Does CSR Really Matter In Purchasing Behaviour?
University of Wales
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Nowadays environmental issues have become the essential consideration by most people and business owner all over the world. The Body Shop International, plc is the first cosmetic company built by visionary owner on sound principles of CSR. More than 30 years running their business ethically, the researcher aim to explore whether their CSR programmes have an impact on consumer buying behaviour, especially consumers in Eastern Europe. From 160 respondents analysed through SPSS frequency and cross-tabulation program, the researcher found that even though consumers agree that The Body Shop have positive CSR image and it help to boost their confidence to purchase their products, but in their actual purchasing behaviour, seem like there is another reason behind it; product quality, as they use natural ingredients, and moreover because of The Body Shop’s brand name. Even most consumers know that The Body Shop has taken over by L’oreal, but it does not change consumers’ perception toward The Body Shop as a first company that introduce environmental friendly products. It proven from research that 95% Eastern European consumers believe that The Body Shop offers them high quality product made from natural ingredient, and 70% said they trust their product quality. Further, Eastern Europeans have a strong trustiness on western brand name as an implicit guarantee of status and high quality. This becomes a strong reason why consumers switch to other brands like L’occitane, Face Shop, Bath and Body works or Victoria’s Secret when researcher asks if The Body Shop did not have their CSR programmes. In other word, most Eastern Europeans consumers strongly associate The Body Shop CSR programmes only with their chemically free aspect compare with other programmes. Another reason is family/ friends recommendation. 65% of consumers tend to rely on their purchasing decision to their group references. Eastern European with their collectivist culture background, they will emphasise the importance of personal relationship and belongingness, and moreover they are also high conformist where all decision are made by discussion or consensus process. For this culture, the “correct” decision is the one made by the group. That is why informal channel communication such as word-of-mouth is much more influential than any mass marketing strategy.
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