Apparel mass customization: perceptions of young Chinese consumers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Yingjie Ou (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore young Chinese consumers' attitudes towards mass customized apparel products and its applications, including both body scanning and co-design. At approximately 200 million people, the young generation of Chinese, aged 19-28, are a growing spending force. This group of consumers is more into fashion compared other age groups (Kalish, 2005), and, having been exposed to western values, their consumption patterns and values are also changing. Using a qualitative methodology, in-depth interviews were conducted with twenty-seven young Chinese consumers aged 18 to 25. Interviews lasted from one to two hours, and were audio-taped with participant consent. Interviews were conducted in Mandarin Chinese, and were then transcribed, translated, and interpreted thematically. Three concepts related to customization emerged and were used to structure the interpretation: Awareness, Perception, and Experience. Several themes surfaced to provide depth information within each conceptual area. Based on the interpretation, participants were divided into three different profiles according to their fashion leadership and interest level: Fashion leader/high interest in mass customization; non-fashion leader/high interest in mass customization; non-fashion leader /low interest in mass customization. The majority of participants was found to be non-fashion leader/ high interest type, and would be interested in mass customization of apparel if given the chance. Results of the study can help marketers better understand young Chinese consumers' perceptions of mass customization in order to successfully market mass customization in China. Avenues of further research are discussed in light of study limitations.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
Clothing interest, Clothing involvement, Fashion leadership, Mass customization
Subjects
Consumers $z China $x Attitudes
Clothing and dress $z China $x Marketing
Mass customization