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An examination of the success factors in the use of the Internet by clothing specialist retailers in the UK

Sales on the internet are rising, and now account for eight per cent of total retail sales with clothing emerging as the number one product category. While there is academic interest in internet retailing, the clothing sector remains neglected with attention focused on retail web sites and the internet consumer. The aim of this thesis is to examine the success factors in the use of the internet by clothing specialist retailers in the UK and how they may maximise the potential for internet sales growth. To achieve this, the focus was placed on the strategic use of the internet by clothing specialist retailers, retail websites and the internet consumer within the context of one study. ...:' -: . In following the philosophical assumptions within the pragmatist paradigm, the research design and methodology adopted a mixed methods approach and combined quantitative and qualitative methods. Adopting a mixed method approach, the research was undertaken in two stages and comprised of three empirical phases. Stage One, Phase one of the empirical research adopted a phenomenological approach to an exploration of the strategic use of the internet by clothing specialist retailers. Stage two consisted of two quantitative phases of empirical research. Phase Two examined the service quality provision on retail websites and Phase Three explored consumer shopping motivations of browsers and purchasers on clothing specialist websites and evaluated service quality on the websites from a consumer perspective. The main conclusions are that for clothing specialist retailers to achieve internet sales growth objectives, they need to develop transactional websites. The analysis revealed 4 retail options currently in use by Clothing Specialist Retailers. It also identified the role of 'Replication' within strategic decion making. The research conceptualises and tests a model of e-service quality applicable to the websites of Clothing Specialist Retailers. Through a retailer and consumer analysis, the research identifies gaps in the provision of service quality and highlights key dimensions that require immediate attention to improve the provision of service quality on retail websites. The research profiles the internet consumer and demonstrates the importance of hedonic and utilitarian shopping values in attracting browsers and purchasers to the web sites of Clothing Specialist Retailers. Thus, the research contributes to knowledge by conceptualising a model that details how success factors contribute to internet sales growth; explains the links between the strategic use of the internet, the website and the consumer; identifies a range of retail options for the development of transactional websites and identifies the role of Replication in strategic decision making; conceptualises and tests a model of e-service quality; understands the consumer profile and shopping motivations of the internet clothing consumer; and fmally, provides Clothing Specialist Retailers with direction in the development of internet strategies.
Date January 2013
CreatorsSiddiqui, Noreen Qayyum
PublisherGlasgow Caledonian University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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