Consumers’ attitude and purchase intention towards organic personal care products. An application of the S-O-R model
Purpose of the paper: Guided by the Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) model, the study investigated whether and how six environmental stimuli related to the consumers’ experience with organic personal care products influenced their attitudinal responses (hedonic and utilitarian) which, in turn, affected their buying behaviour.
Methodology: The empirical research builds on an online survey with a sample of 209 consumers. A structural equation model was performed to analyse the data.
Findings: Results showed that knowledge about organic PCP and sensory appeal significantly improved the utilitarian and hedonic attitude towards these products. Contextually, natural content attributes and quality perception positively influence utilitarian attitude. Finally, both the affective and functional attitudinal dimensions significantly increased the purchase intention.
Research limits: Further research is recommended in order to measure the actual purchase behaviour and to extend the investigation to a larger sample that is representative of the general population. Moreover, longitudinal studies are required to examine whether changes in consumer attitude, perception and buying with regard to organic PCP happen in time.
Practical implications: Highlighting the determinants of consumers’ attitude and purchase intention, the paper provides valuable insight to manufacturers and retailers for the increase in organic PCP market share.
Originality of the paper: The study showed that the S-O-R model is an adequate theoretical framework to investigate the decision-making process in the context of organic PCP. Furthermore, the proposed theoretical model sheds light on the role of new relevant variables which affect the consumers’ evaluation towards these products and that have been neglected in past research.
AERTSENS J., MONDELAERS K., VERBEKE W., BUYSSE J., VAN HUYLENBROECK G. (2011), “The influence of subjective and objective knowledge on attitude, motivations and consumption of organic food”, British Food Journal, vol. 113, n. 11, pp. 1353-1378.
AJZEN I. (1991), “The theory of planned behaviour”, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 50, n. 2, pp. 179-211.
AJZEN I., FISHBEIN M. (2005), “The influence of attitudes on behaviour”, in Albarracín D., Johnson B.T., Zanna M.P. (Eds.), The handbook of attitudes (pp. 173-221), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah, NJ, US.
ALBA J.W., HUTCHINSON J.W. (1987), “Dimensions of consumer expertise”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 13, n. 4, pp. 411-454.
AL-SWIDI A., HUQUE S. M. R., HAFEEZ M. H., SHARIFF M. N. M. (2014), “The role of subjective norms in theory of planned behavior in the context of organic food consumption”, British Food Journal, vol. 116, n. 10.
BAGOZZI R.P., GOPINATH M., NYER P.U. (1999), “The role of emotions in marketing”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 27, n. 2, pp. 184-206.
BAGOZZI R.P. (1986), Principles of marketing management, Science Research Associates, Chicago.
BAKER J., LEVY M., GREWAL D. (1992), “An experimental approach to making retail store environmental decisions”, Journal of Retailing, vol. 68, n. 4, pp. 445-460.
BATRA R., AHTOLA O.T. (1991), “Measuring the hedonic and utilitarian sources of consumer attitudes”, Marketing Letters, vol. 2, n. 2, pp. 159-170.
BITNER M.J. (1992), “Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees”, The Journal of Marketing, vol. 56, n. 2, pp. 57-71.
BOROWSKA S., BRZÓSKA M.M. (2015), “Metals in cosmetics: implications for human health”, Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 35, n. 6, pp. 551-572.
BRUCKS M. (1985), “The effects of product class knowledge on information search behaviour”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 12, n. 1, pp. 1-16.
CCPB (2019), Organic cosmetics? Available at: http://www.ccpb.it/en/blog/certificazione/organic-cosmetics/ (Accessed 1 February 2019).
CERVELLON M.C., RINALDI M.J., WERNERFELT A.S. (2011, January), “How Green is Green? Consumers’ understanding of green cosmetics and their certifications”, in Proceedings of 10th International Marketing Trends Conference (pp. 20-21).
CHANG H.J., ECKMAN M., YAN R.N. (2011), “Application of the Stimulus-Organism-Response model to the retail environment: the role of hedonic motivation in impulse buying behaviour”, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, vol. 21, n. 3, pp. 233-249.
CHEBAT J., MICHON R. (2003), “Impact of ambient odors on mall shoppers’ emotions, cognition and spending: a test of competitive causal theories”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 56, n. 7, pp. 529-39.
CHEN M.F. (2007), “Consumer attitudes and purchase intentions in relation to organic foods in Taiwan: Moderating effects of food-related personality traits”, Food Quality and Preference, vol. 18, n. 7, pp. 1008-1021.
CHRYSSOCHOIDIS G. (2000), “Repercussions of consumer confusion for late introduced differentiated products”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 34, n. 5/6, pp. 705-22.
DARBRE P.D. (2001), “Underarm cosmetics are a cause of breast cancer”, European Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 10, n. 5, pp. 389-394.
DARBRE P.D. (2003), “Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer”, Journal of Applied Toxicology: An International Journal, vol. 23, n. 2, pp. 89-95.
DE MAGISTRIS T., GRACIA A. (2008), “The decision to buy organic food products in Southern Italy”, British Food Journal, vol. 110, n. 9, pp. 929-947.
DONOVAN R.J., ROSITER J.R. (1982), “Store atmosphere: an environmental psychology approach”, Journal of Retailing, vol. 58, n. 1, pp. 34-57.
ELLEN P.S. (1994), “Do we know what we need to know - Objective and subjective knowledge effects on pro-ecological behaviours”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 30, n. 1, pp. 43-52.
EROGLU S.A., MACHLEIT K.A., DAVIS L.M. (2001), “Atmospheric qualities of online retailing: A conceptual model and implications”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 54, n. 2, pp. 177-184.
EROGLU S.A., MACHLEIT K.A., DAVIS L.M. (2003), “Empirical testing of a model of online store atmospherics and shopper responses”, Psychology and Marketing, vol. 20, n. 2, pp. 139-150.
FEICK L., PARK C.W., MOTHERSBAUGH D.L. (1992), “Knowledge and knowledge of knowledge - What we know, what we think we know, and why the difference makes a difference”, Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 19, n. 1, pp. 190-192.
FIORE A.M. (2002), “Effects of experiential pleasure from a catalogue environment on approach responses toward fashion apparel”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 6, n. 2, pp. 122-133.
FIORE A.M., KIM J. (2007), “An integrative framework capturing experiential and utilitarian shopping experience”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 35, n. 6, pp. 421-442.
FORNELL C., LARCKER D.F. (1981), “Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 18, n. 1, pp. 39-50.
FROW P., PAYNE A. (2007), “Towards the ‘perfect’customer experience”, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 15, n. 2, pp. 89-101.
GHAZALI E., SOON P.C., MUTUM D.S., NGUYEN B. (2017), “Health and cosmetics: Investigating consumers’ values for buying organic personal care products”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 39, pp. 154-163.
GRACIA A., DE MAGISTRIS T. (2008), “The demand for organic foods in the South of Italy: A discrete choice model”, Food Policy, vol. 33, n. 5, pp. 386-396.
GRAND VIEW RESEARCH INC. (2016), “Organic Skin Care Market Analysis By Product (Face Creams, Body Lotions) And Segment Forecasts To 2022”, Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/organic-skin-care-market (Accessed 4 February 2019).
HANSEN T., RISBORG M.S., STEEN C.D. (2012), “Understanding consumer purchase of free‐of cosmetics: A value-driven TRA approach”, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 11, n. 6, pp. 477-486.
HARVEY P.W., DARBRE P. (2004), “Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? A review of evidence and call for further research”, Journal of Applied Toxicology: An International Journal, vol. 24, n. 3, pp. 167-176.
HOLBROOK M.B., HIRSCHMAN E.C., (1982), “The Experiential Aspects of Consumption: Consumer Fantasies, Feelings, and Fun”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 9, pp. 132-140.
ISLAM J.U., RAHMAN Z. (2017), “The impact of online brand community characteristics on customer engagement: An application of Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm”, Telematics and Informatics, vol. 34, n. 4, pp. 96-109.
ÇABUK S., TANRIKULU C., GELIBOLU L. (2014), “Understanding organic food consumption: attitude as a mediator”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 38, n. 4, pp. 337-345.
KALIČANIN B., VELIMIROVIĆ D. (2016). “A study of the possible harmful effects of cosmetic beauty products on human health”, Biological Trace Element Research, vol. 170, n. 2, pp. 476-484.
KANG K., SOHAIB O. (2015), “Individual level culture influence on online consumer iTrust aspects towards purchase intention across cultures: A SOR model”, International Journal of Electronic Business, vol. 12, n. 2, pp. 141-161.
KIM J., LENNON S.J. (2013), “Effects of reputation and website quality on online consumers’ emotion, perceived risk and purchase intention: Based on the stimulus-organism-response model”, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 7, n. 1, pp. 33-56.
KIM Y.H., CHUNG J.E. (2011), “Consumer purchase intention for organic personal care products”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28, n. 1, pp. 40-47.
LEE H.J., GOUDEAU C. (2014), “Consumers’ beliefs, attitudes, and loyalty in purchasing organic foods”, British Food Journal, vol. 116, n. 6.
LEE S., HA S., WIDDOWS R. (2011), “Consumer responses to high-technology products: Product attributes, cognition, and emotions”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 64, n. 11, pp. 1195-1200.
LEE H.J., YUN Z.S. (2015), “Consumers’ perceptions of organic food attributes and cognitive and affective attitudes as determinants of their purchase intentions toward organic food”, Food quality and preference, vol. 39, pp. 259-267.
LINDEMAN M., VÄÄNÄNEN M. (2000), “Measurement of ethical food choice motives”, Appetite, vol. 34, n. 1, pp. 55-59.
MATIĆ M., PUH B. (2016), “Consumers’ purchase intentions towards natural cosmetics”, Ekonomski vjesnik/Econviews-Review of Contemporary Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Issues, vol. 29, n. 1, pp. 53-64.
McCABE D.B., NOWLIS S.M. (2003), “The effect of examining actual products or product descriptions on consumer preference”, Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 13, n. 4, pp. 431-439.
MEHRABIAN A., RUSSELL J.A. (1974), An approach to environmental psychology, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.
MELLOWSHIP D. (2009), Toxic Beauty: The hidden chemicals in cosmetics and how they can harm us, Hachette UK.
MILLAR M.G., TESSER A. (1986), “Effects of Affective and Cognitive Focus on the Attitude-Behavior Relationship”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 51, n. 2, pp. 270-276.
MOLLEN A., WILSON H. (2010), “Engagement, telepresence and interactivity in online consumer experience: Reconciling scholastic and managerial perspectives”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 63, n. 9-10, pp. 919-925.
MOMBEINI H., SHAABANI R., GHORBANI R. (2015), “Survey the Effective Factor on Attitude & Purchase Intention of Organic Skin and Hair Care Products”, International Journal of Scientific Management & Development, vol. 3, n. 1, pp. 819-826.
NARASIMHAN C., SEN S. (1992), “Measuring quality perceptions”, Marketing Letters, vol. 3, n. 2, pp. 147-156.
ORGANIC.ORG (2019), What is organic?, Available at: https://organic.org/what-is-organic-food/ (Accessed 4 February 2019).
PADEL S., FOSTER C. (2005), “Exploring the gap between attitudes and behaviour - Understanding why consumers buy or do not buy organic food”, British Food Journal, vol. 107, n. 8, pp. 606-625.
PARK C.W., FEICK L., MOTHERSBAUGH D.L. (1992), “Consumer knowledge assessment: How product experience and knowledge of brands, attributes, and features affects what we think we know”, ACR North American Advances.
PARK C.W., MOTHERSBAUGH D.L., FEICK L. (1994), “Consumer knowledge assessment”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 21, n. 1, pp. 71-82.
PAUL J., RANA J. (2012), “Consumer behavior and purchase intention for organic food”, Journal of consumer Marketing, vol. 26, n. 6.
PIENIAK Z., VERBEKE W., BRUNSØ K., OLSEN S.O. (2006), “Consumer knowledge and interest in information about fish”, in Luten J., Jacobsen C., Bekaert K., Sæøbo A., Oehlenschlager J. (Eds.), Seafood research from fish to dish: Quality, safety and processing of wild and farmed fish (pp. 229-241), Wageningen Academic Publisher, Wageningen.
ROSE S., CLARK M., SAMOUEL P., HAIR N. (2012), “Online customer experience in e-retailing: an empirical model of antecedents and outcomes”, Journal of Retailing, vol. 88, n. 2, pp. 308-322.
RYBOWSKA, A. (2014), “Consumers attitudes with respect to ecological cosmetic products”, Zeszyty Naukowe Akademi Morskiej w Gdyni, vol. 84, pp. 158-164.
SATORRA A., BENTLER P.M. (1994), “Corrections to test statistics and standard errors in covariance structural analysis”, in Von Eye A., Clogg C.C., Latent variables analysis: Applications for developmental research (pp. 399-419), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
SELNES F., GRONHAUG K. (1986), “Subjective and objective measures of product knowledge contrasted”, Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 13, n. 1, pp. 67-71.
SI S.N., PRAVEENA S.M. (2015), “Hazardous ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products and health concern: a review”, Public Health Research, vol. 5, n. 1, pp. 7-15.
STEENKAMP J.B.E. (1989), Product quality: An investigation into the concept and how it is perceived by consumers, Wageningen Academic Publisher, Wageningen.
STEENKAMP J.B.E., VAN TRIJP H.C. (1996), “Quality guidance: A consumer-based approach to food quality improvement using partial least squares”, European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 23, n. 2, pp. 195-215.
STEENKAMP J.B., VAN TRIJP H. (1991), “The use of LISREL in validating marketing constructs”, International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 8, n. 4, pp. 283-99.
STEPTOE A., POLLARD T.M., WARDLE J. (1995), “Development of a measure of the motives underlying the selection of food: the food choice questionnaire”, Appetite, vol. 25, n. 3, pp. 267-284.
STOBBELAAR D.J., CASIMIR G., BORGHUIS J., MARKS I., MEIJER L., ZEBEDA S. (2007), “Adolescents’ attitudes towards organic food: A survey of 15- to 16-year old school children”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 31, n. 4, pp. 349-356.
TENG C.C., WANG Y.M. (2015), “Decisional factors driving organic food consumption: Generation of consumer purchase intentions”, British Food Journal, vol. 117, n. 3, pp. 1066-1081.
THEOFANIDES F., KERASIDOU E. (2012), “The role of sensory stimuli on perceived quality of cosmetic products: An empirical examination of the buying process of face creams”, International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues (ICCMI), June 2012.
THØGERSEN J., HAUGAARD P., OLESEN A. (2010), “Consumer responses to ecolabels”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44, n. 11/12, pp. 1787-1810.
TRIANDIS H.C. (1977), Interpersonal Behavior, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co, Monterey.
TYNAN C., MCKECHNIE S. (2009), “Experience Marketing: A Review and Reassessment”, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 25, n. 5-6, pp. 501-17.
VOSS K.E., SPANGENBERG E.R., GROHMANN B. (2003), “Measuring the hedonic and utilitarian dimensions of consumer attitude”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 40, n. 3, pp. 310-320.
YEON KIM H., CHUNG J.E. (2011), “Consumer purchase intention for organic personal care products”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28, n. 1, pp. 40-47.
YOO B., DONTHU N., LEE S. (2000), “An examination of selected marketing mix elements and brand equity”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 28, n. 2, pp. 195-211.