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Background

The relevant study intends to offer a comprehensive analysis on how every popularized platforms of social media such has a considerate influence in the purchase intentions of customers while the platform had found a considerable increase in its utility among business organization. Based on that premise, the considerate focus of this section of the study set out the nature as well as purpose of the study that sets out the structure of the narrative as well as introduces the topics that are being investigated in its context. Hence, the relevant chapter details out on the aim, objectives and rationale of the study while summarizing a background that seems relevant to the subject of the study.

Business organizations are utilizing different ways in order to attract customers nowadays in which the platform of social media plays its significant role in capturing the attention of the customer (Rasool, Shah and Tanveer 2021). In the modern age of business, social media plays its vital role as an effective platform by facilitating interactions between organizations and customers. As much as it has seen its usefulness in increasing loyalty of a brand as well as providing aid in customer services, the virtual platform has proved itself as one that has more to offer when it comes to engaging with brands (Shareef et al. 2019). In the purpose of facilitating engagement between businesses and customers, organizations have considered developing strategies that are effective in their way of exposure to the users of social media. The strategies being devised in that correspondence sees to attract customers to a certain brand while in turn see to make its presence aware to a large set of people thus granting adequate exposure. It is with that correspondence, the present study intends to analyze the influence being exerted by the platform of social media in the purchase intentions of the customers (Iankova et al. 2019). It sees to base its explorative analysis on the fashion brands for the sector has certainly seemed to utilize the platform of social media effectively in order to attract customers during the pandemic. Hence the considerate purpose of the study is to analyze the influence of social media in the purchase intentions of young customers based in India towards luxury fashion brands and their products (Bilgin, 2018). With that being stated, the relevant study sees to bear reference of the luxurious fashion brand of Armani for understanding its usage of social media platform in order to understand how it influences the customer’s purchasing behavior.    

Luxury fashion is a prominent sector of business in India that had seemed to incur a tremendous rate of growth during the last few years. While seeking to utilize high quality products in its production, the fashion industry in India is known to charge high prices as well due to its luxurious essence. However, the reason why the price is being charged so high is because of the fact that it constitutes the value of the brand as well as its quality (Gage and Pasricha 2020). As much as the concept of fashion has seemed to alter gradually, it has led towards development of luxurious fashion industries across the globe. In consideration of the demography that the market seems to attract, the segment constitutes the young populaces that attributes to ninety percent of the share of customers in the fashion industry of India. The brands are further known to utilize different methods in order to attract customers towards the brand while the industry has seemed to witness more personalization in its sector compared to that of other sectors (Kuldova 2020). Following the advent of Internet, the entire business sector has seemed to revolutionize although in case of luxurious fashion products the relevant industry has seemed to make its effective utility by attracting customers and thereupon increase the market share of its product. It is in that regards, social media has come to serve as an effective toolset for its considerable impact on the customer’s purchase intention while it plays its vital role in motivating the customers for them to be influenced in purchasing a product (Gupta and Banerjee 2019). The contents being displayed in the platform of social media as well as various types of interaction it facilitates seems to influence the customers in their purchase which in the case of luxury fashion industry relates with enhancing the visual appeal of a product with the help of social media.

Impact of social media on purchase intention

Armani has its luxurious fashion brand established all across India as it sees to operate among the major cities in India while intending to serve a large number of customers who are mainly young. The brand being one of the most recognized is known to manufacture, distribute as well as retail fashion and lifestyle products. In that regards, the brand sees to offer apparels, eyewear, accessories, watches, home interiors, jewelries fragrances as well as home interiors under differing range of names such as Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani or A/X Armani Exchange (IANNELLI 2018). With Giorgio Armani being the only shareholder of the brand, the fashion brand intend to cater to different segments of the market and gradually went on to become one of the strongest fashion luxury brand in the world (Odoardi 2019). As per the relevant marketing strategy, Armani chooses to utilize the platform of social media for the purpose of reaching to a large number of customers and further see to capture the attention of the customers.

The framework of buying decision process relates to the overall decision making process that consumers undertake in consideration of potential transaction market before, after or during the purchase of a service or a product. It entails the process of identifying need recognition while deeming it as a part of the consumer decision making process (Stankevich 2017). In consideration of the stages that seemed to be followed under the consumer decision making process there are mainly five of them that eventually leads to the final stage of product purchase. It initiates from the stage of problem or need recognition and consecutively goes through information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase and finally leads to the stage of post purchase behavior.

The purpose of the study is to analyze the impact of social media on the purchasing behavior of the customers on the basis of which the study has opted the fashion industry of India for it being a relevant sector that sees to attract customers. In that consideration, the study has opted the luxurious fashion brand Armani while seeing to relate its social media marketing strategies and analyze the considerable role it plays in influencing the purchase behavior of the customers. In its evaluative scope, the study will intend to assess different factors that has affected the customer’s purchase intentions in the luxury fashion industry with the considerate focus exerted on the young populaces for them being the one targeted by the relevant industry.  

  • To analyze the impact of social media on the purchase intentions of customers in Armani India
  • To assess the significance of social media in the purchase intention of young customers in the luxury fashion industry in India
  • To provide suitable recommendations for Armani India in improving customer purchase intention through social media
  • To identify the different factors that are affecting the purchase intentions of customers in the Indian fashion luxury industry
  • How social media impact the purchase intentions of customers in Armani India?
  • What is the significance of social media in the purchase intention of young customers in the luxury fashion industry?
  • What suitable alternatives can be recommended for Armani India in improving customer purchase intention through social media?
  • Which factors tend to affect the purchase intentions of customers in the Indian fashion luxury industry?

H0: Social media does not have any influence on the purchase intentions of India’s young consumers of Armani

H1: Social media has a positive influence on the purchase intentions of India’s young consumers of Armani.

The relevant study intends to offer insight on how the platform of social media bears an impact on the purchase intentions of the young customers while basing its context towards the luxury fashion brands of India. In that regards, the study will seem to help an organization in developing strategies for social media in order for it to attract consumers. Armani already uses the platform of social media for the purpose of maintaining engagement with customers and at the same time seeing to increase the awareness of the brand. On that aspect, the present research will help in identifying the factors that are influential in regulating the purchase intentions of the customers thereupon showcasing the significance of social media in influencing those factors. Hence, it will provide an insight on how the social media platform sees to influence customer’s purchasing behavior while at the same time indicating factors that an organization needs to remain considerate towards while developing social media marketing strategies.

Luxury fashion industry in India

In consideration of the stated purpose and the objectives that needs to be fulfilled, the study can prove to be insightful for the research community to understand how customers can be influenced with social media thereupon indicate the role of online technology in deploying marketing strategies. Furthermore, the relevant issue being discussed in the context will further help in understanding the theories relevant with that of customer purchase behavior and thereupon analyze its correspondence with the new age of marketing through social media. As the research has not been conducted before on the organization of Armani, the relevant study can prove to be insightful as it offers a different perspective while being based on a particular brand. The considerate brand has not been researched in regards to how it utilizes social media as a platform for influencing the customer’s purchase behaviors that the study intends to fulfill with a comprehensive evaluation.

For the relevant study to be conducted, the researcher has opted a quantitative approach while incorporating the philosophy of interpretivism accounted with Deductive approach. With the considerate aim of devising theories the quantitative approach will see to utilize the technique of survey for the relevant study to be able to attain the stated objectives. 

In the words of Paul and Criado (2020), literature review indicates the search as well as the evaluation of literature present on a given subject where it sees to synthesize the availed information into a brief summarization. As such, while surveying on scholarly articles, books that are relevant to a particular issue or area of a research, literature review undertakes theoretical connotation and in implementing so helps provide a description, summary as well as a critical evaluation of the research problem being investigated in a particular context (Snyder 2019). Based on that premise, the relevant chapter of the study sees to conduct a literature review while contemplating on the subjects that are being investigated in the study.

While luxury has always seemed as a prominent culture in India’s fashion market, it has displayed immense growth that led it to become the world’s fifth largest luxury market. Valuing nearly sixty billion dollars in the apparel market, the sixth largest apparel market of India is deemed as being a lucrative market for consumer instead of being a hub for outsourcing. As per Jain and Mishra (2020), there are mainly three major types of luxury goods labelled as accessible supreme premiums, old luxury extensions and mass prestige commodities. The accessible supreme premiums includes those that are accessed by the elite class whereas the old luxury brand has seemed to include the same segment. However, Asif (2020) opines that the market do seem to attract customers with low income group while it has seemed to introduce new class of variant. The industry, as such, is deemed as being the fastest growing industry with factors like increasing number of high net worth individuals as well as increasing population of urban middle class contributing to it. The luxury fashion brands are more involved in reaching out to their ideal customer segment by seeking to engage, inform, indulge as well as entertain loyal as well as potential clienteles. On that aspect, social media has served a big influence with its broadcasted fashion shows as well as social commentary are more inclined towards seeking young consumers for keeping their brand value intact.      

Case study of Armani

As per Peña-García et al. (2020), consumer buying behavior is considered as the actions being taken by consumers before seeking to avail a product or service. It is considered as the study of individuals, organizations or groups alongside activities that tends to be associated with purchase, use as well as disposal of services and goods. In that correlated aspect, Emami-Naeini et al. (2019) mentions that to define the consumer buying behavior, it is indicated as the study of customers in regards to how they seem to behave while deciding to purchase a product that sees to satisfy their needs. To indicate how customers tend to behave prior to purchasing a product, the processes has been deemed to include consulting with search engines, engaging with posts in social media along with a various set of actions. For a business it is valuable to understand the process as it aids them in tailoring their initiatives of marketing for consumers to be influenced successfully in buying a product.   As per Auf et al. (2018), the subject of consumer buying behavior is being studied as an aspect of marketing with its considerate purpose being able to understand how individuals tend to choose as well as buy and purchase used and disposed goods while factors such as prior experience, branding, price and taste tend to influence their purchasing decision. To that extent, Qalati et al. (2019) were the one conducting studies on the subject of consumer buying behavior while analyzing how previous purchase has impact the buying behavior. The findings of the study indicated that experience encountered previously and personal habits produces a direct influence on the purchase decision of consumer while on the other hand, the image of a product do seem to produce a considerate influence on the consumer’s purchasing decision. Another study conducted by Qazzafi (2019) sought to analyze the influence of packaging on the decision making process of a consumer. However, it was indicated by the findings of the study that there is weak linkage between that of brand experience and packaging of a product. On the other hand, the findings of the study do provide the indication that consumers with less income do seem to attain greater brand experience while purchasing premium products compared to their experience while purchasing cheaper variants.

While there was little to no clue in regards to how consumer tend to make decision while buying a product, it was Stankevich (2017) who carried out a study in order to learn about the five distinct stages that goes towards influencing the purchasing behavior and thereupon reach to finalized decision of purchasing. The researcher seemed to focus on the facts that affected the process for a consumer to be able to make a decision regarding purchase while bear considerate of factors such as demographic effects that relates with income, gender, education and marital status. Upon analyzing the five stages of the consumer decision making it was indicated that the impact of family members on the consumer decision making process seemed significant. As much as the five stages of the consumer decision making process have further been studied upon by several researchers, each bear a common viewpoint that led them to describe the consequent stages in a similar format. The five stages of the consumer decision making process that came to defined were recognition of problem, search for information, evaluation of alternatives, decision of purchase and finally evaluation post-purchase. According to Kumar et al. (2018), the first stage takes place when an individual seems to recognize the difference between what they possess and what they wish to purchase or have. This perspective was further supported by Bettiga and Lamberti (2020) who stated problem or need recognition to take place due to several factors and circumstances that in turn contribute towards the forming the idea of purchasing. In the consequent stage, the consumer sees to search for information were in relation to the product or service being desired. Willman-Iivarinen (2017) stated that the process of information search can be undertaken internally where customers require relying on personal experiences or externally with consumers looking to gather considerable amount of information while addressing the media or advertising. As soon as the relevant facts and information have been gathered, the following stage sees to analyze and evaluate the alternatives which Mishra, Singh and Koles (2021) states as being the most influential stages wherein a customer takes into consideration all alternatives and variants along with factors such as quality, size as well as price. However, Moraes et al. (2019) stated that the consequent stage of purchase decision is the most significant stage of all wherein a customer, upon recognizing the need, searching for relevant information and consideration of alternatives requires making decision in regards to whether or not they should consider go for purchasing. In the final stage of post purchase evaluation, the customers tend to reflect on the overall experience encountered while purchasing. Although the stage has not seemingly been highlighted as an important one in the consumer decision making, it does tend to hold significance for directly affecting the consumer’s purchase of the same product from similar supplier in that of the future.     

Buying decision process

It has been established by researchers that purchase behavior is indicated as being the needs as well as wants of the consumer while they seeking to purchase in order to satisfy their needs. However, when it comes to determining factors that tend to affect the buying behavior of consumers, many perspectives have seemed to be offered by that of researchers. Oblak et al. (2017) classified these factors into external and internal denoting each constituents under a category. However, Victor et al. (2018) seemed to indicate the existence of several factors wherein each have been divided on four set of categories which are personal, situational, cultural and social. Situational factors tend to include constituents such as environment, location, timing as well as conditions of weathering where major retailers see to construct an environment or situation that in turn motivates consumers to make decision of purchase. As much as the temporary nature of the situational factors were being stressed highly by Pratama et al. (2017), the aspect sees to facilitate the movement of the consumers for them to be influenced in making additional purchase. The personal factors on the other hand stresses on one’s personal experience in regards to taste, financial circumstance along with other relevant factors. On the contrary Heinonen, (2017), opines that the impact of personal factors on consumer decision making is addressed usually by businesses during segmentation of marketing. While grouping individuals with targeting and positioning practices in correspondence of personal circumstances, it incorporates other criteria along with developing services and products that tends to accommodate these circumstances in an effective format. Social factors on the other hand impact the behavior of a consumer due to interaction of perspective customers with others on varying levels. It requires targeting member of a society that are perceived as being opinion leaders with them requiring to be influenced in buying a product for other members to follow in. Finally, the cultural factors are relevant with that of cross -cultural differences amongst consumers on a scale of local to global that requires taking into consideration for formulating as well as communicating messages of marketing.                    

As per Auxier and Anderson (2021), the virtual framework of social media is based off a culture of convergence wherein it sees to translate into convergence of media, culture of participation as well as collective intelligence. The researcher considered it to being the unique set of parameters that in combination contributed to the formulation of social media. In consideration of the role of media convergence in the platform of social media, the researcher stated it as the one that altered the communion existed among former technologies, markets, genres, industries and audience and thereupon is considered to being a culture that facilitated the shifting of paradigm. In turn, it seemed to alter the logic on which the overall framework of traditional seemed to have operated as well as the means through which consumers tend to process entertainment as well as news. As such, it is the conceptual believe of the author to indicate convergence as being a process and not being at an end point while inferring that all individual seem to be living in a cultural framework for quite some time. However, Kapoor et al. (2018) defined social media as the age defining instant communication as well as transparency while referring it as the glasshouse effect. The author tends to believe it as being the toolset that sees to deal with facts available in excess on the platform of Internet while considering it to being a way of filtering the information one tends to be searching for. In that regards, marketers do not require creating artificial contents for propagating the image of a brand as Anderson and Jiang (2018) that they only require listening, engaging as well as reacting to the needs of potential as well as current customers by letting a brand embedded in former conversation. To that extent, models of marketing as well as businesses have seemed to change while they are required to fully adapt to the impacts as well as demands being made by that of social media. In a differing perspective, it was stated by Akram and Kumar (2017), it enabled organizations to receive feedbacks from customer while utilizing the platform of social media with a relevant example being Twitter with it being used highly in order to respond to the complaints of the customers. As much as the feedbacks or reviews from customers might be oriented with a bad or a good remark, it has certainly seemed to change how businesses see to operate. To that extent, Toivonen et al. (2019) opines that organization can consider feedback of customers to being an opportunity for one to act thereupon and alongside adjust in a way that tends to accommodate as per the demands of the customers. It correlates with the conventional tendency of people to opt for opinions of friends or peers while trying to choose and buy a desired product or select a restaurant instead of utilizing an engine of research for being able to search for it.

As such with the advent of social media, Voorveld et al. (2018) considers that the hype facilitated by the platform have seemed to let organizations think that it is easy while seeing to compete and succeed in the online platform. It has certainly what led these companies to think that they require a considerate presence on the popularized platforms of social media such as Twitter or Facebook while trying to hit the potential customer segments and thereupon attract targeted markets. However, the considerate approach is not if implemented in the practical continuity and is not enough to reach a wide base of consumer. People manifested in those virtual platforms will see to share their insights as well as experiences they encountered without the involvement of any organization which needs to be in continuation while appealing to the generations of social media (Warner-Søderholm et al. 2018). As much as the fast demographics are those that tend to be above 40 years of age, the appeal of social media tends to incorporate cross generations.

Orben (2020) indicated that there are varying forms of social media with each bearing a considerate purpose which are social news sites, social networking, and social sharing as well as social bookmarking. Social news sites are those that enables news articles, stories, videos, blog posts as well as photos to be reached to the community with platforms like Reddit, NewsVine, etc. being relevant examples of social news platforms. Social networking is the popularized form of social media wherein community members are enabled to upload photos, create groups, add fans as well as invite friends to certain events or post comments on photos, videos while enabling them to tag friends. Facebook and Instagram are the most recognized platforms of all that sees to enable all its member with the stated functionalities while enabling a community to stay in contact with virtual platform. For an entire community to be able to bookmark as well as share a website among the incorporated members, the social bookmarking sees to provide the opportunity with existing platforms like Magnolia and Delicious providing that opportunity to its users (Vraga and Tully 2021). As for the social sharing type of social media, the considerate purpose of such platform is to include a common feature among all websites of social media along with blogs, social events, message boards, wikis as well as online forums. While the varying types of social media platform sees to perform various function that in turn serves the community, the considerate aim of the platform is to facilitate connectivity among the users of platform by posting conversation, opinions on a relevant topic.

Enke and Borchers (2019) has further deciphered the purpose of social media as being a group that comprises applications based off the platform of Internet one that seems to be built on the ideological as well as technological foundations of the new Web format. In turn, it has been defined as a platform that enables the creation of content being generated by that of a user while seeing to its exchange in the virtual medium. As such, it can seem to describe the various types of collaborative applications that includes projects like Wikipedia, blogs such as Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook or content communities such as YouTube. Based on that understanding, Enke and Borchers (2019) has seemed to categorize the various type of technologies of social media in the table below.

Activity

What

Goal/ Purpose

Creation of People

User generated contents, blogs, podcasts for instance Blogger, YouTube, Wordpress

People tend to act as publishers that creates as well as shares opinions and knowledge on others. As such, there are discussion areas that enables a content creator to comment as well as connect with other creators as well as consumers

Connecting People

Virtual Words and Social network for instance Facebook

By enabling people to add other people in their networks helps in facilitating relationship while letting one give access to each other’s profile incorporated with personal information

Collaboration of  people

Open source such as Wikipedia and Firefox Linux

Collaboration letting communities to evolve around in order to create core product such as online encyclopedias as well as software.

People reacting to each other

Rating, Forums, Reviews that includes commenting as well as rating commodities on ecommerce platforms like Amazon or other sites such as IMDB.com.

People are enabled to help others while letting them recommend or discourage various items while granting help to other people in order for one to be able to engage on forums.

Organization of People

Content Tagging

Classification as well as organization of the online world where a content is being tagged in services of photos and video sharing or blog posts while bookmarking sites. This in turn can enable sharing for it to become part of personal brand for people.

Acceleration of Consumption

Widgets and RSS where RSS feeds indicate posts from a blog and a widget can be news being showcased on one’s desktop

It indicates the tools that tends to bring content to that of a user without requiring a user to find. This in turn helps in increasing efficiency by enabling people to monitor more activities on the social forefront.

Table 2. 1 Classification of Social Media/ Activities

(Source: Created by author)

As depicted in the above table, Napoli (2019) has categorized the different form of activities one can seem to implement while being in the platform of social media. The activities primary seemed to include activities such as create, collaborate, connect, organize, reach out and consume while each differentiating activities refer to the different types of social media and the purposes being sought to serve differently by each. The table, as such, bear relevance on how potential customers in the platform of social media tend to act on the basis of which the considerate brand sees to attract their targeted market.  

Bhimani, Mention and Barlatier (2019) states that while people are led to think of social media, they are more likely to think of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for them being considerably popularized among the people. While there are other varying types of social media technologies existing in the virtual world, the author state that one need not forget about the extensive ranges of technologies that social media incorporates alongside a large number of social media sites wherein it sees to serve a considerate purpose. As such, while the varying types of social media technologies tends to execute different function while abiding by a purpose, it influences several types of behavior. In that regards, the author has stated the significance of looking at the very evolutionary framework of social media while intending to determine how it has seemed to affect the consumers as well as the brand through decades. On the other hand, Helal, Ozuem and Lancaster (2018) seems to indicate that the very influence of social media is seeing to transform the web of Internet in a two way conversation wherein customers tend to be influenced by each other in regards to their preference towards services as well as products. The author states that the promotion of new insights, ideas as well as different experiences shared by the various individuals of the platform do seem to influence the mindset of consumers. As much as facilitation of interconnectedness do seem to be facilitated in the platforms of social media, Carlson et al. (2019) enunciates it as a term that cultivates on the varying aspects of social manifestations while terming it as social relationship. According to the research, what tends to be initiated as a way of connecting people with each other through groups formulated in the online platform, it tends to lead up to as social networks that further leads to majority of webpages requiring to present a social dimension. In addition, websites are then required to deliver the personalized to that of users causing the social mainstream to lead towards a mechanism where there are more presence of online groups or communities than that of brands.

In consideration of showcasing the interrelated framework between that of social media and brands, Gancho (2017) proposed a framework illustrating it as The Social Media Trinity Model wherein the model comprises dividing the platform of social media into three sets of dimensions where it each seem to bear a particular purpose. The three dimensions being implanted in the model were labelled as networking, community and conversation that relates with the aspects of business making as well as awareness of a brand. While the brand is present at the center with it being surrounded by the three sets of dimensions, the one with conversation relates with creation of opportunities that in turn helps to create revenue. On the other hand, community tends to be one wherein one can seem to communicate for a wider audience letting social media to be established as a platform facilitating participative communication (Truman 2019). Networking relates with one wherein one can seem to participate in groups while at the same time bear relevance with that of the industry. Linked, for instance, is one such platform that helps facilitating connection with other professionals and at the same time enable others to connect with family, friends as well as other brands, restaurants and musicians.

The Social Media Trinity ModelFigure : The Social Media Trinity Model

(Source: Kelly, Zhang and Ahmad 2017)

As per Amidi et al. (2017), the model sees to provide power to the brand in order for it to make its presence bear relevance in the social media platforms or conversation panels with sites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube paving way for a brand to be recognized amongst a community. The model as such do not seem to define the image of a brand based on what it is being put out through social networking sites. Instead, it bears emphasis on what people seems to be talking about it in the relevant networks through means of user generated content. In that regards, if a customer seem to possess more facts and information of a brand, he or she is more likely to become a potential buyer.   

Social media, as such, has found its extensive utility for being utilized as a tool of branding both for the commercial brands and that of brands of the people. As per a study conducted by Jacobson, Gruzd and Hernández-García (2020), it was expressed that more than eighty percent of managers in the sector of America utilizes a form of social media toolset. Moreover, it was reported that more than fifty percent of functions regarding marketing business utilizes social media as a form of a toolset for consumers to be interacted with and thereupon approach them for providing feedback on a particular type of services and products. Besides, the users are less likely to use an organization who have questions unanswered as well as complaints gone unacknowledged. It is due to the fact that if an organization seems to ignore other customer, it might seem to ignore other users when it comes to providing good customer care services. It further infers the fact that brands seeking to maintain presence in the platform of social media need to operate their business successfully in every spaces for them to be able to respond to the customers quickly. To that note, it was indicated by Shareef et al. (2019) that brands no longer seems to have any power as it is consumers that have every say in regards to forming opinion about a brand. With consumers having the upper hand in their will to share insights with other users, it requires to be able to adapt as well as improve the extent of engagement with that of people in the platform of social media. As such, if an organization seems unable to sustain the required level of engagement, it will leave the firm to lose out its clienteles and thereupon ruin any chances of increasing the base of the customers in the future.

As per a survey conducted by that of Chen and Lin (2019), more than thirty five percent users in the social media especially in the United States do expect brands respond to the question imposed on them by posting on the social media. The author further added that customers do seem to want that their contact with the organization seem to be with a real individual who represents or work under the organization. As such, it is a desire for the customers to remain updated on the news as well as promotions while also being hooked with additional content that one might seem to find in the website of an organization. However, it further imposes the question on whether organizations or brand need to employ a person who is specialized on social media customer business relationship in order for an issue to be addressed effectively.

Chivandi, Samuel and Muchie (2019) states that on one hand there are consumers who sees to work together with peers in order to define the next generation of service and product in a better way and thereupon purchase it in communion. As such, it enables consumer to share ideas, images as well as thoughts along with profiles for the sake of improving the overall web experience. However, on the other hand, brands that are enrolling themselves in the social media by aid of conversational marketing are implementing that through sponsorship or having their self-community in the online platform. In that regards, brands are being able to provide customers with more personalized information while thereupon focusing on leaders such as leaders of the group or that of the community (Andrejevic et al. 2021). It is this phenomenon that is further leading social media into a new system of identity in regards to web. In turn, it is changing companies to manage their brand while at the same time letting people manage their own brand or persona.

Hallgrímsdóttir (2018) has further affirmed that it is highly essential for understanding how relationship seems to come about in the platform of social media. While technologies have seemed to change it is the consequent influence on personal relationships that have seemed to be more intensifying. In that regards, Voramontri and Klieb (2019) have opined that organizations are looking into programs of social media as well as campaigns in order for them to be able to reach the consumers in a better way as they tend to live online. It has further seemed to be appeared that the development of strategies in social media on platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook is not considerably a part of an integrated system of advertising and instead is an event of separation. To that note, Simon and Tossan (2018) have defined this phenomenon while stating that customers tend to be passive no longer in the process of exchange marketing. While the extent of consumers that have seemingly been active as well as have co created everything from design of a product to promotional changes, it has consequently increased in the last years with increasing number of users in the social media platform. To that extent, Lou and Yuan (2019) has postulated that consumers and their increasing usage of social media is not because of them just researching services and products but to engage with organizations they are considering to purchase from along with getting into contact with other consumers for the sake of attaining valuable insights.

Quesenberry (2020) has further opined that the overall ecosystem of the social media is more fixated towards the consumer experience indicating that the virtual platform are all about experiences. These experience tend to initiate when marketers seem successfully able in incorporating strategies of marketing communication into social media while seeing to combine it with that of traditional media. It was thereupon when Atherton (2019) also believed that organizations do seek to create platforms of social media in order for it to operate independently and not as an incorporated strategy that places the experience of the consumer at the forefront. As such, social media do not seem to replace the traditional forms of media but it does seem to expand the ability of marketers to be able to engage with consumers and thereupon attain influence as well as attention. Based on that aspect of interaction, Kwayu, Lal and Abubakre (2018) considers that the way interaction seems to happen between consumers and that of companies tend to be quite different. With the overall dynamic being altered in the perforating age of social media, it is the consumers that tend to dictate the overall rules. It was therefore by the end of the year 2010 majority of the organizations have spent an increasing amount of money on social media with certain of them willing to increase their budgets on social media marketing. However, Thomas (2018) stated that not a lot of organizations seemed able enough to handle the platform of social media effectively in business. The considerate strategies being pursued by the marketers were that of increasing presence on popularized platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube while there seemed to be a lack of understanding on approaching the strategy systematically and managing adequate presence. The two aspects seemed to be indicated as the considerate factors while implementing social media strategy. As such, the considerate awareness regarding determining the location of the target market and thereupon understanding the presence of the target market in the social media seemed to be incorporated much later with the inclusion of company message and spreading the word about a brand.

Carvill (2018) considers that it is due to the evolving phenomenon of the internet that have led strategies of a brand to go through significant transformations. As such, for a brand to be able to succeed in a computer mediated environment, it requires building relationships while at the same time enable interactivity for offerings to be tailored better in the online world. It is with that note Thomas (2018) has further affirmed that it requires social media presence to be developed in a strategic format in order for an organization to effectively coordinate the differing perspectives while keeping in mind of its aim and objectives to plan different opportunities that sees to arise in both social media as well as marketing. While social media tend to be collections of data as well as sources of information if aligned with a business strategy can seem to address how social media and networking processes can be applied to the operations of an organization in order for it to be able to fulfill its goals. It is why Quesenberry (2020) has stated that it requires to be developed in collaboration alongside share interactivity between that of groups and individuals. As much as marketers have seemed consistent in their approach of branding in social media to be based in a quantitative format, it requires utilizing metrics as well as analytics in order for one to measure, compare as well as take conclusions and thereupon modify their efforts of implementing social media strategy. Eventually, users will seem to be interested in such matters and as such will expect their customized experience to be better with a better set of engagement with a brand they seem to be fond of.

The aspect of research methodology is defined as a specific set of procedures as well as techniques that intends to identify, select, process as well as analyze information about a particular subject. In the context of a research study, the section of methodology enables a reader to critically evaluate the overall validity of a study as well as determine its extent of reliability. It is the very section of a research study delves into understanding the approaches being taken into consideration by the researcher and thereupon determine how it helps in attaining the specified objective of a study. As per Pandey and Pandey (2021), research methodology sees to clarify the inquiry of a research while determine the imperative essence of the inquiry and thereupon provide way for one to provide solution to a research problem in a systematic format. As such, research methodology is considered as the science of studying wherein it determines how a research needs to be implemented in a systematic format. In essence, it tends to be the procedure wherein a research goes about with their effort while seeing to describe, evaluate as well as predict a phenomenon while intending to provide a plan of work for a research (Snyder 2019). Based on that understanding, the following section of the research study intends to specify the approaches as well as techniques that has been considered by the researcher in order to conduct the overall study. In view of the approaches, philosophies and design being adopted by the researcher in the course of the study, the following chapter will see to provide justification based on how the varying approaches can help in contributing to the overall accomplishment of the objectives and thereupon determine the significant role being played by it in the context of the study.

Figure : Research Onion

(Source: Saunders et al. 2009)

As per Kennedy (2017), the aspect of research philosophy is indicated as being the way in which data surrounding a particular phenomenon needs to be gathered, evaluated as well as utilized in the context of a research study. Providing perspectives in a philosophical demeanor tends to serve a crucial role due to the fact that it helps in revealing assumptions being made about a research by the researcher while it is made explicit. In turn, it helps in leading to choices that are further applied to the design, purpose, and methods, methodology of the research as well as analysis and interpretation of data. In the words of Žukauskas, Vveinhardt and Andriukaitien? (2018), addressing research philosophy in the context of a dissertation do seem to involve being aware as well as formulating beliefs along with assumptions. In correspondence with the illustrated research onion, the aspect of research philosophy tends to be positioned at the external layer of the model while the choice of a research philosophy tends to impacted by implications being made in the practical aspect. In that regards, the aspect of research philosophy tends to be an important aspect in the section of research methodology while it devise approaches for enabling one to decide which approach need to be adopted while it being derived from the question being stated in the context of a research. In that regards, the important set of assumptions being made by a researcher on the basis of a philosophical perspective do seem to explain the viewpoint of the researcher regarding the subject being addressed in the context of a study. In view of such assumptions, one can seem to determine the strategy of a research as well as indicate the methods of the strategy. 

While Dougherty, Slevc and Grand (2019) stated that there are mainly three types of research philosophies wherein each seem to be attributed with different set of advantages as well as qualities, it requires a researcher in choosing one that seems suited with the purpose of a study. To that extent, the three differing types of research philosophies are positivism, realism and interpretivism where each seem to provide an approach for a researcher to be able to implement the study. The research philosophy of positivism indicates the belief surrounding knowledge of a human that is being produced by interpreting observational data in a scientific format. According to Novikov and Novikov (2019), the philosophy of positivism relates with any system that tends to be confined to the data of experience. With that being stated, the eventual goal of positivism philosophy is to formulate universal as well as abstract laws while it tends to bear its reliance on scientific evidence.

On the other hand, the philosophy of realism relates to the viewpoint that tends to be accorded with things which can either be known or be perceived as an existence. In the context of a research study, the foremost consideration of realism it states the existence of a reality that is true while there are presence of things present irrespective of it being perceived (Ryan 2018). In that regards, the conception surrounding realism do seem to be related with that of idealism while it seems to bear the notion that whatever being believed by human tend to be an approximation of the reality although the fullness as well as accuracy of the understanding can further be improved. To that extent, the concept of realism relies on the conception of being independent from the reality of the human mind while it seem to rely more on assumption of scientific approach to development of knowledge.

On the aspect of interpretivism, the term sees to refer to epistemologies or conceptions regarding how one can gain certain extent of knowledge of the world. Contrary to the philosophy of positivism that seems to prefer quantitative methods, interpretivism seems to prefer qualitative methods that are humanistic in nature. In that regards, the philosophy do seem to rely on interpreting as well as understanding meanings that human sees to attach with their actions. To that extent, Park, Konge and Artino (2020) opined that the philosophy of interpretivism tends to deal with principles wherein researcher plays a specific role in seeking to observe the world. With that consideration, the researcher has opted the philosophy on interpretivism in the context of the study with the purpose of identifying the influence of social media in the purchase intentions of customers in regards to buying luxurious products. Utilizing the interpretivism approach can enable the researcher in attaining more knowledge of the subject being dealt upon in the research study while further help in accomplishing the defined objectives of a study.

According to Pearse (2019), the aspect of research approach is indicated as a set of plan as well as procedure that comprises steps on the basis of broad assumptions that helps in detailing the method of data collection, analysis as well as interpretation. While the approach of a research is based on the nature of the problem being addressed in the study, it does seem to enable a researcher in being able to formulate the outline of a study. Hence, it can be regarded as the study of research methods or in more formal use of words a contextual framework for a research to be presented in a coherent as well as a logical format with it being based on beliefs, values as well as views. In turn, it helps in guiding the choices of the researcher in regards to specifying the method being undertaken. In order for a researcher to be able to determine an effective research approach it requires specifying an approach for the purpose of implementing a study that helps in attaining objectives (Azungah 2018). In that consideration there are two basic approaches wherein a researcher needs to consider any of them in order to utilize it for outlining the format of the study. Inductive is the first type of research approach that enables a researcher to find out as well as see to devise new set of models in order to complete the context of a research. It tends to be defined as the method wherein a set of observations is being synthesized in order for it to be come up with a general principle. As such, the approach tends to initiate with observations as well as theories that are being proposed at the end of the research study as a result of the attained observations (Mitchell 2018). As such, it entails a systematic procedure wherein the data is likely being analyzed for it to be guided by specific objectives of evaluation.

On the other hand, the deductive research approach indicates one that people tend to associate with typically with investigation conducted scientifically. In that regards, the research intend to study what other seemed to have conveyed or stated on a particular aspect while reading existing theories and thereupon examine the hypothesis as it emerges thereupon from existing theories. Hence, in a simple use of words, a deductive approach tends to be concerned with developing hypothesis on the basis of theories that have existed before and thereupon design a research strategy for the hypothesis to be tested (Bingham and Witkowsky 2021). In that regards, the deductive approach is indicated as reasoning from particular to general. As much as the researcher has opted the philosophy of interpretivism in the given context of the study, the inductive approach has further been considered by the researcher for the sake of evaluating the research subject critically and thereupon explore the results that have been generated from the study. With the concern of creating new set of ideas as well as theories the researcher aims to devise new postulates surrounding the influence of social media in the purchase intentions of customers.  

In order to define the tentative purpose of research strategy, Schoonenboom and Johnson (2017) refers it as being the overall strategy that one choses to integrate while outlining different aspects of a study in a coherent as well as a logical format. In that regards, it helps in ensuring that the research problem is being able to address effectively while it tends to be constituted as the blueprint for collecting, measuring as well as analyzing data. On the other hand, Sileyew (2019) stated research design as an arrangement of collection or condition while it tends to formulate a research problem and thereupon formulate a literature review as well as formulate research design thereupon defining the very nature of the study.  It was hence suggested that the eventual aim of a research design is to enable a researcher in explaining the topic of a study more effectively. On that basis, the aspect of research design is indicated to be provided as a plan of study that sees to permit accurate assess of cause as well as effect relationships between dependent as well as that of independent variables (Schoonenboom and Johnson 2017). To that extent, research design is considered as being the framework of both techniques as well as methods that sees to combine various components of a research in a manner that seems logical for the eventual research problem to be handled efficiently. On that basis, it helps provides insights in conducting a research study with utilization of a particular methodology.

With there being three types of research design wherein a researcher can choose to conduct a study with utilization of one approach, each seemed to be different from the other in terms of their incorporated attributes (Geoffrey 2019). The three types of research design are descriptive, exploratory and explanatory among which the researcher has sought to apply the exploratory research design. The primary reason for the researcher to utilize the exploratory research design is because of the fact that it can help in devising proper design while evaluating the influence of social media strategies in the particular context of India. Out of three types of research design, the explanatory seems more suited in being able to analyze a particular situation while on the other hand exploratory research design sees to explore additional details that seems to be associated with a specific research problem. On that basis, to be able to utilize the exploratory research tends to beneficial as it has helped in evaluating the additional subject associated with the subject of social media influence on the purchase behavior of customers while it undertakes inductive approach for devising new conceptions surrounding the relevant subject.

While seeing to collect the required data from relevant sources, it requires defining the type of data that a research intends to gather for the acquired insight to contribute towards accomplish the stated objectives of the study. In that regards, there are mainly two types of data that a researcher sees to acquire for the purpose of providing relevant facts on the defined issue (Tobi and Kampen 2018). The first data type is that of primary data that indicates the information being attained first hand without requiring to source data from published journals as well as articles. As much as primary data refers to the first hand data gained by the researcher, it requires a researcher to use techniques like surveys, observation or interviews in order to attain the required information. Secondary data is the other data type that refers to insight being gathered by someone else that a researcher can see to input in the study for contributing towards fulfilling the defined objectives. While intending to analyze the influence of social media on the purchase intention of consumers, the researcher intends to attain primary data from a selected sample population and thereupon provide relevant facts for it to be able accomplish the defined objectives.

Upon determining the type of data that the researcher intends to attain, it requires specifying the method that the researcher has undertaken in order to determine the toolset being applied for the required information to be collected. On that basis, there are mainly two differing approaches with one being qualitative and the quantitative that enables a researcher in collecting the required primary data from a firsthand source. The quantitative method indicates the aspect of dealing with numbers as well as statistics while it sees deal with meanings and words in order to evaluate the acquired information in a systematic format (Johnston 2017). While utilizing tools like survey, questionnaire, and experiments in order to attain the required data from a relevant sample population, the quantitative method of data collection helps in generating its outcomes in a numerical format. On the other hand, the qualitative method of data collection is define as one that enables the researcher to be able to attain the required data systematically without requiring to generate numerical outputs and seems more concerned with exploring concepts as well as experiences in detail (Corti 2018). The method sees to acquire the relevant data from methods such as interviews of focus group discussion wherein the information further acquired can help in accomplishing the objective of the study. In the given context of the study, the researcher has chosen to implement the quantitative method of data collection by seeking to conduct a survey on an overall of fifty respondents who are mainly customers of the luxurious brand Armani in India. The survey will see to analyze the common set of attributes for the selected number of Indian customers with the survey being conducted in an online mode. The researcher upon requesting the selected set of participants to attend the survey has sought to forward a set of questionnaire through the medium of email where the selected respondents have to provide responses to the questionnaire being imposed on them.

As considered by Kaur, Stoltzfus and Yellapu (2018), the data, upon being collected by the intended method is required to be analyzed with the proper technique in order for a research to be able to generate a successful outcome. In the given context of the study, that seems to be based on attain quantitative data, the researcher has chosen to utilize the technique of descriptive statistics analysis that tends to summarize aspects from a collection of data with the technique utilizing the process of using as well as analyzing such statistics. Utilizing the descriptive statistic technique has helped the researcher in presenting quantitative evaluation of outcome in a descriptive format and thereupon summarize data points in a constructive format which tends to be most significant for conducting analysis of statistical data.

The procedure of sampling is indicated as the process that is used in statistical analysis wherein it requires taking in a predetermined number of observations. As per Etikan and Bala (2017), the approach is used to sample from a larger population that tends to rely on the type of analysis being performed. While seeking to conduct a quantitative survey on a fixed set of 50 customers of Armani, the researcher has sought to select the respondents in its sampling population by utilizing the method of stratified sampling and snowball sampling. In the stratified sampling, the sub division of a population is done. These sub divisions are called strata. Subjects are selected from the strata is proportionate manner. On the other hand, in the snowball sampling a chain of referral is used for getting the future subjects. This is a non- probability sampling in which the existing subjects recruit the future subjects for the study. In this method the sample size increases until the researcher collects enough data for the study.

For the sake of maintaining reliability as well as validity of data, the researcher has to choose journals and books relevant to the subject of social media marketing as well as customer purchasing behavior. In case of primary research, the researcher has to take permission from the customers before seeing to publish the data for the sake of avoiding any legal issues. While the researcher has to ensure that the information being provided do seem relevant with that of incorporated subjects, it has further been essential for the researcher to bear consideration of the ethical considerations. To that extent, the researcher has been clear about the journals being chosen in the context of the study while amending the generate insight of the study with the Data Collection Act of 1998 for maintaining the anonymity of the sampling population and utilizing the data only for educational purpose.

The snowball sampling and the stratified sampling method has been selected for this study. The snowball sampling has some disadvantages as the margin or errors is high. The subjects refer to their known communities and therefore, potential sampling bias is enhanced. There is also a fair chance of lack of cooperation from the samples.

The data analysis is the chapter that is designed to examine the collected data and their relevance to the study objectives. Throughout this chapter, the researcher has discussed the numerical data collected from the SPSS analysis. The aim of this chapter is to reach to the findings for the study questions and objectives.

Demographic AnalysisDemographic Analysis

Figure : GenderGender

Figure : AgeAge

Figure : Year of using experienceYear of using experience

Figure : Yearly IncomeYearly Income

Demographic questions are included in the study to understand the relevance of the sample and to determine whether they are part of the target population or not. This demographic analysis gives the idea of what kind of population has participated in the study, their personal, social and economic status. This has helped the researcher to tendencies of the particular segments of the population in relation to the research needs. The demographic variables used in this study are- age, gender, yearly income and experience of using the Armani watches over the years. Total 50 customers of Armani India were selected for the survey. The demographic analysis shows that majority of the population are between the age group of 20-30 years and 31-40 years. As the study topic was related to the younger customers of the company, this target segment was selected with this specific aim. 18 out of the 50 participants have the yearly income 15,001- 20,000 euro while 17 out of 50 have 20,001- 25,000-euro yearly income. This means that the target population belongs to a mid to high end income group. This is apt for the study as buying luxury watches is a bit expensive for the low -income population. Lastly, the researcher has included the responses of the customers who has been using the brands for different time span. This varied demographic has enabled the researcher to get a broader perspective of the study scopes in target population

Factors affecting consumer purchase behavior

Figure :Location, timing and market situation

Figure :Buyer decisions of additional buyingBuyer decisions of additional buying

Figure :Buying Reasons and Situational Factors analysisBuying Reasons and Situational Factors analysis

Situational factors have been identified in the existing literature of the customers decisions making. At the same time, the researcher has designed the questions to get the primary data from the Armani India customers regarding their view of the influence of situational factors in the buying decision making. When the participants were asked whether their buying decisions are influenced by the situational aspects, 27, out of 50, i.e. almost 56 % of the population strongly agreed that the situational aspects are influential in their purchasing decisions. Majority of the population also agreed that the location, timing and market situation determines the types of customers. The other aspects of the situational factors are the additional buying motivation. As opined by Pratama et al. (2017), the situational aspects facilitate the reasons and movements of the additional buying of the customers. This fact has been agreed by the majority of the participants. 28 out of 50 agreed and 10 participants strongly agreed that their additional buying decisions are influenced by the location, timing and even the weather conditions. These situational factors are the motivators for buying the luxury products. For example, at the time of festivals like Diwali, the younger population of India tend to buy luxury watches from the renowned brand like Armani for gifting purposes. Therefore, time of the year is a situational factor that motivated the target segment to make additional buying for their near and dear ones.

Figure : Personal Tastes and Financial circumstancesPersonal Tastes and Financial circumstances

Figure : Market segmentation influenceMarket segmentation influence

Figure : Product development on Personal needs

The next factor important for the consumer purchasing decision making is the personal factors. As seen in the literature review part, the personal factors are the personal tastes, financial capabilities, personal needs and brand preferences. The primary data stated that personal factors influence the decision making for buying the luxury Armani products among the Indian customers. as most of the participants were from young population, this can be stated that the young buyer of Armani India makes their decisions of buying these products according to their personal tastes and preferences. 26 participants agreed that their personal tastes and financial correspondences influences their purchasing decisions. The study of Heinonen, (2017) showed that the target segmentation in a business are developed keeping in mind the target segment’s personal needs. Developing the products according to the customers’ needs are also important as the majority of the participants agreed on that. The customers are aware that their personal needs are to be fulfilled by the companies whom they are paying for the products. Therefore, the customized and individualization of the products are expected from the luxury brands. Specifically, for the brand like Armani, who charge high price for their watches, personal needs of the customers play a crucial role. As stated by the customers participated in this study, the product development based in personal factors can be a motivator for their buying decision making. The Armani India can influence the buying decisions of the youth better if they can address the individual factors and needs in their product development.

Figure : Social Status and reference group InfluenceSocial Status and reference group Influence

Figure : Social group influence and customers decisions

Social group influence and customers decisions

Figure : Targeting strategies Impact

The data shows that social factor is crucial for customers understanding and engagement building. In order to understand how the social factors, influence the participants were asked whether they get influenced by their social groups, reference groups and the social status. Majority of the responses agreed and strongly agreed that these social factors influence their buying decisions in different times. The social reference groups are the families and friends that could suggest the products to the customers. The second graph in the figure concerns with the response on the influence of social groups in purchasing decision making.the social group are the near circles in which the customers look for refences. As seen in the literature review part, most of the studies confirm that the social references are significant for decision making for buying luxury and high-end products. The post purchase experience of the customers plays a crucial; role in the development of the social refence group in favour of the brands. Armani India has the strategy for targeting the customers on the basis of the social factors. The customers also assure that the company products have that social references in their exposure. Therefore, this can be stated that the social factors are one of the most important part in motivating the young customers for the Armani India.

Figure : Cultural Factors importanceCultural Factors importance

Figure : Culturally akin productsCulturally akin products

Figure : Marketing communication and cultural impact

The cultural factors are the cultural associations that are specific to the country and population. This study has been conducted on the Indian markets of Armani. India is known for its diverse cultures and ethnical identities. The customers of the country are culturally associated with their identities and preferences. The reason for choosing the cultural factors for this study is that fact that, Armani is a foreign brand that wants to have their strong customers base in India. As opined by Victor et al. (2018), cultural understanding of the customers gives the foreign brands comoeteiti9ve edge as they get the capability of understanding the customers trends better. According to the literature review, the cross -cultural differences in the country influences the customers preferences. This has been agreed by the participants as well. Majority of the sample population agreed and strongly agreed that cultural factors influence their buying decisions. In the second graph, it is seen that 29 people out 50, i.e. 58 % of the total participants buys products which they find culturally akin to them. The aim of the companies working in the culturally diverse markets like India is to make sure that they are designing the luxury watches that matches their cultural needs. The local competitors of Armani like Titan have launched their product according to the Indian festive themes. The special editions of Armani India also have different cultural associate themes that attract the customers attention. Cultural understanding can also contribute to the better marketing of the products. The customers of the brand think that there is a broader scope for the company to evolve their marketing communication including the cultural aspects of the target audiences. The young population of India would be interested in buying the international brand with Indian cultural touch.

Figure : Social Media and customer influenceSocial Media and customer influence

Figure : Social Media contentsSocial Media contents

Figure : Feedbacks and reviews

Social media is the platform for social interactions, cultural exchange and collective intelligence. The researcher has asked the participants to give their overview of the importance of social media in their purchasing decision making. The crucial aspects that was included in the survey questionnaire were the social interactions collaborations, feedbacks and reviews and the social media contents. 31 out of 50 customers thinks that social media is a string medium for connecting, influencing and collaboration in present day. The young generation are used to the digital technology for its convenience higher reach and activities. The social media is the major tool of modern days that keeps the youth connected with each other. The brands use the social media for marketing, promotional and engagement purposes. Armani has limited social media presence in India. As the study shows, most of the young people are considering the social media as a cultural platform. At the same time, it is the medium for listening and gauging the trends of the modern times.

As stated by Anderson and Jiang (2018) that they only require listening, engaging as well as reacting to the needs of potential as well as current customers by letting a brand embedded in former conversation. This is one of the major factors that contributes in the marketing strategies of the company. The branding is crucial for developing customers base and loyalty. The marketing models has changed in the present times after the digitalization and technological interventions. This is one of the reasons that the emergence of social media has been in context. The Indian customers, specifically, the youth are the part of the social media for long now. According to Statista.com, the total number of youths using social media in 2020 were 518 million. The Armani India marketing team can easily reach this huge audience through their social media marketing endeavors.

Social media contents are the mediums for influencing the mind -set of the customers. The respondents of this study back up this statement as 60% of the participants confirm that they get influenced by the social media contests posted by a company. In the case of Armani India, the customers keep an eye on the social media posts by the company to get the product descriptions, new launches and marketing messages. According to this study results, the social media contents accelerate the purchase amount of the customers. The advertisements and promotions in the social media make the customers to spend more in their luxury watches. On the other hand, social media is a convenient medium for collecting the feedbacks and review of the customers. According to the customers of Armani, it is easier to connect with the company or giving reviews of the products that they are using. These feedbacks help the companies to detect the negative and positive aspects of their products. The brand can directly reply to the queries through their social media posting and therefore, building a better customer service provision.

The research findings indicate that the customers buying decisions are influenced by the social media activities of the brand. Armani India is targeting the young segment of the population. This segment is well -equipped with the technology and has the tendency to connect trough the social media. The social, cultural, personal and situational factors are more or less associated with the social media influences. References groups are could formed in the mediums like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The trends in the social media are again crucial for the customers perception building. Therefore, the social media contents, presence and customer interactions are major influence in the buying decisions of the customers and brand identity building.

Correlation Analysis

Correlations

SF

PF

SocF

CF

SMnCI

SF

Pearson Correlation

1

.698**

.625**

.704**

.545**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

50

50

50

50

50

PF

Pearson Correlation

.698**

1

.529**

.692**

.547**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

50

50

50

50

50

SocF

Pearson Correlation

.625**

.529**

1

.646**

.531**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

50

50

50

50

50

CF

Pearson Correlation

.704**

.692**

.646**

1

.639**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

50

50

50

50

50

SMnCI

Pearson Correlation

.545**

.547**

.531**

.639**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

50

50

50

50

50

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Table 4.1: Correlations Table

The relation between the individual factors are analyzed through the correlation analysis. This means that the correlation analysis in the inferential dimensions denotes how the independent variables are corelated to each other. This study has the independent variable- social factors, personal factors, situational factors, cultural factors and social media and customer influences. The researcher has tried to detect the correlation between these factors in this study through the SPSS correlation test. The test in done between the pairs and the value is used for reference of the correlation. The value of correlation ranges between -1 to +1. In the paired variables, if the range is between 0 to +1, the correlation is positive. One the other hand, if the pair correlation value ranges from 0 to 1-, the pair has negative correlation.  the If the value is more than 7, the pair is considered to have a higher association. The researcher has tried to detect the correlation between the social media influencing and customer purchase decision making factors.

The correlation table, i.e. table 4.1 shows that all the factors has positive correlation with each other. There is no value ranging from 0 to -1, all the values are positive. The highest value in the correlation table is .704. This represents the correlation between the social factors and cultural factors. The socio- cultural aspects are almost same in most of the communities. The customers usually belong to different socio- cultural entities. Social factors are hugely influenced by the cultural factors. The societal norms, people’s preference and behavioural aspects are the reflection of the culture that the population follows. This is the reason that the two factors are correlated with each other. Therefore, the organisation that can understand the cultural aspects of a target segment have the better prospect for market success in a country.

The next strong association is between the social factors and personal factors. The correlation value for this pair is .698 which is very close to .7. this indicates that these factors are strongly associated with each other. The social factors like family, acquaintances, social environment, plays a crucial role in developing the personality of an individual. Therefore, these two factors are strongly associated with each other. The rest of the correlation results shows all are associated positively with each other. But the associations are moderate in pairs. This shows that the independent factors selected for this study are not quite strongly correlated to each other than social and personal factors and social and cultural factors. In spite of that the positive correlation values confirms that the overall association of the factors are present and quite significant.

Model Summary

Model

R

R Square

Adjusted R Square

Std. Error of the Estimate

1

.655a

.429

.364

.573

a. Predictors: (Constant), SMnCI, SocF, PF, SF, CF

Table 4. 2: Model Summary

The first thing that is to be done for testing the hypothesis is the finding of model fit the dependent variable. In the regression analysis if the R square and adjusted R square value gaps are negligeable, then the test is model fit for the dependent variable. The R Square value is .429 and the Adjusted R Square value in the test is .364. Both of these number are close that means that the value gap is negligeable. That means this is a model fit for the dependent variable testing.

H0: Social media does not have any influence on the purchase intentions of India’s young consumers of Armani

H1: Social media has a positive influence on the purchase intentions of India’s young consumers of Armani.

ANOVAa

Model

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

1

Regression

10.851

5

2.170

6.618

.000b

Residual

14.429

44

.328

Total

25.280

49

a. Dependent Variable: Dependentvariable

b. Predictors: (Constant), SMnCI, SocF, PF, SF, CF

Table 4. 3: Anova Test

The researcher has used the simple linear regression for this test. According to the hypothesis, the null hypothesis is defying the association between social media influence and the customers purchasing decision of the Armani India luxury watches. On the other hand, the H1 denotes the positive association with these two variables. The regression analysis findings show that the P value for this study is 0.00. In the regression analysis, if the P value is more than 0.05, the null hypothesis is accepted, on the other hand, if the same value is less than 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. As the P value of this regression is 0.00, that is less than 0.05, null hypothesis is rejected. The value of P value is calculated by 95% of confidence level.

Null Hypothesis

P value

Status (95% confidence level)

Social media does not have any influence on the purchase intentions of India’s young consumers of Armani

0.000

Rejected

Table 4. 4: Hypothesis Testing

As the null hypothesis is rejected, this can be concluded that there is a positive association between the social media influence and the buying decisions of the customers. The social media platforms are the popular digital mediums through which the customers connect with each other. The views and value are shared with collaborative measures. In the luxury watch section, Armani is a renowned name. in spite of that the market competition is increasing for the company at the same time, the alternatives like smartwatches are emerging in the market. In such situation, the luxury watch industry has to level up their customers associations and services in order to survive their market. The social media influences needed to be considered by the brand. The younger customers are active in the social media more than traditional channels. In order to make this segment interested in the brand, the company has to understand the crucial aspects of the social media marketing. The buying decisions of the customers could be influenced in different level of their buying decision cycle. Right from the need creation to the post purchase experiences- each and every aspect could be influenced by the social media contexts.

The study findings also show that the social media contents can work as an accelerator in the customer buying decisions. The consumers tend to buy more products from their preferred brands if the contents in the website influence them. Again, in the social media era, the user generated contents, blogs and reviews also influence the buying decision of the younger generation. Armani India needs to examine how they can use this strong marketing tool for reaching to the customers, listening to them and collaborating with them for better results in their Indian ventures. The social, cultural and personal factors of the customers are to be addressed by the brand as well so that they can design the social media contents appropriate for the customer and develop the products that fulfil their needs.

The research limitations lie in the sample that has been used for this study. The number of participants in this study 50. The sample size was quite small for the overall understanding of the research objectives. Other than that, the study has been conducted in limited time. This has affected the study negatively. The researcher could have included mire research aspects if the time bound was not there. The enrollment of the customers for the Armani India was difficult at the time of pandemic restrictions. The survey has been done in online medium as the face to face survey was not possible. In order to reduce the errors for online research, the researcher has talked to individual customers personally over the phone and email to solve their queries before the survey. The scopes of the study were again limited as the Armani India was selected and one customers segment (youth) was used for this study.

The analysis of the data collected from the primary resources directed to the study findings. The research aim was to analyze whether the customer purchasing decisions are influenced by the social media in the case of Armani India. The findings show that there is a positive association between the customers purchasing decision making and the social media influences. This is found in this study that the young generations are hugely influenced by the social media references before buying their luxury products. The social media is a strong medium for the youth of India to finalize their choice. Armani India could use the social media as their major marketing tool to attract the young aged population in India. There are gaps in the marketing endeavors of the company that could be fulfilled through the successful social media marketing.

Chapter 5: Conclusions

This can be concluded from the findings that the preset day young customers are hugely influenced by the social media presence and influence of the brands. The Armani India is not an exception in this case as the primary data supported the secondary data that the social media influences buying decision making of the customers. In the fashion industry, the luxury watches are one of the major players for the high -end customers. The active participation of the target group in the social media is the evident through the primary data. Therefore, the companies working in high end fashion needs to target this groups through the social media interventions. The study indicates that the social, cultural, personal and situational factors are affecting the buying decision making for the customers. On the other hand, the social media contents, blogs and activities of a company has the impact on these factors. Therefore, ultimately the buying decisions of the customers are influenced by the social media presence, image and activities of the Armani India.

Objective 1: To analyze the impact of social media on the purchase intentions of customers in Armani India

The impact of social media on the purchase intentions of the customers has been discussed in the literature review as well as in the primary data analysis part. In the literature review, the researcher has discussed it is the 2.6 part. According to the existing literature, the customers are using social media for finding their alternatives, knowing about the products and reviewing a product (Vraga and Tully 2021). All these are impacting the buying intentions of the other customers. This has been agreed by the majority of survey participants that social media has influenced their purchase decisions. As shown in the figure 4.6, most of the customers of the Armani India agrees that social media feedbacks and reviews has a positive impact in their buying decisions. The objective of analyzing the impact of social media on purchase intention has fulfilled by these discussions.

Objective 2: To assess the significance of social media in the purchase intention of young customers in the luxury fashion industry in India

This objective is linked with the literature review part 2.7 and 2.6. The previous studies show that the fashion industry is changing rapidly and the impact of digital mediums in the purchase decision making of the customers are apparent. The social media has become the platform for exchanging views and feedbacks that creates the impression among the customers who tends to buy the product according to the review (Helal, Ozuem and Lancaster 2018). The chapter 4 descriptive analysis also shows that people are suing social media as their guide for buying products. Again, the social media promotions and information are accelerating the additional buying behaviour among the customers, hence, this objective has been proved achieved in this study analysis.

Objective 3: To provide suitable recommendations for Armani India in improving customer purchase intention through social media

This objective is linked at the end of the study chapter 4, recommendations part. The recommendations have been included in the study after analyzing the study findings. The Armani India is a well-known brand in the luxury watch section. But the company lacks its social media strategi approaches. Through this section, the researcher has addressed this objective and recommended the brand with effective social media strategies for their young consumers.

Objective 4: To identify the different factors that are affecting the purchase intentions of customers in the Indian fashion luxury industry

The different factors that are affecting the buying decisions of the customers has been first discussed on the basis of the existing literature and then was included in the primary data analysis part. The literature review part 2.4 directly addresses the different factor that influence the customer purchasing decisions. According to this section, the customers are influenced by the situational factors, social factors, cultural factors and personal presences (Victor et al. 2018). The primary data collected from the customers of Armani Indian confirms this aspect of the study. In Indian market, the cultural and social factors determine the buyer types, their purchase capabilities and preferences. The financial factors are the part of the personal preferences which influence their decisions of buying a luxury watch (Heinonen 2017). Therefore, this can be concluded that the different factors that are affecting the purchase decisions are been discussed and analyzed in this study to attend this research objective.

The strategic recommendation for the brand Armani for their Indian young customers are stated below-

Developing appropriate Contents

Social media platforms are used on the basis of the content that the users post. Armani India has its social media accounts in the platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For the last few years, the company has not been able to develop customer interactions in these mediums in spite of their brand reputation. It is recommended for the brand that they should develop the web contents and social media contents that is target segment oriented. The User generated contents are positive feedbacks and reviews of the customers. These can be used as the effective social and cultural references for influencing the buying decisions of the target segment. For the young customers, the company needs to update their contents with number, statistics and personalized contents. As the market competition is increasing, the competitors can easily capture the market share of Armani if customers are not kept updated. The Armani could also include their social work campaigns and attract the attention of the young generation customers to buy their products. Overall aim of the social media contents would be keeping the consumers in loop and instigate them to buy the products.

Boosting Community Engagement

The Armani Indian is suggested to increase their community engagement aspects through the social media. The brand personality is to be associated with the brad image. Mere promotional and marketing posts would not be effective for the luxury watch company. The customers of the company would be more interested in buying the products if they are engaged with the brand personality. Hashtags, user generated contents- all are the part of the community engagement. These are the new generation mediums that attract the attention and develops purchasing intentions.

Using Multiple Platforms

The Armani India is only using Facebook and Instagram in the social media platforms. There are multiple other platforms like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn- all these can be used by the company to gain customers and retain them. The company targets specific kind of customers who can spend high amount for their luxury watches. Therefore, the higher the reach, the greater the sales numbers. Using multiple platforms will increase the customers engagement and brand presence. This is crucial for the young generation as they would like to be associated with a brand that is global and at the same time technologically advanced.

This study findings can be used in the context of the Indian Luxury watches industry. The companies having their ventures in the Indian market or thinking of launching new ventures in the luxury brand markets of Indian can use the context of this study. Along with that in future, this study could be extended for the different customer segments other than the young buyers. This study can also be used for the social media marketing strategy development in Indian market as well as the foreign markets for the luxury brands in different industries.

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