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An Assessment of Customers’ Preference on Imported Cosmetic Products over Domestic Product in Ithari Market

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1.1 Background of the Study

Anticipating a customer’s needs is as important as reacting. Knowing and understanding your customer’s preferences before they buy allows you to create an even stronger experience. Consumer perception is the process by which an individual receives, selects, organizes, and interprets information to create a meaningful picture of the world (Kotler, Armstrong, Agnihotri & ul Haque, 2010). According to these scholars, the way one perceives about the goods and service have positive relation with consumer preference which later determines maximization in sales.

Marketers must take into account that no two customers are the same (Flamberg, 2014). Consumer choices are endless. Personalized, relevant, and useful products provide customers greater value and a stronger connection to a brand. When consumers set preferences and brands execute on them, research suggests that engagement, purchases, and customer satisfaction fly. Customers should be steered to a preference center early in the relationship, when their interest and intentions are high. Giving customers choices and, in doing so, binding them to their favorite brands pays off again and again over time. When it comes to preference, brands need to step up to honor and accommodate customer preferences.

Country where a particular product is made and is anchored is termed as Country of Origin (COO). It determines the characteristics and attitudes on consumer behavior towards foreign brand. Country-of-origin influences consumer behavior towards brands and there exists significant association among these two. Author stated that consumer characteristics directly influence consumer behavior and also moderate the relationship between COO and consumer behavior. Furthermore, consumer attitudes strongly mediate the relationship between country-of-origin and consumer behavior and there is a significant association among the two. Finally, the joint effect of COO, consumer characteristics and consumer attitudes was greater than the individual effects of the independent, mediating and moderating variables on consumer behavior towards foreign brands (Njuguna, 2015).

According to TC Correspondent (2013), cosmetics products are mainly imported from abroad. A significant share of cosmetics products available in Nepal are manufactured in India which is about 80% of total cosmetic. Other countries that Nepal imports cosmetic products from include China, Singapore, Thailand, UAE and Europe. The market boasts of leading cosmetics brands from the world. The domestic market for cosmetics products has come a long way as well with top notch global brands and established names from neighboring countries available in the market. The influence of Western lifestyles and persuasive television programs and cinema have helped to push up sales of cosmetic items.

According to Giri (2012), along with the growing market for cosmetic products, customer preference is changing drastically. People are demanding products as per their need in contrast to the past when customers used to simply buy products were available in the market. People are purchasing something or the other irrespective of their income. A lot of people are also moving from lesser priced products to premium ones. Customers living in small towns too have become more selective. People who used soaps for all purposes earlier are now shifting to products like shampoo and face wash. The rise in awareness due to the media has forced traders to bring in products to satiate the need of choosy and demanding customers.

On tracing these changing need of cosmetic products in the Nepalese market at present context, the present researcher took these gap as the field of study and involved in the study to monitor and evaluate these trends. Hence, the study entitled “Customers’ preference on imported cosmetics products over domestic products”.

1.2 The Missing Link

The present researcher has focused on the various factors that results the preference of imported cosmetic products over domestic products in Itharai due to the variation in brand, quality, and effectiveness. Consumer’s value, attitude differs causing the different preference of similar goods. This study thus tried to focus to establish a relationship between various factors on shaping consumer preference and how consumer switch from domestic to imported product in Itahari market.

1.3 Objectives of the Research

The main objective

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