Technological innovation is one of the greatest phenomena of the 21st century. The high rate of technological innovation has led to the development of new applications that have significantly influenced consumers’ consumption behaviour (Accenture, 2012).For example, the development of social network applications such as Facebook and Twitter has connected a large number of consumers across the world. Additionally, smartphones and other applications have facilitated consumer-to-consumer interaction (Nurgul, 2013). As a result, consumers can access product and services more efficiently.
The impact of mobile application on the fashion industry cannot be underestimated. For example, the high rate at which consumers are integrating smartphones and other mobile applications has led to the emergence of the mobile fashion marketplace. Additionally, mobile applications have increased the rate at which consumers of a particular product are interacting with one another. As a result, the consumers’ behaviours have changed significantly (Opera, 2013).
The female gender is one of the consumer groups that have undergone significant transformation with regard to fashion products. According Fashion United (2013), consumers in Europe spend approximately 52.9 billion Euros on fashion products annually. Currently, women are increasingly purchasing fashion products through various mobile applications such as Poshmark (Finely, 2012).
Germany ranks as one of the largest fashion markets in the European region (Fashion United, 2013). However, only a small proportion of second-hand fashion cloth consumers in Germany is connected through mobile application. This aspect presents a unique opportunity to app developers. This study intends to evaluate how consumer-to-consumer buying can be augmented by increasing the rate of interaction. This end will be achieved by developing a fashion mobile application known as TrendU that will be used by fashion consumers to interact with each other. The study will focus on women aged between 20 and 40 years in Germany.
In the process of conducting this study, the researcher will integrate the consumer decision-making process as the conceptual framework. This choice emanates from the fact that the consumers’ behaviour is subject to various external factors. The study will evaluate how women interact with each other in their decision making process. Some of the factors that influence the consumers’ buying decision include personal factors, demographic factors, and social factors. In their decision making process, consumers are influenced by various demographic factors such as the consumers’ lifestyle, personality, and occupation.
On the other hand, the social factors that influence the consumers include the consumers’ social status and the extent to which they interact with various social organisations, friends, and family (Govindarajan, 2007). Therefore, creating a mobile application that will enhance interaction amongst second-hand fashion cloth consumers presents a unique opportunity to the firm.
The study will be guided by the following research objectives.
- To investigate how women in Germany interact with each other in the process of buying fashion through mobile applications.
- To evaluate the mobile application strategies that can be integrated in order to enhance consumer-to-consumer buying process with regard to second-hand fashion clothes in Germany.
The following research questions will be evaluated in line with the above research objectives.
- What is the level of interaction amongst women in the process of buying second-hand fashion clothes through mobile applications in Germany?
- How can mobile applications be used to boost consumer-to-consumer buying process with regard to second-hand fashion clothes in Germany amongst women?
According to Kimmel (2010), consumers are influencing how marketing is conducted as evidenced by the emergence of consumer-to-consumer marketing. Kimmel (2010) further asserts that technological innovations have significantly influenced how consumers’ connect. Consumers have also been empowered by numerous technological developments. Finley (2012) asserts, “When some consumers are in full swing shopping for fashion products, there are those who just want to get rid of their wardrobe items” (Para. 1). This aspect has led to the emergence of second-hand styles.
There various mobile applications that have been developed in an effort to enable consumers connect and share information about second-hand fashion products. Poshmark is one example of mobile application within the fashion industry (Cotton & Fawkes, 2013). Mobile applications enable consumers to share information regarding their second-fashion products for example by posting pictures of the product.
According to Opera (2013), women are increasingly purchasing second-hand products through mobile applications. As a result, fashion retailers are developing applications that enable consumers to search and purchase fashion products through the internet (Nurgul, 2013). This move has been made possible by the high rate of Internet penetration. Germany ranks amongst the countries with the highest rate of Internet penetration in Europe (Waesche, 2003). Additionally, consumers are spending a substantial amount of their time on mobile applications such as Poshmark just as they are on Facebook (Cotton & Fawkes, 2013). According to Cotton and Fawkes (2013), consumers do not only use mobile applications to buy and sell products, but also to share their style and taste with regard to fashion.
According to Creswell and Clark (2011), integration of effective research design is essential in the process of conducting a particular study. Creswell and Clark (2011) define research design as the framework that is used by the researcher in collecting and analysing data regarding a particular aspect. The research design selected has a direct impact on the integrity of the study. In conducting this study, the researcher will integrate both qualitative and quantitative research designs. Qualitative research design will enable the researcher to gather a wide range of information. On the other hand, quantitative research design will enable the researcher to quantify the findings of the study. As a result, a large number of the target audience will understand the study’s findings.
Data collection and sampling technique
Both primary and secondary methods of data collection will be used and to ensure that relevant data is collected, the researcher will use interviews and questionnaires as the main primary data collection instruments. With regard to secondary data, the researcher will rely on published reports on the subject. The researcher will ensure that the data collected from secondary sources is reliable, which will be achieved by collecting data from credible secondary sources.
The study will target women aged between 20 and 40 years as the sample population. Women within this age group are the main consumers of fashion product (Holmberg & Ohnfeldt, 2010). Consequently, there is a high probability that they use mobile application to interact and share information on fashion products with other consumers. Random sampling technique will be used to select the sample size.
The above literature review shows that there is a high probability of the new mobile application succeeding after its launch. This assertion arises from the fact that consumers are increasingly integrating mobile devices in their consumption processes. Additionally, the high rate of Internet penetration in Germany will provide an opportunity for a large number of consumers to interact with each other.
Accenture. (2012). Energising global growth; understanding the changing consumer. Web.
Cotton, E., & Fawkes, P. (2013). Mobile fashion marketplace connects consumers looking to swap clothes. Web.
Creswell, J., & Clark, P. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Fashion United. (2013). Facts and figures about the fashion industry. Web.
Finley, C. (2013). Poshmark; second-hand clothing app. Web.
Govindarajan, M. (2007). Marketing management. New York, NY: PHI Learning.
Kimmel, A. (2010). Connecting with consumers: marketing for new marketplace realities. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Nurgul, K. (2013). Fashion market communication trends in mobile age. Web.
Opera. (2013). E-Commerce reframing the global fashion industry. Web.
Waesche, N. (2003). Internet entrepreneurship in Europe: Venture failure and the timing of telecommunications reform. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.