Association of Marketing Theory and Practice, Association of Marketing Theory and Practice 2012

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Exploring Internet Shopping for a Niche Apparel Market

Chris A Myers

Building: Marriot Resort and Spa
Room: Atlantic 2
Date: 03-30-2012 - 08:00 AM – 09:15 AM
Last modified: 02-10-2012

Abstract


The growth of online retailing has provided the apparel industry with additional avenues to reach the consumer. In fact, apparel products have been consistently ranked as one of the most frequently purchased items through the Internet (Seckler, 2001). While Internet shopping continues to escalate, a comprehensive understanding of how and why consumers use on-line shopping sites is still evolving. According to Kotler (2003), niche markets focus on a narrow group of consumers with distinct needs. Often, these needs are addressed through specialized product offerings. As a result, distinct marketing programs are presented to accommodate the specific needs of a sub-segment (Linneman & Stanton, 1992). However, research on Internet shopping specifically on niche markets has been sporadic. This gap in the literature is unfortunate given that Parrish et al. (2006a) have found that the key to the success of niche apparel firms lies in the understanding of the consumer. This study explores the behavior patterns of consumers in the hospital gown market. The managerial implications suggest that there is a positive relationship between various attitudes, prior Internet experience and purchase intentions for the customized hospital gowns.

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