Contemporary Management Research
Pages 51-60, Vol. 8, No. 1, March 2012
Purchasing Cosmetic Products: A Preliminary Perspective of
Uchenna Cyril Eze
Adelene Li-Yen Yeo
The cosmetics industry in Malaysia is growing rapidly at an annual rate of 13%. This is because of the increasing number of working women, increased urbanization, and the increasing self-awareness due to education. This industry is expected to grow steadily in the future due to the great demand for premium products. The research objective of this paper is to examine the influence of brand image, product knowledge, product quality, and price promotion on consumers’ purchase intention for cosmetic products. We used a survey questionnaire to collect 204 valid responses from Generation-Y female consumers in Malacca, Malaysia. Data collected were analyzed using multiple linear regression. The findings revealed that product image, product knowledge, and brand image emerged with a significant influence on intention to purchase cosmetics. However, price promotion was not significant. Finally, research and practice implications were outlined including areas for future research. Keywords: Brand Image, Product Knowledge, Product Quality, Price Promotion, Consumers’ Purchase Intention, Malaysia
Contemporary Management Research 52
The word "cosmetics" is derived from the Greek word Kosmetikos, which means "skilled at decorating". It refers to any of several preparations (excluding soap) that are applied to the human body for beautifying, preserving, or altering the appearance or for cleansing, coloring, conditioning, or protecting the skin, hair, nails, lips, eyes, or teeth (Britannica, 2011). The earliest archaeological evidence of cosmetics has been traced to Egypt around the 4000 B.C., as evidenced by the remains of artifacts probably used for eye makeup and for the application of scented unguents (Britannica, 2011). During that era, cosmetics were considered a significant part in the Egyptians dressing. In addition, cosmetics were created for personal hygiene and health, which include oil, creams and skin care product due to the hot Egyptian sun and dry, sandy weather. By the middle of the 20th century, cosmetics were widely used in nearly all societies around the world.
The cosmetics industry has been one of the world’s leading industries, and today the cosmetic and toiletries industry in Malaysia has developed rapidly. In this era, cosmetics are considered a necessity rather than something that people want for materialistic ends, especially for women. With the increasing market size and the increasing consumer demand, cosmetics firms have to search for new methods and learn to understand the consumer’s need in order to increase their levels of product satisfaction. Thus, the increase in consumers’ satisfaction will positively affect product sales. Today, the beauty and health market is growing rapidly in Malaysia and around the globe. It is estimated that Malaysians spend approximately US$500 million annually on cosmetic products. The local cosmetics and toiletries market is valued at about RM3 billion or US$800 million with a growth rate of 13% annually (Buyusa.gov, 2007). Sales of beauty products were sustained by a rise in the number of working women, an increased urbanization, and a growing number of women entering the labor force (Ytlcommunity.com, 2006). Malaysia is a net importer of cosmetics and toiletries products and equipment. Malaysia imported US$225 million of beauty products in 2008, which is an increment of 35 percent from the previous year. The import values were US$156 million in 2006 and US$167 million in 2007 (Buyusa.gov, 2010).
This paper examines the effects of brand image, product knowledge, price promotion, and product...
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