Segmenting Fair-Trade Apparel Consumers Based on Product Knowledge

  • Han, Tae-Im (Fashion Merchandising Program, Dept. of STEM Education & Professional Studies, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University) ;
  • Han, Rachel (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston)
  • Received : 2017.05.25
  • Accepted : 2017.06.28
  • Published : 2017.06.30


The purpose of this research was to develop a typology of fair-trade apparel consumers and present a clear overview of the influence of product knowledge on consumer behaviors. A two-step cluster analysis was used to classify respondents into sub-groups based on their level of self-perceived knowledge and purchase experience. In addition, ANOVA was used to test the predictive validity of the cluster solution. Income was the only demographic variable that significantly differed across groups. The more familiar and more experienced group had higher income than the other groups. Psychographic data showed that attitudes and moral norms varied across groups. The more familiar and more experienced group had more positive attitudes and higher level of moral norms than the less familiar and less experienced group. In terms of behavioristic data, groups differed significantly in purchase intentions and willingness to pay more for fair-trade apparel. That is, the more familiar and more experienced group was willing to pay more and had higher purchase intentions than the less familiar and less experienced group. Overall, the level of product knowledge and purchase experience were considerably low. This study thus confirmed the need to increase consumers' familiarity related to fair-trade apparel products.


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