Differences among Three Consumer Groups Regarding the Factors Influencing Laptop Purchases
After determining the factors influencing laptop purchase decisions of consumers, we try to find out whether there are differences among stayers, satisfied switchers, and dissatisfied switchers regarding these factors. Therefore, one-way ANOVA analysis was conducted, and it was found that only “price and payment conditions” factor shows a significant difference among three groups with an F value of 4.89 and a significance value of 0.008. Table 6 illustrates that these three groups of consumers did not show significant differences from each other, except the “price & payment conditions”, with respect to the factors that are influencing their laptop purchase decisions at the significance level of 0.05.
The mean importance scores for three groups of consumers with respect to factors influencing laptop purchase decisions are presented in Table 7. According to this table, dissatisfied switchers gave less importance to “price and payment conditions” when compared to stayers and satisfied switchers. Furthermore, stayers found “price and payment conditions” factor more important than satisfied switchers. In addition, it has to be noted that “connectivity & mobility feature” has the lowest mean score across all groups of consumers. On the other hand, “core technical features” has the highest mean score for all consumer groups (stayers: 3.68, satisfied switchers: 3.66, and dissatisfied switchers: 3.69) which means that stayers, satisfied switchers, and dissatisfied switchers gave the highest importance to this factor among all factors, and the three consumer groups did not show any difference with respect to core technical features. On the other hand, the second most important factor was found to be “post purchase services” for all three groups of consumers.
Table 6. Differences Among Three Consumer Groups Regarding to Purchase Decision Factors
Table 7. Differences in Three Consumer Groups About Importance of Laptop Purchase Decision Factors
CONCLUSIONS Year by year the number of people who are using and owning personal computers (PC) substantially increases in all over the world. Contrary to the introduction years of computers, today they have been used by almost all age groups, and by both males and females, and the gap between age groups and the gap between males and females with respect to computer usage/ownership decreases. Furthermore, consumers’ desire for portable and attractively designed PCs forces the companies to produce laptops/notebooks. In addition, extended battery life, price cuts, prevalence of home-offices, and integrated wireless networking also cause to the increased sales of laptops. On the supply side of the market, the companies try to make profit and even survive in a highly competitive environment. Furthermore, the rapid development in technology, particularly in nano-technology, leads companies to make huge amounts of investments in R&D. Moreover, the acquisitions and mergers in the sector and new players in the market also influence the companies operating in IT industry. In such a volatile industry, it becomes extremely important to learn the factors that are influencing consumers’ purchase decisions. The customer base of a company is comprised of its current customers and those customers who are attracted from competitors. In addition, the customers who are acquired from competitors can be either satisfied switchers or dissatisfied switchers. Hence, it is equally crucial to learn about whether there is a difference among stayers, satisfied switchers and dissatisfied switchers with respect to their laptop purchase decision factors. This issue becomes exceptionally vital when the consumers decide to upgrade/change their laptops.
In this study, it has been found that there are seven factors which influence consumers’ laptop purchase decisions. These factors can be stated as follows: core technical features, post purchase services, price and payment conditions, peripheral specifications, physical appearance, value added features, and connectivity and mobility. On the other hand, stayers, satisfied switchers and dissatisfied switchers demonstrate a significant difference only in one factor: price and payment conditions. The results show that when compared to stayers and satisfied switchers, dissatisfied switchers give less importance to price and payment conditions related factor.
From the managerial perspective, the findings of this study imply that when a consumer of a company decides to buy a new laptop or in technical terms to upgrade his laptop, the company should consider which customer base he belongs to. For instance, if the consumer is a stayer, the company can offer price discounts when he decides to upgrade his laptop. Likewise, the company can give special promotions to stayers when they bring their former laptop and exchange it with a recent model of the company’s laptops. It is also seen that among all factors, mobility and connectivity factor has received the lowest importance (2.82/4) from three groups of consumers. This can be attributed to the fact that due to the nature of laptops, being mobile is an expected feature. Another explanation to this result can be that consumers usually do not like to use technological words such as infrared and Bluetooth, they prefer to say connecting to Internet or mobile phone, sending pictures and documents to printer, and etc. Hence, it will not be sufficient and efficient to merely underlie this feature in advertisements. If this feature has to be mentioned in ads then the tone and the words used should be plain and explanatory. However, since all consumer groups find core technical features and post purchase services extremely important, these features should be emphasized in advertisements. It has to be also noted that post purchase services factor is tremendously important since it is directly related with customers’ brand loyalty.
This study recommends companies to invest in technology through R&D and create differentiation at utmost level. This research has been limited to laptop/notebook sector and the factors influencing consumers’ purchase decisions in this market, since sectoral differences play a vital role, it is also recommended to replicate this study in distinct sectors.
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