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Research Objectives

The research is conducted with the focus on evaluating the relationship between the use of digital marketing techniques and the purchasing behaviours of customers, who fall in the age range of 25 to 34 years in UK, since the year 2010. The digital marketing includes various technological platforms such as social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These social networking websites act as platforms that allow businesses to share content and messages with the audience, keep them informed about the products and services while encouraging them to make purchases as well. The people between the ages of 25 to 34 years are young individuals, who are mostly tech savvy, surf internet and remain connected over social networks most of times, which has been considered as a major opportunity to target them via these platforms. The impact of social media marketing could be seen, when compared with the marketing tactics managed much before the introduction of social media (Ibrahim and Ganeshbabu 2018). As most of the companies, nowadays have used social media platforms for distribution of content, it has definitely influence the buying behaviours of clients largely too.

The rationale for the research study is to evaluate the reason for which the research has been conducted, thus, allowing the researcher to understand its significance. Thus, the research rationale basically represents the purpose of research, which is about determining the link between the usage of digital marketing and shopping behaviours among the young individuals aged from 25 to 34 years.UK household possession of devices in %

Fig: UK household possession of devices in %

(Source: Tradecommissioner.gc.ca 2022)

From the chart, it could be inferred that large number of households in UK possess mobile phones, laptops, tablets, as compared to personal computer. The evidence of this lies in the use of ecommerce nowadays, is a trend, which has not only made it convenient and much easier for people to connect with the brand and make purchases, without needing to wait in long queues or even shopping in crowded stores (Boardman et al. 2019). Moreover, the online shopping is faster, easier and allows customers to access a wide range of products from their mobile phone or computer, quite easily, and later get their ordered products delivered at their doorsteps. Moreover, with the Covid 19 outbreak, people have preferred doing online shopping and this is how, businesses have given priority to digital marketing for coping up with the changing demands and behaviours of customers, thus, ensure meeting their needs effectively too (Ramesh and Vidhya 2019). This is the reason for which, the research has been proposed to explore how digital marketing has brought changes in shopping behaviours among the 25 to 34 years old population group.

Online purchasing penetration in Great Britain 2008-2020

Fig: Online purchasing penetration in Great Britain 2008-2020

(Source: Statista.com 2022)

The graph reflects the number of online shoppers, which increased from 53% to 87% in Great Britain.

The research project or study aims to evaluate and create a proper relationship between the increasing usage of digital marketing and changes in the shopping behaviours among the people of age group 25 to 34 years in United Kingdom.

Literature Review

The objectives of the research have been set, according to SMART goals, for ensuring achievement of the aim of the project. Below are the set of objectives provided.

S- To conduct a research for evaluation and analysis of data and information regarding the purchasing behaviours’ change, with the increased use of digital marketing by companies, considering the age group of 25- 34 years.

M- To measure the findings of research, based on data and information about expenses and visits to both online website and in-store of a company

A- To attain valid and authentic information data from various research journals and articles, from the category of digital marketing

R- To recommend various digital marketing tactics for making people adapt to the constantly growing digital society much more comprehensively.

T- To ensure completion of the research project within the 2 moths, since its beginning

  • What is the link between the digital marketing usage and purchasing behaviours of individuals between the ages of 25 to 34 years in UK?
  • How does the purchasing patterns change with the increasing use of digital marketing and social media platforms nowadays?
  • To what extent, is it true that online shopping has been mainly preferred by individuals in the age range of 25 to 34 years?
  • What are the various measures that are recommended for individuals to adapt change in behaviours regarding the purchase, managed online or digitally?

The literature review is prepared to assess various secondary sources of data including journals, articles and important documents that could strengthen the theoretical findings of the research study. The main keywords used here include the digital marketing concepts, social media, consumer behaviours, ecommerce, and age group of 25 to 34 years. According to Broardman et al. (2019), ecommerce revenue has been tremendous, considering the years 2021 and 2022, here people started buying products and services in large numbers online, post Covid 19 outbreak. Based on the demographics for users of Instagram all over UK, most of the young individuals, aged between 25 to 34 years have presented a major portion of the digital or online purchases, i.e., 30 percent.  More than 93 percent of people aged 25 to 34 years possess a social networking profile, which the proof itself. It is an exemplary view of how the buying behaviours of consumers have changed with the evolution of digital marketing that has benefited businesses as well as created convenience for consumers to make purchases (Mukherjee 2019).

According to Ramesh, M. and Vidhya (2019), the marketers of companies have used the digital marketing strategies, as part of innovation, to draw in more customers and retain the existing ones as well. It has allowed businesses to adopt internet based promotional activities and model, through use of electronic media for selling the products and services easily. The digital marketing has also enabled the businesses to gain greater market outreach and create better awareness among people, by influencing their buying patterns, which is about gaining access to a wide range of products and services, from their mobile phones, anywhere and anytime (Jones and Livingstone 2018). It is very much difficult nowadays to come into interaction with people, who do not use smart phones and computers and a majority of them has been using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Skype, etc. Boardman et al., (2019) also stated that the use of social media by marketers has helped in designing exclusive content, demonstrating the effectiveness of the available products and services, thus, create a commercial opportunity to create income. Brands have understood the worth in social influencer content, which has it easy to publish the products, thus, get the products into their reach quite conveniently, without even requiring to visit stores to make purchase. It creates positive brand image and reputation, thus, creating awareness among people to use these platforms most of the time (Szmigin and Piacentini 2018). The consumers have found much ease in exposing themselves to digital and social media platforms, as they could easily search for the products and services’ information, understand whether their problem would be solved or not and then make purchases, followed by interacting with others over social networks about the experience with the product or service. The marketers have also responded to this shift in purchasing behaviours by increasing the use of digital channels of marketing to reach out to more audiences (Kolsaker and Payne 2002). It has also been assumed that the future consumer marketing would largely be carried out in this digital setting and ecommerce should take more over the traditional businesses gradually. Especially by using social media platforms. Being tech savvy, a large percentage of consumers belong from the age of 25 to 34 years. It is also important for the consumers to search for the information and content displayed by the companies over these digital platforms, thus, interact with the brand much more easily. The literature has thus, focused on the gradual change in nature of digital and social media platforms or environment, within which the consumers have been located and have managed to interact with other brands too (Stephen 2016).

Digital Marketing Transformation

Considering the statements of Boardman et al. (2019), online shopping among millennial has considerably increased to a large extent, thus, constituting second largest online shopper demographics. This shows that the digital buyers have increased, which has been due to the increased focus of marketers on embracing various digital marketing channels such as using websites and social media platforms to market products and services. Not only does this creates greater exposure, but also has increased the outreach to different market segments, which resulted in influencing their buying behaviours furthermore. Moreover, with the Covid19 impact, consumers nowadays have felt convenient in making purchases online, rather than buying from stores, which often made them experience long queues and long waiting time too. Ibrahim and Ganeshbabu (2018) argues that online shopping has become a trend setter as it has allowed businesses to reach out to customers much more easily, while providing the clients with convenience and ease of access to different products and services, all available under a single platform. The fashion and retail sector remains to be one of the major sector in the ecommerce industry, which generates higher sales revenue and allowed businesses to offer a diverse range of products and services to the customers. It has been followed by retail sector and then hospitality and tourism sector, where bookings are mostly done online nowadays. Customer experience data are acquired by the companies with the help of gathering their feedbacks regarding their experience while shopping online and whether proper customers services have been delivered or not, to fulfil their expectations and delivering a great online shopping experience. Kolsaker and Payne (2002) states that based on the feedbacks on social media platforms and comments on websites, marketers have enabled changes to improve and grow with time furthermore.

Ziyadin et al. (2019) also argued that a consumer digital culture has been created, within which the consumers have been situated, thus, laid foundation to the formation of a theory development technique too. Also, the consumer behaviours and ability to have multiple online personas, have been considered here, which highlighted the significance of consumers in accessing large group of audiences through social media usage. Just bloggers build audiences and accumulate social capital, the marketers have also used this to public online content, thus, understanding the content generation behaviours of the consumers on social media quite effectively (Parsons, Maclaran and Chatzidakis 2017). The digital marketing has served the basis of advertising and promotions by considering digital ad response, search engine optimisation and getting to know customers well. The ads shown on websites and in social networks easily draw the attention of people and encourage them to visit the website or the store. The reviews and feedbacks provided by customers, ted to influence attitudes and behaviours of customers, while increasing rate of conversion (Nizar and Janathanan 2018). The companies have considered the feedbacks and made necessary changes, to provide a better experience, next time they purchase (Tuten and Solomon 2017). Thus, the online word of mouth promotions and reviews have not only drawn the attention of customers, but also has created strong brand identity and image, which easily encouraged buying behaviours of customers. Therefore, as per the literature analysis, it could be stated that there has been a specific relation between the increased usage of digital marketing and purchasing behaviours of individuals, especially the youths in United Kingdom (Snyder 2019). Based on these concepts, the following theoretical framework could be constructed:

Online Shopping Trends

Conceptual framework

Fig: Conceptual framework

(Source: created by the researcher)

There are basically three different philosophies of research including the positivism, post positivism and interpretivism. As a philosophy, the approach here is to view the factual data and information, based on observations made and also on the basis of sensory experiences, which has to be measured for trustworthiness and authenticity (Žukauskas et al. 2018). The information and data, acquired through sensory experiences and factual content, have been interpreted through logical reasoning, thus, understanding the research study and acquire knowledge quite easily. Considering the research to be primary, it has included both qualitative and quantitative data, which laid foundation to understand the relationship between increased usage of digital marketing tactics and how consumer behaviours have changed, with the evolution of social media marketing (Kennedy 2017). Thus, the positivism philosophy of research has been considered here to be the most effective.

The exploratory design of research presents the initial research concepts and then uses theoretical data and information, which helped in making observations and gain deeper knowledge about the topic of research. The existing theories are to be used for developing a framework, while for the explanatory research design, more focus has been on determining the cause and effect of conducting the research. The descriptive design of research, on the other hand, explored different areas and concepts along with analysis of variables in a detailed manner (Doyle et al. 2020). This has helped in finding information and data in much more details, while even fill the gaps in research, thus, facilitate research understanding too. There is no need to make prior assumptions or predict the future, while collecting data and information, which could prioritise on the ‘what’ and ‘how’, rather than ‘why’. Both the variables, i.e., the buying behaviours of consumers and usage of digital marketing have been linked with each other, which represented the descriptive design of research, to be the most effective here (Siedlecki 2020).

The sampling procedure would allow the researcher to study the relationship between the population and samples, drawn from the population as well as bring different views and perspectives regarding the subject of research. The random sampling procedure should be used here, to select a smaller group of sample from a heterogeneous group of people. The randomly selected individuals are to be provided with survey questionnaires, where they need to provide their responses, which should be recorded as quantitative data. The random sampling method would create equal probability of being chosen as samples, though it would be helpful for drawing unbiased representation of the total population, thus acquiring responses, which should be considered as statistical data and information (Siedlecki 2020). The survey questionnaires would be distributed to the respondents through emails and social media platforms, which they could access and provide their responses without any biasness.

The non-probability sampling technique should be used for acquiring the qualitative data, which could be possible with the use of convenience sampling process. The convenience sampling technique should aloe consideration of samples from the individuals, who are easy to contact such as the managers. The managers should be provided with a convenient time, amongst their busy schedule to share their responses and feedbacks, thus, acquire the qualitative data, useful for the research. Other than this source, the source of secondary data includes various articles, journals, newspapers and websites containing information about the research topic (Mkandawire 2019). The sample size has been selected as 40 customers and 5 managers of the organisations that have used digital marketing to encourage consumer purchasing behaviours.

The collection of data and information includes both primary and secondary data. The primary data constitutes of both qualitative and quantitative data and information. The survey questionnaires are provided to the respondents, selected randomly, who need to provide their responses to the open and close ended questions, without any biasness, which are to be considered as quantitative data. The broader aspects to be used for the questionnaires here include the general form of data, which could be structured as well as unstructured while the sequence of questions in the questionnaire also reduces individual ability to misunderstood things. This raises the probability to understand questions and answer those without any bias or any difficulty (Snyder 2019). The broader aspects associated with the use of questionnaire also include identifying people’s perceptions in reality about whether online shopping has been influenced by digital marketing or not and how it tends to grow in the future as well. It also helped in understanding whether the clients are satisfied with online purchasing habits or not and how well they have managed to interact with the brand, which the marketers followed properly to implement changes and improve customer satisfaction.

The qualitative data are to be collected by arranging a suitable or convenient time for the managers to provide their responses, as per the interview session held, with the use of non-probability convenience sampling method (Solymosi and Bowers 2018). The responses of the managers have been considered as qualitative method while the secondary data has been acquired from various sources including the journals, articles, documents, newspapers and also internet websites that contain information about the consumer behaviours and use of digital marketing through social media application.

The analysis of collected data and information is to be done with the use of SPSS tool, which could not only analyse the statistical data and evidences, but would also represent those in the form of tables, graphs for better understanding of responses provided by the respondents. It should help in establishing a proper link between the use of digital marketing tactics and purchasing behaviours consumers, falling in the age group of 25 years to 34 years in United Kingdom. There are normality test, descriptive analysis, validity test and reliability testing that could also be effective for analysing data and information. By analysing and interpretation of data, it would be much easier to determine the relationship between variables. To be precise, by understand the purchasing patterns and behaviours, it would be easier to understand whether the customers have felt ease in making purchase online or not and how well marketers have managed to benefit by adopting digital marketing techniques (Statista.com 2022). It would also provide information and evidence on how the use of digital marketing has shaped the behaviours of individuals, thus, motivating them to make purchase online and gain higher satisfaction level too.

Ethics is a major aspect that needs to be considered while conducting a research effectively. To maintain ethical standards, during collection of data, the respondents have been provided with a consent letter about agreeing to be a participant of the research. It has also been mentioned clearly to them that the research has to be done for academic purposes only and not to draw any kinds of commercial benefits (Arifin 2018). None of the respondents or participants of research have been pressurised to take part in the research and ones, who participated, their information have been kept confidential and private to prevent misuse of data.

Main activities/ stages

Month

February

Month

March

Month

April

Month

May

Month

June

Month

July

Selection of topic

ü   

Collecting data from secondary sources

ü   

ü   

Constructing the research layout

ü   

Literature review

ü   

ü   

ü   

Development of research Plan

ü   

ü   

Selection of Appropriate Research Techniques

ü   

ü   

Primary data collection

ü   

ü   

Analysis & Interpretation of Data which are collected

ü   

ü   

Conclusion

ü   

Development of Draft

ü   

Final Work submission

ü   

Tools

Description

Total

Materials

Books, Journal articles, Ethical consent forms, signed consent forms of the managers of organization from where the samples would be selected, tables, charts, graphs, online subscription forms for data collection sites

1000 pounds

Stationery items

USB cable, folders, sticky notes, pen drives

100 pounds

Equipment

Laptop with MS Office and Google Chrome installed, social media sites,

1500 pounds

Conclusion

The research attempts to establish connection between digital marketing usage and transitions in the shopping behaviour of people between the age group of 25- 34 years since 2010. The background of the research is the marketing tactics, which was been revolutionized and influenced the customer behaviour. The rationale of the research becomes prominent with the aim of establishing correlation between digital marketing usage and transitions in the shopping behaviour of people between the age group of 25- 34 years since 2010. This aim is flourished through the detection of SMART objectives pertaining to evaluate changes in purchasing behaviour of the people with the increase in digital marketing usage. Previous literature on digital marketing concepts, social media, consumer behaviours, ecommerce, substantiates the survey and interview responses and their analysis, as a part of the evaluative research.

References

Arifin, S.R.M., 2018. Ethical considerations in qualitative study. International Journal of Care Scholars, 1(2), pp.30-33.

Boardman, R., Blazquez, M., Henninger, C.E. and Ryding, D., 2019. Social commerce. Springer International Publishing.

Doyle, L., McCabe, C., Keogh, B., Brady, A. and McCann, M., 2020. An overview of the qualitative descriptive design within nursing research. Journal of Research in Nursing, 25(5), pp.443-455.

Ibrahim, S.S. and Ganeshbabu, P., 2018. A Study on the Impact of Social Media Marketing Trends on Digital Marketing. Shanlax International Journal of Management, 6(1), pp.120-125.

Jones, C. and Livingstone, N., 2018. The ‘online high street’or the high street online? The implications for the urban retail hierarchy. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 28(1), pp.47-63.

Kennedy, A.M., 2017. Macro-social marketing research: philosophy, methodology and methods. Journal of Macromarketing, 37(4), pp.347-355.

Kolsaker, A. and Payne, C., 2002. Engendering trust in e?commerce: a study of gender?based concerns. Marketing intelligence & planning.

Mkandawire, S.B., 2019. Selected common methods and tools for data collection in research. Selected Readings in Education, 2, pp.143-153.

Mukherjee, K., 2019. Social media marketing and customers’ passion for brands. Marketing intelligence & planning.

Nizar, N.A. and Janathanan, C., 2018. Impact of digital marketing on consumer purchase behaviour. In APIIT Business, Law & Technology Conference.

Parsons, E., Maclaran, P. and Chatzidakis, A., 2017. Contemporary issues in marketing and consumer behaviour. Routledge.

Ramesh, M. and Vidhya, B., 2019. Digital marketing and its effect on online consumer buying behavior. Journal of Services Research, 19(2), pp.61-77.

Siedlecki, S.L., 2020. Understanding descriptive research designs and methods. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 34(1), pp.8-12.

Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research, 104, pp.333-339.

Solymosi, R. and Bowers, K., 2018. The role of innovative data collection methods in advancing criminological understanding. The Oxford handbook of environmental criminology, pp.210-237.

Statista.com (2022). Share of individuals who made purchases online in Great Britain from 2008 to 2020. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/275968/online-purchasing-penetration-in-great-britain/ [Accessed on 28th April 2022]

Stephen, A.T., 2016. The role of digital and social media marketing in consumer behavior. Current opinión in Psychology, 10, pp.17-21.

Szmigin, I. and Piacentini, M., 2018. Consumer behaviour. Oxford University Press.

Tradecommissioner.gc.ca (2022). Selling via e-commerce in the U.K. Available at:  https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/guides/uk_e-commerce-commerce_electronique_ru.aspx?lang=eng [Accessed on 28th April 2022]

Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2017. Social media marketing. Sage.

Ziyadin, S., Doszhan, R., Borodin, A., Omarova, A. and Ilyas, A., 2019. The role of social media marketing in consumer behaviour. In E3S Web of Conferences (Vol. 135, p. 04022). EDP Sciences.

Žukauskas, P., Vveinhardt, J. and Andriukaitien?, R., 2018. Philosophy and paradigm of scientific research. Management culture and corporate social responsibility, 121.

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