digiday.com/marketing/micro-influencers/

Florès, L. (2014). How to Measure Digital Marketing Metrics for Assessing Impact andDesigning Success.

Goldsmith, R. and Horowitz, D. (2006). Measuring Motivations for Online Opinion Seeking.Journal of Interactive Advertising, 6(2), pp.2-14.

Dizon, M.F., (2015), Jul 26. What is an influencer? Business Mirror. ISSN 19081189

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