Segmentation of the leather footwear market for business wear as determined by product involvement and product attributes of female and male consumers
Everson, Leslie Ernst
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Footwear has become a complex, competitive, and global industry. Successful manufacturers and retail organizations are placing increased emphasis on market segmentation to maintain market share. The purpose of this study was to (a) segment a nationwide random sample of working female (n=139) and male (n=116) consumers on High Involvement (HI) and Low Involvement (LI) and (b) identify extrinsic and intrinsic product attributes that influence their evaluation and purchase of leather footwear for business wear. Data was collected using a mail survey method via a self-administered questionnaire. Respondents were classified as HI (n=101) and LI (n=100) using a footwear involvement scale. AnswerTree® software was used to answer the research questions. Findings indicated that differences existed between HI and LI consumers on purchase criteria and footwear characteristics. Segment characteristics indicated that HI consumers considered quality, color, durability, and construction important to very important, and brand and latest fashion important to not important in their purchase criteria for leather dress shoes for business wear. LI consumers rated quality and construction as important to very important, and color, brand, latest fashion, and shoes in wardrobe important to not Important. HI consumers considered footwear characteristics as natural, well constructed, comfortable, and expensive. LI consumers considered footwear characteristics as not natural, poorly constructed, comfortable, and inexpensive and expensive. An understanding of consumer involvement and the importance of product attributes utilized in the evaluation and purchase of footwear has the potential to benefit both the manufacturer and retailer in developing effective marketing strategies to increase customer satisfaction and increase market share in the leather footwear market for business wear.