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Online purchase of clothes, social media and opinion leader processes: An explorative study with a mixed-methods approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The goal of this study was to explore the customer journey of an online purchase of clothes and to identify potential opinion leaders in the decision-taking phase before the purchase. Important questions to be analyzed were through which channels might customers get influenced and by whom. A special focus was put on the role of Facebook and Twitter during this process. In a later part of the study, the communication strategies of three clothes brands (H&M, Nelly and Halens) were studied with respect to their Facebook and Twitter channels, in order to understand how and with what kind of content they approach their customers.

In this study a mixed-methods approach was used (survey, qualitative interviews, content analysis), in order to get an as complete picture as possible from the customers’ behavior. To explore the customer’s perspective, an online survey was used as well as qualitative interviews. The content analysis was applied to investigate the company side.

The results of this study show that the respondents are mainly influenced in their decisions by their friends in an offline channel (face-to-face), and not through social networks. Facebook and Twitter do not influence the customers (or maybe only to a minimal extent). Thus, one conclusion of the study is that social media like Facebook and Twitter do not have a major influence on the online purchase of clothes, at least not on a conscious level. Instead other factors can have more influence, like face-to-fact contact with friends, as mentioned in the study. These findings are important for companies and should make them consider the important aspect of the offline-impact in future marketing strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
social media, facebook, twitter, opinion leaders, influentials, word-of-mouth (WOM), brands
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90983OAI: diva2:629295
Available from: 2013-08-14 Created: 2013-06-16 Last updated: 2013-08-14Bibliographically approved

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