Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, Department of

 

Document Type

Thesis

Date of this Version

Spring 4-18-2014

Comments

A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design, Under the Supervision of Professor Rita C. Kean. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2014

Copyright 2014, Cassidy L. Vineyard

Abstract

Blogs are an influential social media platform and a powerful marketing tool (Hsu & Tsou, 2011). A corporate fashion blog is an online product community. Online product communities established by retailers enable customers to interact with the company as well as amongst themselves (Nambisan & Watt, 2011). Online communities are a social space wherein relationships and ties are formed among the members and a common set of values and norms are established and shared (Nambisan & Watt, 2011).

The objective of this study was threefold. First it explored what factors shape readers’ intention to browse products on blogs. Based on a literature review, three utilitarian motivations (convenience, information availability, product selection) and three hedonic motivations (trend discovery, socialization, adventure) were selected. Second, the impact that utilitarian and hedonic motivations have on triggering reader intention to browse products on blogs. This study aimed to determine if blog readers’ are inclined to browse for products based on utilitarian motivation, hedonic motivation, or both. The final purpose was to examine if intention to browse products influences purchase and word of mouth intentions.

Respondents (N=160) were college students at a Midwestern University. Multiple regression was used to test the proposed hypotheses. Except for the relationships between hedonic motivation and adventure and trend discovery respectively, all other relationships were found to be significant. Outcomes indicate that specific aspects trigger utilitarian motivations (convenience, product selection, information availability) and hedonic motivation (adventure) to browse products on blogs. Utilitarian motivation was the strongest determinant for browsing. Browsing is significantly and positively linked to purchasing intention and word of mouth intention.

This study is valuable to researchers and marketers regarding online customer experience and fashion blogs. There is a lack of research that explores consumerism in conjunction with blogging. Very few quantitative studies have examined the contributing factors to user adoption of corporate social media sites (Mikalef, Giannakos, & Pateli, 2012). There remains a need to understand how consumers experience corporate fashion blogs.

Advisor: Rita C. Kean