Predicting Consumer Purchase Intention: A Discriminant Analysis Approach

Abstract

The Indian retail space is seeing a clutter of competitive retail brands today and the customers are becoming more fragmented in their specifications and choices. The marketing environment is becoming more challenging to the retailers and the brand owners. In this context, this study attempts to formulate a discriminant equation on the basis of some established predictors and separate the segment into suspects and prospects. The research attempts to forecast the purchase intentions of the target segment where an optimal level of brand awareness and brand knowledge is present. The retailers can make a market assessment about their brand through this approach which will in turn, help the marketer to reduce the market risk.

Background of the Study:

Due to the market fragmentation and clutter of too many brands in any segment, it is becoming tougher for marketers to predict the consumer purchase intention for their brands. To develop an appropriate marketing plan, it has become extremely important for marketers to assess the exact market potentiality. Although some of the studies have tried to define the intentions through various methods, with changing market dimensions, further in-depth research is always sought after. The Juster Scale is a purchase probability scale used to predict the actual purchase rate in a population from a sample of consumers from that population. (Day, Gan, Gendall, & Essle, 1991) concluded that there will always be an element of unpredictability in consumer behaviour, and, like all forecasting methods, the Juster Scale is an aid to informed judgement, not a substitute for it.

(Mann, Sharma, & Dhingra, 2012) established in their study that though the parents’ opinion dominates in deciding when to buy, it is the child’s opinion which is important while they choose the apparel; children today are aware of fashion and the latest trends, and are influenced by advertisements to a large extent. (John, 1999) reviewed that children are doubtlessly avid consumers and become socialized into this role from an early age. Throughout childhood, children develop the knowledge, skills, and values they will use in making and influencing purchases now and in the future.

(Rajput & Kesharwani, 2012) found in their study that due to increased awareness and consciousness, people are ready to spend any price for comfort and quality. The study confirms that Indians have become highly brand conscious presently. There are other aspects like quality, comfort, expectations and demographic characteristics that also influence the purchasing decision of males and females. In this study, we have tried to predict the purchase intention of the target segment by discriminating the respondents or the customers into suspects and prospects so that a market assessment for a particular brand may be done by the marketer and appropriate marketing policies may be implemented to penetrate the market.

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