Wine purchase behaviour : product attributes, product knowledge, perceived risk and involvement

Guse Janse van Vuuren, Carla (2018-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Historically, Old World wine countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Spain had a reputation of producing superior wine in terms of quality and taste. However, since the early 1990’s, New World wine countries such as South Africa, the United States, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Chile have shown affluence in the global wine market. In particular, a significant growth in sales (both domestic and international) has been evident for South African wines between 2009 and 2013. Even though this growth extended to both commercial and academic interest of the South African wine market, it has been suggested that the market may expand at a slower rate between 2014 and 2018. To some extent the slower expansion rate has been evident since the major global and local social, political and environmental changes that took place from the early 2000’s that in turn brought about changes in consumers’ wine purchase behaviour. These changes cannot however be viewed in isolation as the one has a knock-on effect on the other. For instance, within the South African context some historical social and political issues had to be addressed since 1994 to re-establish and strengthen the South African wine industry, both locally and internationally. Initiatives in the early 2000’s such as introducing and encouraging Fairtrade (since 2008), the establishment of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative as well as Wieta (the wine and agri-industry ethical trade initiative) have aimed to build the reputation of the South African wine industry toward a fair and representative industry (Bek, McEwan & Binns, 2011). In addition, globally consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and consequently retailers had to change product offerings. A noticeable change has been within the United States’ wine industry where a number of retailers (such as Walmart & Tesco) are offering wines advocating sustainable, organic and biological practices (Taylor, 2018). These product offerings does not only influence and change local, but also international demand and trends. In 1998 sustainability guidelines were introduced to the South African wine industry and ever since the initiatives had increased to ensure greater sustainability within the sector. For instance, since 2010 all bottles had to be labelled with an Integrity and Sustainability seal indicating that the wines were produced using such practices (WOSA, 2017). Such initiatives, among other, have changed the competitive and consumer landscape globally and as a result could have a slower growth effect on global consumption patterns. A somewhat noticeable slower growth rate has been reported for the South African wine industry (compared to sales from 2009 – 2013) at the end of 2016 indicating shifts in consumer purchasing patterns (SAWIS, 2016:19). This change in purchasing patterns may create a need for realigning wine marketing strategies to grow market share. Noticeable areas of interest within global wine research pertain to purchasing and consumption situations. In an attempt to better understand the complex nature of wine purchasing, it has been suggested that researchers focus on more sophisticated variables, rather than only for example demographics that influence wine purchase decision making. As such, previous research investigated the influence of subjective product knowledge, the role of perceived risk, and the effect of level of product involvement on choice attributes. In this context, a void is apparent in literature in that no published scientific literature could be identified that measures the combined influence of these variables on wine purchase behaviour. In addition, industry leaders noted the need for a better understanding of the purchase behaviour of South African wine consumers. Thus, the research problem of this study was formulated as: Does different levels of subjective product knowledge, perceived risk and product involvement contribute to differences in volume of South African (New World) wine purchased per month for consumers’ own consumption? This problem statement gave way to the primary objective of the study, namely to determine if different levels of subjective product knowledge, perceived risk and product involvement contribute to differences in wine purchase for own consumption in South Africa. During purchase decision making, wine consumers rely heavily on product attributes as quality indicators that may guide decision making, as the wine cannot always be tasted prior to purchase. Nevertheless, no academic literature could be identified that determines the importance of unique combinations of choice attributes and how they vary for levels of knowledge, perceived risk and product involvement. The secondary objective of this study is therefore to determine whether the unique combinations of product attributes vary for different levels (low, moderate and high) of subjective product knowledge, perceived risk and product involvement. The study is based on a review of literature covering aspects of wine marketing, consumer behaviour, consumer decision making, especially subjective product knowledge, perceived risk, level of product involvement and product attributes. This review of literature was followed by an empirical, survey-based study to investigate wine purchase behaviour pertaining to subjective product knowledge, perceived risk, level of product involvement, and product attributes within a South African context. To provide the necessary context and theoretical point of departure for this study, it was deemed important to propose a conceptual theoretical framework of wine consumer decision making. An online questionnaire was subsequently developed to gather data from a non-probability convenience sample of South African wine consumers. From the results of an exploratory factor analysis the reliability of the perceived risk scale was questionable, thus none of the objectives pertaining of this construct could be reported. With respect to subjective product knowledge and level of product involvement, the findings indicated that different levels (low, moderate and high) of subjective product knowledge and product involvement do in fact influence the volume of wine purchased for own consumption. In addition, the most and least important product attributes were identified for each level of subjective product knowledge and product involvement and the significant differences between groups were highlighted. To summarise, grape variety was identified as the most important product attribute for all three levels of subjective product knowledge, while alcohol content and opinion of sales representative were the least important product attributes. However, grape variety was significantly more important (compared to the other attributes) to moderate and high subjective product knowledge respondents. Relatively similar results were reported for level of product involvement, aside from friends/family recommendations being the most important product attribute for low product involvement respondents. Even so, friends/family recommendations and grape variety were still significantly more important than the other product attributes for low product involvement respondents. It is therefore strongly recommended that South African wine marketers take note of the importance of grape variety when developing marketing strategies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Vanuit ‘n historiese oogpunt het ou Wêreld wyn lande soos Italië, Frankryk, Duitsland en Spanje 'n reputasie vir die vervaardiging van uitstekende wyn in terme van kwaliteit en smaak. Sedert die vroeë 1990's toon Nuwe Wêreld wyn lande soos Suid-Afrika, die Verenigde State van Amerika, Australië, Argentinië, Nieu-Seeland, en Chili egter toenemende groei in die globale wynmark. In die besonder is daar ʼn beduidende toename in verkope (beide plaaslike en internasionaal) vir Suid-Afrikaanse wyne tussen 2009 en 2013. Al het hierdie groei tot beide kommersiële en akademiese belangstelling in die Suid-Afrikaanse wynmark gelei, word dit voorspel dat die mark teen 'n stadiger koers kan uitbrei tussen 2014 en 2018. Tot 'n sekere mate kan die stadiger groeikoers terug gedateer word tot die merkwaardige globale sosiale, politieke en omgewingsveranderinge wat sedert die vroeë 2000's plaasgevind het, wat gelei het tot veranderinge in wyn verbruikers se aankoop gedrag. Hierdie veranderinge kan egter nie in isolasie gesien word nie, aangesien die een ‘n oorspoel effek op die ander het. Byvoorbeeld, binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks moes daar sekere historiese sosiale en politieke kwessies aangespreek word sedert 1994 om die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf, beide plaaslik en internasionaal, te herstel en te versterk. Inisiatiewe in die vroeë 2000's soos Fairtrade (sedert 2008), die vestiging van die Biodiversiteits- en Wyn-inisiatief asook Wieta (die etiese handelsinisiatief van die wyn en landboubedryf) het gemik om die reputasie van Suid-Afrikaanse wyne te bou en te versterk tot 'n regverdige en verteenwoordigende bedryf (Bek, McEwan & Binns, 2011). Daarbenewens word verbruikers wêreldwyd meer omgewingsbewus en gevolglik moet kleinhandelaars produkaanbiedinge verander. 'n Merkbare verandering is binne die Amerikaanse wynbedryf waar 'n aantal kleinhandelaars (soos Walmart & Tesco) wyne aanbied wat volhoubare, organiese en biologiese praktyke voorstaan (Taylor, 2018). Hierdie produkte beinvloed en verander nie net plaaslike, maar ook internasionale vraag en tendense. In 1998 is volhoubaarheidsriglyne vir die Suid- Afrikaanse wynbedryf ingestel en vandaar het die inisiatiewe toegeneem om groter volhoubaarheid in die sektor te verseker. Byvoorbeeld, sedert 2010 moes alle bottels geëtiketteer word met 'n “Integrity and Sustainability” seël wat aandui dat die wyne met sulke gebruike geproduseer word (WOSA, 2017). Sulke inisiatiewe het onder andere die mededingende en verbruikers landskap wêreldwyd verander en kan gevolglik 'n stadiger groei-effek op globale verbruikspatrone hê. 'n Effens noemenswaardige stadiger groeikoers is aan die einde van 2016 vir die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf gerapporteer (vergeleke met verkope vanaf 2009 - 2013) wat die verskuiwings in verbruikers aankooppatrone aandui (SAWIS, 2016: 19). Hierdie verandering in aankooppatrone kan 'n dringendheid skep vir die herbelyning van wynbemarkingstrategieë om markaandeel te vermeerder. Opvallende areas van belangstelling in globale wyn navorsing het betrekking tot die aankoop en verbruik situasies. In 'n poging om die komplekse aard van wyn aankope beter te verstaan, word voorgestel dat navorsers fokus op meer gesofistikeerde veranderlikes wat 'n invloed het op wyn aankoop besluitneming. Vorige studies het die invloed van subjektiewe produkkennis, die rol van waargenome risiko en die effek van vlak van produk betrokkenheid op keuse veranderlikes ondersoek. In hierdie konteks is daar ʼn duidelike leemte in die literatuur, aangesien geen gepubliseerde wetenskaplike literatuur geïdentifiseer kan word wat die gekombineerde invloed van hierdie veranderlikes meet nie. Daarbenewens het bedryfslede kennis geneem van die behoefte aan 'n beter begrip van die aankoopgedrag van Suid-Afrikaanse wynverbruikers. Dus is die navorsingsprobleem van hierdie studie geformuleer as: Dra verskillende vlakke van subjektiewe produkkennis, waargenome risiko en produkbetrokkenheid by tot die verskil in volume van Suid-Afrikaanse (Nuwe Wêreld) wyn wat per maand aangekoop word vir verbruikers se eie verbruik? Hierdie probleemstelling het gelei tot die primêre doel van die studie, naamlik om vas te stel of verskillende vlakke van subjektiewe produkkennis, waargenome risiko en produkbetrokkenheid bydra tot verskille in wyn aankope vir eie verbruik in Suid-Afrika. Tydens ankoopsbesluitneming is wynverbruikers tot ʼn groot mate afhanklik van produk veranderlikes wat dien as gehalte aanwysers en wat sodoende besluitneming kan beïnvloed, aangesien die wyn nie altyd voor die aankoop geproe kan word nie. Nieteenstaande kon geen akademiese literatuur geïdentifiseer word wat die belangrikheid van unieke kombinasies van keuse veranderlikes en hoe hulle verskil vir vlakke van kennis, waargenome risiko en produk betrokkenheid bepaal. Die sekondêre doel van hierdie studie is dus om vas te stel of die unieke kombinasie van produk veranderlikes varieer vir verskillende vlakke (lae, matige en hoë) van subjektiewe produkkennis, waargenome risiko en produk betrokkenheid. Die studie is gebaseer op 'n oorsig van literatuur wat aspekte van wynbemarking, verbruikersgedrag, verbruikersbesluitneming, en veral subjektiewe produkkennis, waargenome risiko, vlak van produk betrokkenheid en produk veranderlikes insluit. Dié oorsig van literatuur is opgevolg met 'n empiriese opname-gebaseerde studie om wyn aankoop gedrag te ondersoek met betrekking tot subjektiewe produkkennis, waargenome risiko, vlak van produk betrokkenheid en produk veranderlikes binne 'n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Om die nodige konteks en teoretiese vertrekpunt vir hierdie studie te verskaf, is dit belangrik geag om 'n konseptueel teoretiese raamwerk van verbruikersbesluitneming voor te stel. 'n Aanlyn vraelys is gevolglik ontwikkel om data in te samel vanuit 'n nie-waarskynlikheid gerief steekproef van Suid-Afrikaanse wyn verbruikers. Uit die resultate van 'n verkennende faktorontleding was die betroubaarheid van die waargenome risiko skaal twyfelagtig, en kon geen van die doelwitte met betrekking tot hierdie konstruk gevolglik gerapporteer word nie. Met betrekking tot subjektiewe produkkennis en vlak van produk betrokkenheid, het die bevindinge aangedui dat verskillende vlakke (lae, matige en hoë) van subjektiewe produkkennis en produk betrokkenheid die volume wyn wat aangekoop word vir eie gebruik beïnvloed. Daarbenewens is die mees en mins belangrike produk eienskappe geïdentifiseer vir elke vlak van subjektiewe produkkennis en produk betrokkenheid en die beduidende verskille tussen groepe uitgelig. Om op te som, druif variëteit is geïdentifiseer as die belangrikste produk eienskap vir al drie vlakke van subjektiewe produkkennis, terwyl alkohol inhoud en opinie van verkoopsverteenwoordiger die minste belangrike produk veranderlikes was. Druif variteit was egter aansienlik belangriker (in vergelyking met die ander veranderlikes) vir matige en hoë subjektiewe produkkennis respondente. Relatief soortgelyke resultate is getoon vir vlak van produk betrokkenheid, behalwe vir aanbevelings van vriende/familie wat die belangrikste produk veranderlike vir lae produk betrokkenheid respondente was. Net so was vriende/familie aanbevelings en druif variteit steeds aansienlik meer belangrik as die ander produk veranderlikes vir lae produk betrokkenheid respondente. Gevolglik word daar sterk aanbeveel dat Suid-Afrikaanse wyn bemarkers kennis neem van die belangrikheid van druif variëteit tydens die ontwikkeling van bemarkingstrategieë.

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