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STUDY OF BUYING BEHAVIOR OF INDIAN CONSUMERS IN THE HAIR CARE PRODUCT MARKET

MS. RASHMI, Assistant Professor, Department of Business Management, College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi. Delhi-India

ABSTRACT
Hair care products are fast moving consumer goods that have seen a surge in their sales in the past few decades. In India also, more and more people are opening up to the idea of experimenting and trying out newer hair care products. In this growing market, Hindustan Unilever Limited and P&G are two major marketers. This study attempts to uncover the various factors that influence the buying decision of shoppers and consumers who plan to purchase and/or use the hair care products sold by these two companies. Keywords: Buying behavior, FMCG, quality, Advertisements, Promotion

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INTRODUCTION:

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Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or consumer packaged goods (CPG) are products that are sold quickly and at relatively low price. Though the absolute profit made on FMCG products is relatively small, they generally sell in large quantities; the cumulative profit on such product can be substantial. FMCG have a short shelf life, either as a result of high consumer demand or because the product deteriorate rapidly. Consumer keep limited inventory of these products and prefer to purchase them frequently, as and when required. Consumers spend little time on the purchase decision. Rarely do they look for technical specification, in contrast to industrial goods. Brand loyalty or recommendations of reliably retailer or dealer drive purchase decision. Trial of a new product i.e. brand switching is often induced by heavy advertisements, recommendations of the retailers, neighbors or friends. Hair care products are examples of FMCG. Indian market for hair care products: Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and Proctor and Gamble (P&G) are two of the leading players in the Indian hair care market. The Hair care market consists of the retail sale of conditioner, hair colorants, salon products, shampoo and styling agents. The market is valued according to retail selling price (RSP). Hair care, once an occasion based activity, has now become an integral part of Indian consumer daily beauty regime. With growing disposable income and increasing western influence, Indian consumer are not shying away from experimenting with newer or pricier products. This has created new opportunity for the companies in this sector. As a result, products which once were non-existent in the Indian market are increasingly finding place in the Indian consumer shopping basket. Due to increasing competition, manufacturers of hair care products in India have realized the pressing needs to differentiate their offerings from other competing brands. This has resulted in greatest segmentation in the hair care market. Increasing awareness among consumer s has made manufacturers realized that a one size fits all approach is no longer enough to attract customers. The demand for customized offerings has resulted in the emergence of niche segments in the Indian Hair Care Market. OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH: 1. To study Indian consumers buying behavior on hair care products of HUL and P&G. 2. To evaluate the factors influencing hair care consumers buying behavior of HUL and P&G products in the Indian Market. LITERATURE REVIEW: Saxena (2008) has explored the facts that Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has increased its share in the shampoo market even as rivals Procter & Gamble (P&G) and CavinKare have suffered erosion.P. Guru Ragavendran (2009) surveyed the consumer perception on brand awareness and position of product in the market. It was observed that consumers expectations were Quality, benefits offered and packaging of shampoos. Sharma and Mehta (2012) reported that frequency of shampoo use in males is very less as compared to females and the consumers use it only for the purpose of cleaning, not for making their hair healthier or stronger. Male consumers useshampoo on special occasions such as weddings. The majority of respondents prefers TV for advertisement and is not satisfied with the quality of the shampoo and the free gifts distributed with them. Sachet is more preferred as compared to bottles for the purpose of packaging of shampoo. A consumers behavior is affected by three different factors: cultural, social and personal (Kotler and Keller, 2009). The Indian culture is a collectivist culture, where more importance is placed on achieving goals of the group, in contrast to individualistic cultures where the emphasis is on attaining personal goals (Solomon, 2006). This has been taken into account in this study also. A reference group is a group that has direct or indirect influence on a persons attitude or behavior (Kotler and Keller, 2009). Noel (2009) states that reference groups serve as a way of comparing oneself to others.Noel also notes that recommendations for products and services made by friends or relatives have a higher value to a consumer than recommendations made by sales staff. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: Survey Questionnaire: The survey questionnaire was focused on the factors influencing the Indian customers buying behavior related to hair care products of HUL and P&G. The structured questionnaire, which had closeended questions, also collected information on customers backgrounds. (Appendix 1) www.scholarsworld.net editor@scholarsworld.net Volume. I, Issue.III, November 2013 [122]

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Data Collection: Primary data was collected from hair care product consumers and shoppers. T-test was used as the main method for testing the hypotheses at 5% level of significance. One-sample T-tests at 95% confidence intervals were performed and the null hypotheses were tested for rejection in each case. Sample Selection: A probability sample of 190 respondents, located in Delhi, India, was used. HYPOTHESES: Hypothesis 1: H0: There is no significant relationship between brand name and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between brand name and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 2: H0: There is no significant relationship between personal experience and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between personal experience and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 3: H0: There is no significant relationship between packaging and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between packaging and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 4: H0: There is no significant relationship between newness of the product and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between newness of the product and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 5: H0: There is no significant relationship between quality and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between quality and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 6: H0: There is no significant relationship between texture (color, smell etc.) and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between texture (color, smell etc.) and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 7: H0: There is no significant relationship between previous usage experience and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between previous usage experience and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 8: H0: There is no significant relationship between product claim of being natural/herbal and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between product claim of being natural/herbal and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 9: H0: There is no significant relationship between claims by experts and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between claims by experts and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 10: H0: There is no significant relationship between product characteristics and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between product characteristics and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 11: H0: There is no significant relationship between price and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between price and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 12: H0: There is no significant relationship between sales promotion and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between sales promotion and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 13: H0: There is no significant relationship between personal selling and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between personal selling and buying decision for hair care products.

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Hypothesis 14:

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H0: There is no significant relationship between advertisements and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between advertisements and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 15: H0: There is no significant relationship between store ambience and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between store ambience and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 16: H0: There is no significant relationship between product safety and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between product safety and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 17: H0: There is no significant relationship between product trustworthiness and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between product trustworthiness and buying decision for hair care products. Hypothesis 18: H0: There is no significant relationship between brand loyalty and buying decision for hair care products. H1: There is a significant relationship between brand loyalty and buying decision for hair care products. DATA ANALYSIS: Of the 190 respondents surveyed, approximately 70% were females and 30% were males. The age groups varied from below-20 to more-than-40 years. The majority of the respondents were between 26 and 30 years of age. When surveyed about the factors influencing them during their purchase of hair care products, approximately 41% respondents reported that their friends were the most influential factor in their decision. The rest (22%) were influenced by their family, by social media (15%) and very few by celebrities. Although hair care products were available everywhere, store location was found to be a factor of influence during purchase. Approximately 27% respondents were interested in buying hair care products from cosmetic stores, while 23% preferred retail stores in proximity. Few respondents were found willing to buy them from chemist shops. HYPOTHESIS TESTING: Below are the parameters obtained from the hypotheses formulated in the previous section: Importance of brand name in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of personal experience in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of packaging in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of newness/launch of product in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of quality in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of texture in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of previous usage experience in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of product claims of being natural/herbal in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of expert claims in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of product characteristics in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of price in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of sales promotion in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of personal selling in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of advertisements in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of ambience in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of product safety in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of product trustworthiness in buying decision for hair care products. Importance of brand loyalty in buying decision for hair care products.

We have tested the following hypothesis for each of these parameters: H0: Mean is greater than 4 (somewhat important) H1: Mean is not greater than 4 (somewhat important) www.scholarsworld.net editor@scholarsworld.net Volume. I, Issue.III, November 2013 [124]

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TABLE 1: PARAMETERS INFLUENCING CONSUMER BUYING DECISION Parameters Brand Name Personal Experience Packaging Newness of product Quality Product texture (color, smell,etc.) Previous usage experience Natural/Herbal claim Experts' claims Product characteristics Price Sales promotion personal selling Advertisement Store ambience Product safety Product trustworthiness Brand loyalty One-Sample Statistics N Mean Std. Deviation 190 3.79 1.110 190 4.35 1.047 190 2.93 1.206 190 2.85 1.195 190 4.43 1.030 190 3.71 1.063 190 4.24 .988 190 3.94 1.042 190 3.68 1.184 190 2.65 1.189 190 3.62 1.133 190 3.45 1.134 190 2.45 1.266 190 2.99 1.217 190 3.01 1.226 190 4.41 .987 190 4.29 1.012 190 3.94 1.271 Std. Error of Mean .081 .076 .088 .087 .075 .077 .072 .076 .086 .086 .082 .082 .092 .088 .089 .072 .073 .092

TABLE 2: RESULTS OF T-TESTS One-Sample Test Test Value = 0 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper 3.64 3.95 4.20 4.50 2.75 3.10 2.68 3.02 4.28 4.58 3.55 3.86 4.10 4.38 3.79 4.09 3.51 3.85 2.48 2.82 3.46 3.78 3.29 3.61 2.27 2.63 2.82 3.16 2.84 3.19 4.27 4.55 4.15 4.44 3.75 4.12

Parameters Brand Name Personal Experience Packaging Newness of product Quality Product texture (color, smell,etc.) Previous usage experience Natural/Herbal claim Experts' claims Product characteristics Price Sales promotion personal selling Advertisement Store ambience Product safety Product trustworthiness Brand loyalty

T 47.110 57.249 33.442 32.743 59.291 48.054 59.134 52.074 42.883 30.759 44.045 41.910 26.697 33.856 33.854 61.619 58.507 42.701

df 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189

Sig. (2tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000

Mean Difference 3.79 4.35 2.93 2.85 4.43 3.71 4.24 3.94 3.68 2.65 3.62 3.45 2.45 2.99 3.01 4.41 4.29 3.94

As observed from the result of the t-tests, the value of probability in the sig. 2-tailed columns (.000) is less than the value of .05 which was the level of significance. Thus, the alternative hypothesis for all the parameters can be accepted. It can be concluded that the variability in each of the parameters is statistically significant. Indian customers would be influenced to buy hair care products by all the above parameters, especially the parameters www.scholarsworld.net editor@scholarsworld.net Volume. I, Issue.III, November 2013 [125]

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that had higher value of mean such as personal experience, quality, usage experience, product trustworthiness and product safety. TABLE 3: T-TEST ANALYSIS Parameters Brand Name Personal Experience Packaging Newness of product Quality Product texture (color, smell,etc.) .000 Previous usage experience .000 Natural/Herbal claim Experts' claims Product characteristics Price Sales promotion personal selling Advertisement Store ambience Product safety Product trustworthiness Brand loyalty CONCLUSION: As indicated by this research, Indian consumers and shoppers in the hair care market experience influence from various factors. These sources of influence, if properly managed by the marketers of hair care products, can act as facilitators for sellers during the marketing and selling process. For instance, brand that have been in the market since long, such as HUL and P&G, can leverage the trustworthiness of their lineage to affect the buyers behavior at the time of decision making and purchase. Similarly, parameters such as quality can be stressed upon in marketing communications and testimonials on social platforms to positively influence the consumers buying behavior. Since the hair care product market is set to expand further in the coming decades, the knowledge of these influential aspects will help manufacturers of hair care products to cut across the clutter of competitive brands and capture potential customers. REFERENCES: 1. Guru Raghavendra, P., Devakumar, G. &Upadhyay, S. (2009) A Study on Brand Awareness of Shampoo Products for CavinKare Pvt. Ltd. SASTECH Journal, 8, No.2, pp. 33 - 40. 2. Himani Sharma, Shallu Mehta (2012), Customer attitude towards the use of shampoos: A case study of Sirsa city, International Journal of Research in Finance & Marketing, Volume No. 2, Issue No. 2, PP 267-278. 3. Kotler, P., Keller (2009).Marketing Management. Prentice-Hall .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 Sig. (2tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 Result (Sig <.05) significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant significant Perception view Brand name can be a significant factor of influence Consumers will use their experience to buy hair care products Packaging can be a significant factor of influence Consumers' buying decision will be influenced by new launches Quality can be a significant factor of influence Consumers will look at the product features Consumers will change their buying behavior by learning from earlier usage instances Consumers will consider the herbal/natural claims of the product while making purchase decisions Consumers will be influenced by expert claims and tests Product characteristics influence buying behavior Price can be a significant factor of influence Discounts and other promotional offers influence purchase decisions Consumers are influenced by salespersons while making decisions Advertisements can be a significant factor of influence Ambience can be a significant factor of influence Product safety can be a significant factor of influence Product trustworthiness can be a significant factor of influence Loyalty to particular brands can be a significant factor of influence

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4. Noel, H. 2009. Consumer Behaviour. AVA Publishing SA. Lausanne. APPENDIX 1 Survey Questionnaire: 1. Gender a. Male b. Female 2. Age a. Below 20 years b. 20-25 years c. 25-30 years d. 30-35 years e. 35-40 years f. More than 40 years 3. Marital Status a. Married b. Unmarried 4. Occupation a. Student b. Self-employed c. Salaried 5. Education a. College graduate b. Post graduate 6. Monthly Income a. Less than Rs. 5000 b. Rs. 5000-10,000 c. Rs. 10,000-15,000 d. Rs. 15,000-20,000 e. Above Rs.20,000 7. I normally use the following hair products (Multiple answers are possible) a. Shampoo b. Conditioner c. Hair Spray d. Hair oil e. Hair gel 8. How long have you used the same brand of hair care products? a. Under 1 year b. 1-3 years c. 3-6 years d. More than 6 years 9. How much are you willing to spend for a hair care product? a. Less than Rs.100 b. Rs. 100-500 c. Rs. 500-1000 d. Rs. 1000-1500 e. Above Rs.1500 10. I am interested to buy hair care products advertised on: a. TV b. Radio c. Newspaper/Magazine d. Posters/Banners 11. My buying decision is influenced by: a. Family www.scholarsworld.net editor@scholarsworld.net Volume. I, Issue.III, November 2013 [127]

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12.

13.

14.

15.

b. Celebrities c. Friends d. Communities e. Social media I usually buy hair care products from: a. Convenience store b. Cosmetic store c. Chemist d. Supermarket e. Neighborhood retail store How often do you read reviews of hair care products before purchase? a. Very often b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never The reason for changing my brands, if any: a. Trying out a new brand b. Cannot buy the same brand c. Price discounts of other offers d. Lower price e. Not satisfied with the same brand Please rate the importance of the following parameters while buying hair care products: Somewhat unimportant 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Somewhat important 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Very important 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Parameters Brand Name Personal Experience Packaging Newness of product Quality Product texture (color, smell,etc.) Previous usage experience Natural/Herbal claim Experts' claims Product characteristics Price Sales promotion personal selling Advertisement Store ambience Product safety Product trustworthiness Brand loyalty

Unimportant 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Neutral 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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