WOMEN BUYING BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS COSMETICS
This research entitled “Omani Women Buying Behaviour towards Cosmetics Products” was an exploratory attempt to conduct a marketing research of consumer behaviour and the buying pattern of Omani women towards cosmetic products. Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:
1. What are the Cultural, Social, Personal and Physiological factors affecting an Omani woman when buying cosmetic products?
2. Is there a market for Cosmetics in Oman, and how can this market be exploited further?
The researcher adopted a qualitative method in conducting the study with questionnaire and face-to-face interview as the primary data-gathering instruments. Fifteen Omani women with different lifestyles, age, and background were chosen to be the respondents for the study. The respondents were chosen based on the researcher’s perspective that they were from diverse backgrounds and were knowledgeable about the topic which would give the study a more objective approach.
The study came up with the following findings based on the gathering of literature related to the research subject as well as through the questionnaire and interviews with the fifteen respondents:
There is definitely a market in Oman for the cosmetic industry, this was clear from the women spending behavior of RO 6-10 per month, which indicates that cosmetics are essential products
Price, feature and brand are the most influential factors for Omani women’s cosmetic purchase
Lip Products, Nail Polish, Foundation and Mascara are the top cosmetics products that Omani women buy the most and cannot go without.
Friends and Family i.e. word of mouth are the primary source of advice regarding cosmetic purchases. Product packaging comes second as a decision maker when buying cosmetics.
Women education level has no effect and has show no major trend difference in cosmetic buying behavior.
Age plays a role in cosmetic purchasing in Oman.
Religion plays a big role in cosmetic purchasing.
How the husband sees his wife also plays a role in the buying decision and
The buying behavior in Oman also depends on the woman’s ethnic background.
The researcher formulated the following conclusions and recommendations in consideration of the abovementioned findings:
Marketing of cosmetic products in Oman demand a more personal approach like exhibiting it at a stand in a shopping mall or beauty shops both to the women and their husbands. This is due to the fact that husbands are consulted by the women in their decision to buy a cosmetic product. The packaging and appeal of the product are also important in the Omani women’s purchasing decision.
Women from eighteen to fifty-five years old are the most effective population to target. There is a need to consider the kinds of products that the younger generation can appreciate and use.
During Ramadan, it is best to focus the marketing on product price and offering discounts on this special month would be a good strategy.
Lip products, nail polish, foundation and mascara are the most bought cosmetics in Oman and marketing should be more focused on these products to ensure income.
There is a need for future studies on the same subject with a bigger sample for more authentic results.
The research is presented in five chapters with an introductory chapter as the first.
The second chapter presents a literature review of consumer buying patterns and the factors that contribute to it.
The third chapter explains the research methodology and reasons for selecting the research approach, and the problems and limitations in the selection of the sample for the study.
The fourth chapter presents the findings, limitations and improvements.
The fifth chapter draws particular conclusions relative to the context, a brief summary of personal learnings and inference for further research.
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
Business organizations primarily exist and thrive because of the presence of customers. The customers are the lifeblood of the business and therefore knowing them and their preferences are crucial to the organization’s success. Corollary to this, knowing a consumer buying pattern and their behaviour towards a specific product or product group is one of the most essential needs for any product relatedbusiness. A factor that many SME’s in Oman fail to research on prior to establishing a business.
Thorough analysis of consumer behaviour and their buying pattern could lead to better decision making on what kinds of products are feasible and what marketing strategies are deemed appropriate. These realizations would lead to further decisions of whether a business is viable and seen to be a success. For existing and established companies the study of consumers improve their marketing strategies by understanding issues such as, the psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products); the psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media); the behaviour of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions; how limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome; how consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and how marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer (, , & , 1998). Understanding these issues helps organizations in their initial attempts to formulate strategies by taking the consumer into consideration. By understanding the consumer, the organization will then be able to make a more informed decision as to which strategy to employ.
According to , in 2004, the overall European and American personal care market was worth US$86 billion and growing. Not to mention the Middle East, various signs indicate that the beauty industry in the region is rapidly growing. According to , in 2004, the beauty and wellness industry was estimated to be worth over US$3.3 billion in the Middle East. From this, Saudi Arabia comprises the largest single beauty market in the Middle East followed by Iran, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Lebanon (, 2005). All the statistics and indications show that the cosmetic industry is on the rise, such indication can also be seen in Oman, however, it is on a slower pace and a matter of time before more companies in Oman will establish their existence. However, whether proper market research of consumer behaviour would be conducted by these companies is not known.
, a renowned marketing guru, defines marketing as “a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and exchanging products of value with others”. He continues by stating that, “Marketing management is accomplished by carrying out marketing research, planning, implementation, and control” ( and , 2004). Hence, if a certain firm is willing to determine their customers’ needs and implement some sort of marketing strategy and programs to satisfy these needs, managers would require information, data about customers, competitors and the forces in the market.
Determining consumer buying behaviour towards a certain product is one aspect of marketing research. (2005) stated that the official definition of consumer behaviour is "the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society." Consumer behaviour can also be defined as “the study of how people buy, what they buy, and why they buy. It is a subcategory of marketing that blends elements from psychology, marketing, and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in groups (, 2006). There are various aspects to be considered when making a general consumer buying behaviour marketing research, regardless of the product in question. These aspects are basically the factors that affect consumer buying behaviour, understanding such factors would lead to better marketing research and well informed survey questions.
Moreover, there are three important aspects when matters come to the consumer buying behaviour: (1) understanding the relevance of human needs to buyer behaviour, (2) understanding how the person interacts with the marketing mix and (3) the demographic factors. Looking at the abovementioned aspects, one can summarize the factors affecting consumer behaviour. & (2004) have put all the three aspects in terms of factors that influence a buyer in purchasing a certain product. They stated four factors which include: (1) cultural factors consisting of culture such as families and values, subculture such as nationality, religion and social class; (2) social factors which involve family, roles and status; (3) personal factors comprising of occupation, economic situation, lifestyle and personality, and self concept; and (4) physiological factors which include motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitude. These factors relate to any product or service.
This research attempts to come up with a body of knowledge regarding the factors that determine the Omani women buying behaviour towards cosmetic products in light of the previously discussed concepts on consumer behaviour and buying pattern factors. There is also an aim to determine whether a market for cosmetics is available in the Omani community and how this market can be tapped.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY AND REASON FOR TOPIC SELECTION
The researcher has chosen to conduct this research due to personal passion in cosmetics as well as the intention to establish a store for selling cosmetics. Before doing so, the researcher acknowledges the importance of surveying and researching the market and understanding the behaviour of Omani women and their buying pattern towards the cosmetic products. Therefore, in the light of the above realizations, the purpose of this study is to conduct a marketing research of consumer behaviour and the buying pattern of Omani women towards cosmetic products. Several researches have been conducted in the industry relating to the same topic, however, none has been done for Oman according to the researcher’s knowledge. Finally, this research will eventually give indications of how Omani women behave and their buying pattern toward cosmetic products, of which the results can be used by the researcher to help establish a cosmetic store and further help in terms of employing strategies to that would lead to the company’s progress. The researcher can also use the experience that would be gained from this research to establish a marketing research consultancy company where other companies would pay for such information.
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