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Cosmetics preference and purchasing choices of female living in London


I would specially like to extend special thanks to the following individuals through whose guidance, this project managed to be successful. To my (…) who supported me throughout my education; both morally and financially and to all my lecturers who at all times were available to offer assistance whenever I found myself stuck. May they be blessed abundantly by the Almighty.


To my course mates, for the numerous supportive conversations we had and for their encouraging words of advice. Forever grateful to the different respondents who wholeheartedly filled my questionnaires. Their cooperation and kindness, without which the timely completion of the project would have not been possible is highly appreciated.


This paper is intended at exploring the buying behaviours of female consumers of cosmetics in London and further identifying those factors that influence their purchasing decisions. The buying behaviour of consumers is the sum total of the intentions, preferences, attitudes and decisions of consumers with regard to the behaviour of consumers within marketplaces when partaking to purchase different services and products. Questionnaires are used for collection of data from a sample of 1000 respondents chosen through simple random sampling. The results of the questionnaires are then analysed statistically through the use of Microsoft excel and presented in graphs. Brand image, brand loyalty, quality of product, packaging of product, design of packages and price are some of the factors that influence the buying decisions of consumers. The findings of this study could be used by marketers in the designing of cosmetics marketing strategies.


This project is my original work and has not been presented to any other institution for academic purposes.




1.0 Introduction

Chemical compounds and natural substances are used in the manufacture of cosmetic products and beauty care substances for enhancement of human appearance and also for enhancement of body odour. Many people are today largely concerned with self-consciousness and that is what drives the demand for cosmetic products high. Mainly, cosmetic products are used for enhancement of attractiveness, cleansing and also for the altering of the body`s physical appearance (Hicken, 2015). The intention behind the production of cosmetic products is promote attractiveness, beautify, cleanse and also alter the physical appearance of the body without affecting the structure and functioning of the human body. Some of the leading cosmetic companies in the world are The Procter & Gamble Company, The L`Oreal Group, Etee Lauder Companies Inc and Unilever. There are different factors that customers look into before partaking to purchase a cosmetic product and these include Advertisement, Brand, Price, Labelling and Brand. During the last quarter of the 20th century, there were rapid changes in social situations and this saw the erupting of revolutionary movement for equal rights for women and these had significant effects on the consumer behaviours of women and also led to an improvement of their status in societies. The views held by female consumers about the use of cosmetics in that, they consider the use of cosmetics for enhancement of self-confidence and also as a way of expressing social politeness ((Why Do Women Wear Makeup? The Science Behind Makeup Obsession, 2020). With the continued market expansion of the cosmetics market, it is expected that the taste for fashion and female lifestyles will become more diversified. With no doubt, lifestyle is one of the factors that are important when it comes to the study of consumer behaviours. Some of the main methods used in the measure of lifestyles in societies are

Values and Lifestyle Survey (VALS), and the Activity, Interests, Opinion Inventory (AIO Scale). Different women have different reasons as to why they use cosmetics. It is a fact that cosmetic makeup products are capable of improving the facial features of an individual. The secret to talkative eyes highlighted by the use eye makeup that is perfect including kohl, eye shadow, mascara, and eye liner. Also, in addition to complementing women’s dresses, perfect lip colours also give a fresh look into the women’s personalities (Eze, Tan & Yeo, 2012). Women have, however, been observed to show preference to the use of different lip colour shades as these help keep the charm of their personalities alive. One`s skin can look perfect from the use of skincare products and makeup. Cosmetics make one look younger than they actually are and even more attractive.This paper aims at identifying those factors that inform buying decisions for cosmetics in London.

1.1 The objectives of this study are;

  • To understand the preferences of women for cosmetic products with respect to different cosmetic brands.
  • To identify the behaviours of female consumers.
  • To identify those factors that influence the purchase decisions of women.

1.2 Research questions

  • What are some of the factors that influence the purchase intentions of women of cosmetics?
  • Which are the most preferred places of purchase of cosmetics by female consumers of cosmetics?
  • What is the importance of physical importance in the mind of a female consumer of cosmetics?

1.3 Background

Cosmetics are all products that are used externally for the modification of the conditions of the body and also for beautifying it through cleaning, colouring, protecting, softening lips, the skin, eyes, nails, and hair. As such, cosmetics are intended to beautify, cleanse and promote the attractiveness of the human body without necessarily affecting the structure of the body (Jones, 2018). This definition is quite broad and also include any such materials that are intended for use as cosmetic products. There has been significant growth of the beauty and cosmetic products market as there is increasing awareness among consumers of the choice of personal care products, grooming, beauty and appearance. Having a good understanding of this market is quite important for marketers as it helps in the identification of marketing opportunities which ensures higher efficiency in the utilisation of resources. That goes a long way in ensuring the efficiency of the use of resources and other efforts which have a direct relation to the purchasing behaviours of consumers like targeting of consumers, features of products, segmentation of markets and selling efforts. It is possible to subdivide cosmetics according to areas of application. Those cosmetics that are used on the face and other body parts like glitter, foundation, concealers, face powders, face contour creams, blushers and bronzers, highlighters and even setting sprays are helpful in that they help ensure that makeup stays put for longer time periods ("COSMETIC", n.d.). Examples of cosmetics that are used on lips include lip glosses, coloured lip balms, lip sticks and lip glosses. Additionally, there are eye make-up items like eye liners, kohl, eye brown pencils. Nail colours are other extensions of cosmetics. In addition to these, there are other ancillary industries for supportive products in cosmetics for example beauty blenders and make up brushes among others. The blending of different benefits into one beauty product, is today, the most popular trend.

This paper will provide an overview of the London cosmetic market and examines the different factors that inform the cosmetic preferences and purchasing choices of women living in London. The information from this study will be important for both the business sector and also for dealers in retail sectors. It is in the nature of human beings to look for innovation and perfection in addition to looking for the best ways of expressing themselves. The English cosmetic market has grown into a social phenomenon. Over time, habits and attitudes have been changing with the metamorphosis of social structures and as markets continue to be affected by different technologies ("United Kingdom Cosmetics Products Market- By Products, Distribution Channels and Vendors - Market Trends and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)", 2019). There has been a general awakening of the consciousness of the female consumers over the years which to a large extent has led to the alteration of the behaviour of consumers in addition to influencing the usual conception of the women for fashion persuasion and application of cosmetics. Beauty is used to characterise objects, people, places and ideas that provide experiences that are perceptual of meaning, pleasure and even satisfaction. It is the combination of different human qualities and thing that delight the senses in addition to pleasing the mind. In western art, beauty which is dated from ancient times has been a dominant theme and ideal beauty is summed up as possession of those attributes that are attributed to beauty in particular cultures. Both men and women have since pre-historic times been consuming beauty care products. Women are observed to relate to anti-aging agents as beauty care products and they always demand perfect beauty images from single products (Raisborough, 2018). Marketers have even resorted to the use of females as symbols for promotion of enhanced their products enhanced features as there is a firm belief that greater economic returns come about from higher consumer satisfaction with brands. Women make radical choices of their desired beauty products as they are psyched to look superior while also having descriptions of brand prestige and price comparison. Female`s selection of beauty care products is also is also often reflected as a stance of the personality of the female. There is a relation between the use of a beauty care product and type of personality and there is a general consideration that whenever females use the same products for long time periods, they are brand conscious and will appear at lower levels of adaptability of new products. Across the globe, the industry of cosmetics and beauty products remains impervious to the ups and downs markets. Indeed, in the event of a downturn of the economy, overall sales get affected, but that is however, not the case with cosmetics as one can always depend on them to maintain some certain volume overall. That is largely as a result of the continued and ever-growing use of cosmetic products by both men and women.

1.4 Market review

While in the past cosmetics were regarded as luxury items, today, they play roles that are very important among the consumer goods in London. Cosmetics have grown into daily products for consumers and are no longer considered as luxury items, but necessities. Cosmetics have grown into one of the most profitable products for producers with markets for them that are both strong and huge. The women who have the highest interests in cosmetic products are those who fall between the ages of 18 and 40 years. This shows cosmetics large market size because this is a rather large market group. There is still a lot of potential for the growth of the cosmetics industry in London. By 2021, it is predicted that the global skincare, cosmetics and beauty industry will be worth $675 billion (CISION PR, 2020). The biggest portion of the cosmetics market is made up of women between the ages of 18 and 34 years and they have the highest likelihood of purchasing more than 10 different products annually. The UK beauty and personal care market is the sixth largest in the world and in 2017 was worth around £10.2 billion. In the same year, the per capita spend on personal care products was £155 which at that time was the fifth largest across the globe (Sabanoglu, 2020). There are four main categories of the beauty industry and these are; beauty and personal care products, In-Store Treatment Services, Salon and Spa. In 2017, the total value of the fragrance market in the UK was £1.8 billion while the total value of the market for colour cosmetics in the same year was £1.98 billion. Having a proper recognition of the importance of the unique ecosystem of the skin, globally, the UK has been leading the way for launches of facial skincare that target the micro biome of the skin. Up to 37% of the total launches in the world were in the UK alone and the US and France followed closely at 25% and 15% respectively. With the continued embracing of the treat yourself mind-set by consumers, up to 71% of the launches in 2018 were made up by prestige and luxury facial skincare products in comparison to 10 years ago where the percentage stood at 54. Across the UK, the importance of being free of toxins and transparency has gained prominence. The European market for launch of clean colour cosmetics was led by UK in 2018 and across the globe, the UK came second to the US. Up to 21% of all the colour cosmetics considered as clean across the globe in 2018 were from the UK. According to reports by Mintel group, globally, the UK comes fourth in terms of the market of colour cosmetics and in 2018 was valued at £2.1 billion coming after US, Japan and China which are considered to be powerhouses when it comes to beauty. Brits, spending an average per capita of £32 annually, also came as the 4th largest spenders in colour cosmetics ("United Kingdom Cosmetics Products Market- By Products, Distribution Channels and Vendors - Market Trends and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)", 2019). There are over 1,800 beauty brands that operate in the UK and as such, it does not come as a surprise that there are a lot of exciting innovations from the UK that continue to shape the future of beauty globally. With no doubt, the UK qualifies as a hotbed of beauty innovation and there are major global trends that have been emerging and developing from there. The brands that deal with skincare in Britain have been among the first to have a proper understanding of the importance of the micro biome which is the natural bacteria that is found in and on the body and that can be balanced through skincare. In the near future, there will be massive expansions of the skincare industry from the simple focus on micro biome but to also include the expo some. That includes those environmental factors like plants, pollution, fungi and pathogens that have an effect on our heath as they interact with our DNA. The UK cosmetics market exhibits a relatively high purchasing power, high penetration levels of different global brands, an ever increasing number of SMEs that involve themselves with the cosmetic industry, a lack of new markets and a regulatory framework that is quite strong. While there was suffering and decrements in sales and revenues that were experienced during the Eurozone crisis, sales have since regained their value (Whitehouse, 2018). The ever increasing preference for organic, vegan and natural beauty products drives these sales. This preferences are informed by the intentions to mitigate against the harmful effects of dust, sun, pollution and other ingredients that are harmful, the increased awareness of sustainability and adoption of available socially responsible cosmetics. In cosmetics, there are trends that are predominant and these include lasting power and colour palette, increased ethic products` market share, growing preference for natural, vegan and organic beauty products for mitigation against the harmful health effects of pollution, sun, dust and other ingredients that are harmful. The penetration of different luxury brands in the UK can be attributed to the increments in highly disposable incomes. These luxury brands include Guerlain, Clinique, Dior, Clarins, Estee Lauder, Lancôme and Shisiedo, P&G, Unilever, Olay. Avon, MAC, Beiersdorf and L`Oreal among others ("United Kingdom Cosmetics Products Market- By Products, Distribution Channels and Vendors - Market Trends and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)", 2019). It is worth noting that distribution is pervasive through stores of luxury products that are exclusive in malls and also standalone outlets and ecommerce has been emerging to compete direct sales for different mass and premium brands. Avon`s direct sales continue to hold and grow market value. Consumers have been observed to be extremely keen and on the look-out for products that give them value for their money and that are both natural and beneficial for the skin and that provide the benefits of premium products that are priced highly at costs that are lower than the premium costs. The inclinations to spend on appearance, increments in disposable incomes, ageing of baby boomers and increased research into the use of natural products are some of the drivers of the cosmetics market.

1.5 Categories of cosmetics

With no doubt, the cosmetics industry is one of the globes largest industries. The industry is characterised by influential messages that are strong and advertisements that every other person can look more attractive and better than they are. While the cosmetics market has thousands of products, there are five distinct groups for these cosmetics.

1.5.1 Skincare products

These are products which in design are meant to improve the skins feel and appearance. The market of skincare products makes up to 30% of the total cosmetics that are offered for sale and this is the largest share of all categories. It is possible to classify skincare products even further on the basis of what they do and how they work. First, moisturising products which are intended to improve the skins feel and look are left behind on the skin. There are also sunless tanners which change the skins colour, anti-ageing products which prevent the skin from ageing by doing away with any signs of ageing and

there are also over-the-counter products that are mainly used for treatment of acne, sun screens, treat different medical conditions of the skin and even reduce and do away with wrinkling. On the other hand, there are other skin care products whose design is intended at removing things from the skin. These include products like facial washes, hand soaps, toners, bubble baths and body washes all of which are cleansers. Exfoliation products, masks and scrubs also fall in this category.

1.5.2 Hair care products

These come second in terms of popularity of cosmetic products and their sales make up to 25% of the total sales. And just like the category of skincare products, it is possible to classify hair products further in terms of what they do and how they work. Mostly, hair products are frequently used to remove things from the hair. These include liquid shampoos which are used for cleaning of hair even though there are also aerosol and powdered shampoos. These clean the hair through removing oil and dirt. Specialty shampoos like hair restoration shampoos, anti-lice products and anti-dandruff shampoos are specialty shampoos and actually qualify as over-the-counter drugs. Another type of product which in design has to be washed off is hair conditioners. When washed away, they leave behind materials that are helpful in the improvement of the feel of hair and also its look. The feel and look of hair is also improved by protein packs, intensive conditioners and hot oil treatments. There is another type of hair products which includes products that are not intended to be washed away. These products are helpful in that they help change the hair`s feel and also help improve the hair`s appearance. Styling products make up the largest segment of these products and they include products like putties, styling gels, mousses, and hair sprays. Leave-in conditioners also fall in this category.

Reactive hair products form another category of hair products. These products change the hair`s make up by changing its appearance. Relaxer products are used to straighten hair. There are also temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair colours that are used to change the colour of hair.

1.5.3 Colour cosmetics

These are the products that come to the minds of many people when they hear the word cosmetics. They make up to 20% of the market of cosmetics and includes those products that remain on the skin and change its appearance and colour. Face products like mascara, eyeliners, eye shadows, blushes and lip sticks fall in this group. Nail products like gloss, nail polish and other products that are used for nail care fall in this category. Different governments in different parts of the world have put regulations on the type of ingredients that can be used in the manufacture of these colour cosmetics which makes them the most regulated cosmetics.

1.5.4 Fragrances

The use of perfumes and fragrances dates back to the 1600`s. these are products that are aimed at enhancing body odour. They account for 10% of the market of cosmetics and include body splashes, colognes, perfumes and body sprays. Body sprays are simply versions of colognes that are aerosol.

1.5.5 Personal Care Products

Personal care products make up for up to 15% of sales in the cosmetics market. This category includes products like mouthwash, toothpaste and whitening products. Anti-perspirants and toothpastes also fall in this category.

1.6 Theoretical framework

The buying behaviour of consumers refers to consumers observable behaviours in the course of purchase, search and post consumption of services and products together with their mental

and emotional behaviours. It involves studying the different ways through which people select, buy, use and subsequently dispose of services, goods, ideas and experiences for the satisfaction of their wants and needs. It involves studying the ways through which people buy, what they purchase, when the purchases are done and their reasons for purchasing. There is a blend between this and elements from sociology, economics, socio-psychology, psychology and anthropology. It also makes an attempt to do an assessment of how different groups like reference groups, friends, and family and generally the society influences consumers. It is necessary to distinguish the buying behaviour of consumers from both organisational and industrial buying as these happen in accordance to criterion that is different with purposes that are different and also different means of success judgement.

1.7 Statement of the problem

The influence of consumers on the economic market change is quite enormous as they are the masters of their own money and possess the abilities of implementing and coordinating their spending and saving choices in the course of making purchase decisions. The attitudes of the consumers towards products influence them and as such, it is necessary for marketers to frequently implement their tactics and strategies for achievement of higher numbers of consumers. Industry stakeholders stand to gain a lot from satisfaction and accurate targets in establishing what consumers know and what their attitudes are through offering those products that meet their needs. Through this, stakeholders also stand a chance of enriching the experience of their customers and further accelerating market growth. Marketing plans are turned into marketing actions by these processes. The aim of this research, as such, is to explore the awareness of consumers, their preferences and those factors that influence their purchasing decisions of cosmetics with special reference to London.

1.8 Justification of the study

In the past, to a large extent, women were confined within the four walls of their houses and their duties were largely limited to taking care of their families. There was no time for them to take care of their appearance. The modern woman of today, however, is quite advanced and knowledgeable and takes responsibilities both in their homes and outside their homes. This has made women increasingly conscious of beauty and they are forced to compete with the societies demands. That has to a large extent waived a rather large market for cosmetic Cosmetics promise to give women control over their identities and images (Dehgahani et al., 2017). The information that will be gathered in this research will be useful for manufacturers of cosmetics and those involved in the marketing of cosmetics as it explores those factors that really inform the purchasing decisions for cosmetics. With the information, manufacturers will be able to modify their products to the suitability of their consumers while marketers will effectively tune their marketing campaigns.


2.0 Literature Review

This chapter reviews different literary materials within the domain of cosmetics purchase intentions and female consumer behaviours. It is always important for any companies and also for marketers to have a proper understanding of the different factors that influence consumers to purchase different products. With such information, companies could manufacture their products to be more suitable to consumers while marketers could align their marketing strategies effectively.

2.1 Purchase intentions

In response to market needs, companies have been developing new innovative products continuously. Today, different types of colour cosmetics have the added stay-on benefits and this provides consumers with additional convenience and that is particularly for those businesspeople who are always busy. Morwitz (2014), points out that the consumers of today, show preference for products that have health benefits. As such, many products, today, focus on their natural ingredients, like the shampoos and conditioners made from aloe Vera and hand-made natural soaps among others. Chaovalit (2014), posits that these products are differentiated from other products by the emphasis on natural ingredients. There is an increasing awareness among consumers of cosmetics side effects as a result of the availability of a lot of information from advertising media, doctors and even word of mouth communiques (Liu & Hsu, 2015; Lin & Ryan, 2014; Tajeddini & Nikdavoodi, 2014). The aim of marketers is to provide answers to the needs of consumers for those products that have natural ingredients. Majority of the products that are made of natural products are observed to have lesser side effects in comparison to those products that are manufactured with chemical ingredients. The production of multifunctional products has been facilitated by advancements in technology. According to Gianeti & Maia Campos (2014), the focus of the global cosmetics market is on the development of multifunctional products that are capable of providing optimal protection against environmental stress. Multifunctional products have become more popular (Mills, 2015). In addition to enhancement of appearance, there are other different reasons with which females purchase cosmetics (Junaid & Ahmed, 2013). There is high correlation between cosmetics and fashion. Today, there is an increased number of individuals who are fashion conscious and are willing to spend large amounts of money on cosmetics for purposes of looking fashionable. According to Giovannini & Thomas (2015), the consciousness about fashion will sustain the value growth of colour cosmetics which is quite dynamic. Additionally, one of the factors that influence the tastes of consumers and their seasonal moods for purchase of cosmetics is fashion (Lysonski & Durvasula, 2013). A leading role is played by women magazines affecting cosmetics and fashion trends. They provide information on products that is both informative and reliable (Fowler & Carlson, 2015).

2.2 Brand image

Tariq et al., (2013) posit that the symbol and name of a company makes up a brand. There is a very important role played by brand in the creation of positive images amongst customers. A good brand name has the potential of creating customers who are loyal and also retaining the company’s market share (Upamannyu & Sankpal, 2014). Customers who are loyal will always remain loyal and faithful to their brand. They are observed to go back to purchasing from the same brand and will also tell their friends about it. Loyalty to a brand is defined as the willingness of a customer to spend large amounts of money for goods from their preferred brand while other alternatives could be cheaper. Customers who are loyal are an asset to their firms as they bring growth and profitability to their firms. According to Mohammadzadeh (2015), there exists a significant relationship for brand equity and intention to purchase. Many women are observed to be very loyal to brands. It is through promotions and advertisements that brand image is built. Consumers get to recognise products, evaluate them, reduce the risk of purchase, increase levels of satisfaction and obtain certain experiences from brand image (Seo & Kim, 2015). Women customers are observed to show higher preference for the quality of a product if its brand image is good (Perera & Dissanayake, 2013). A company with a good brand name has high credibility and the success of a brand attracts customers to it and also helps retain them. Ulfat, Muzaffar & Shoaib (2014), in their study of the perceptions of women towards brand personality in relation to the use of cosmetics and facial image established that the total quantity of used cosmetics was influenced by the facial image of consumers. The intentions of this study were to grasp a better understanding of the different factors that have an influence on the United States cosmetic brands perceptions. Items that measure brand attitude, brand personality and cosmetic usage were included in the survey. This discussion leads us to our first hypotheses; H1: Brand image positively influences decisions to purchase

2.3 Quality of Product

A very significant role is played by the quality of a product in the assessment of the intentions to purchase (Chaovalit, 2014). The satisfaction of customers and performance of products increases as a result of continuous changes. Quality is a very important tool in the creation of competitive advantages and it is always important that company`s work to always improve quality at all times. The intentions to purchase of customers are dependent on the quality of products and the intention to purchase in customers is high for products that have a high quality in comparison to low quality products. According to Perera & Dissanayake (2013), there is a direct relationship between quality products and the buying decisions of customers. In the purchase of cosmetic products, it is observed that customers are largely conscious of quality and that sees them even patiently wait for the brand in instances of unavailability. Often, customers judge a products quality on the basis of different informational cues that are associated with the product. While there are cues that are intrinsic to the products, there are others that are extrinsic. Mirabi, Akbariyeh & Tahmasebifard (2015), categorise the quality of products into objective and perceived quality. Objective quality is related to the verifiable, measurable and technical nature of a product. On the other hand, subjective quality is related to customer’s judgement of value and quality perceptions. Intrinsic cues are concerned with the products physical characteristics like colour, appearance, form, flavour and appearance while extrinsic cues are related to the product but not in its physicality through quality stamp, brand name, and country of manufacture, product information and advertisement (Kaur, Osman & Maziha, 2014). Sabharwal, Mann & Kumar (2014), posit that the perception of consumers of the quality of a product is based on the evaluation of both extrinsic and intrinsic attributes. Whenever cues have high predictive value, consumers depend on intrinsic attributes. Consumers could repeat the purchase of single brands or switch to different brands as a result of the tangible quality of the sold products (Cho, Kim & Kang, 2015). One of the most important aspects of the quality of a product is the material it is made of and that is because and that is because material has an effect on texture, hand feel. Additionally, consumers personally relate to colour and are capable of rejecting and accepting products on the basis of their colours (JinKim, 2013). Some of the functional attributes of products are durability, waterproof and lightweight. Habib & Aslam (2014), argue that whenever products fulfil the expectations of customers, customers become pleased and give consideration to the product as being of acceptable and of a high quality. That implies that quality could also be used to imply satisfaction with the expectations and needs of customers. This discussion leads us to our second hypotheses; H2: Brand loyalty has a positive influence on purchasing decisions

2.4 Packaging

The labelling of products together with their packaging represents manufacturers and plays the role of a carrier of the slogan of the company and the advertising message. According to Lee et al., (2019), designs of packages that are attractive are capable of influencing the buying behaviours of customers to buy items again and again. Mohamed, Medina & Romo (2018), posit that packaging that has a good appearance is capable of increasing the impulsion of customers to make decisions to by. Packaging design promotes customers buying trends. It plays the role of a market driving force. A nice impression of the value of a product is left by packaging design that is attractive. Solja, Lijander & Soderlund (2018), observe that packaging design has had immense influences on markets to the extent that it has grown into a symbol of brand promotion. Package designs have over the years developed into basic criterion for the promotion of different brands characteristics and properties and as such it is possible that it could be advanced as a market driving force. Anjana (2018), posits that designs of packages that are eye catching play roles that are pivotal in the attraction of customers and also in the influencing of the behaviour of the purchasers by provision of information with regard to the goods apparent value. Proper designs of packages leave behind standing impressions of the products importance (Singhal & Malik, 2018). It is necessary for producers to build the changes that are applicable in products so as to satisfy the needs of consumers and further differentiate themselves from their competitors. It is as such quite important to be innovative. Different people prefer new things after some period of time and that makes it necessary for companies to change the designs of their products packages and also their strategies from time to time. This discussion leads us to our third hypotheses; H3: Product packaging has a positive influence of decisions to purchase.

2.5 Pricing

Pricing determines the amounts customers pay for products. Price is one of the most important factors that is given consideration in exchange relations (Eze et al., 2012). Satisfaction with price directly affects the loyalty of customers and their behaviours too. An increase in loyalty goes a long way in reducing the costs of marketing through the prevention of customers switching to other brands. According to Liu & Hsu (2015), for average consumers, price is with no doubt one of the most important considerations. There is a willingness in those consumers who show higher loyalty to brands to pay premium prices for those brands they favour and that means that price has no effect on their intentions to purchase. Additionally, there is a strong belief among consumers in their favourite brands prices and value, so much that they would endeavour to do comparisons and evaluations of prices with alternative brands (Kaunang, 2013). It is possible to build the satisfaction of consumers through the comparison of prices with perceived values and costs. In the event consumers perceive the products value as being greater than its costs, then the consumers would buy the products (Ong, 2012). There is willingness in those customers who are loyal to pay premiums even when prices increase and that is because the risks perceived are quite high and they would prefer to pay prices that are higher so as to avoid risks of any changes (Mirabi, Akbariyeh & Tahmasebifard, 2015). This discussion leads us to our third hypotheses: H3: Pricing has a positive influence on purchasing decisions.

2.6 Consumer buying behaviour

Consumer behaviour involves the study of organisations and individuals and the processes that are adopted by consumers for search, selection, use and disposal of services and products, ideas and experiences for the satisfaction of desires and needs and their impacts on societies and the consumers (Rani, 2014). Distinguishing the difference between consumers and customers is quite important. Those people who buy particular brands or buy only particular products from a company are referred to as customers. Consumers, on the other hand, are those individuals who use and dispose the services and products. The theory of consumer behaviour describes the different ways in which consumers allocate their incomes across different goods and services for purposes of maximising utility. There are three distinct steps that help understand consumer behaviour and these are consumer preferences, budget constraints and choices of consumers. According to the consumer behaviour theory consumers always purchase those goods that provide them with the highest ratio of additional benefits to cost. According to Naidu (2018), the model is driven by the maximisation of utility. As such, economics relies on the fundamental premise that there is a tendency among human beings to select those goods and services they place the most value on. Consumer behaviour relates to consumer’s individual purchase decisions (Desai, 2014). There are three basic steps used by economists in the explanation of the behaviour of consumers: 1) The first step involves examination of the preferences of consumers. What this practically implies, is what consumers would prefer theoretically without consideration of pricing (Modi & Jhulka, 2012). 2) The second step is that there are budget constraints faced by consumers. 3) The third step involves the determination of the choices of consumers. It is as such important for marketers to always bring together the preferences of consumers and budget constraints. In the determination of the behaviours of consumers, it is always important to properly grasp the decision making of consumers. Pappas (2016), argues that for purposes of offering services that are effective, identification of customer segments is very important and this involves taking into account those benefits that are sought by consumers. The best way through which this is accomplished is through making an assumption that it is through the combination of sets of services and goods that people maximise their satisfaction (Ramya & Ali, 2016). Desai & Mistry (2017), emphasis that all companies that deal with cosmetic products for females have to have a proper understanding of the behaviour of consumers. It is however, worth noting that it is not easy to fully understand the behaviours of different consumers and that is because different individuals have different attitudes towards purchase. Rao & Hymavathi (2018), point out that there are three main factors that influence the behaviour of consumers and these are personal factors, social factors and cultural factors. The most comprehensive determinant of the behaviour of human beings, with no doubt, is culture. Culture is defined as a combination of human artefacts and symbols that are invented by particular societies and transmitted across generations for determination and further regulation of human behaviours. The focus of social factors is on interpersonal relationships and plays a very important role in exploration of purchasing behaviours. According to Hosseini et al., (2017), one`s stage in the life cycle and their age together with personality, economic circumstances, occupation, lifestyle and self-concept all have a positive impact on the decisions of customers. One`s economic circumstances greatly affect the choice of a product in terms of the income that is spendable (Jan & Kashif, 2018). Another major factor that affects the abilities of individuals to use services and purchase products is income. There exist five stages that all consumers go through before they make their final purchase. These include recognition of the problem, research for information, evaluation of alternatives, making of the decision to purchase and the post-purchase decisions (Koshy & Manohar, 2017). Recognition of problems happens whenever consumers see differences that are significant between their current state of affairs and the desired or ideal state, that is, becomes aware of problems and needs that are not satisfied. What this implies is that the recognition of a problem happens whenever there is a requirement for complementary goods (Agarwal, 2019). This stage is very important and that is because without the recognition of wants and needs, individuals would never seek to buy services and goods. The recognition of needs for cosmetic products is affected by different internal and external stimuli. Some of the internal stimuli are the wish to copy or emulate others, and fashion consciousness. External stimuli include friends, beauticians and doctors opinions and also advertisements (Rani, 2014). Both internal and external sources are well capable of influencing individual information sources. Majority of the information, majorly falls into four groups. Acquaintances, family and neighbours form the first personal source while the second source is made up of advertisement activities, salespeople, websites, dealers, displays and packaging (Pappas, 2016). The public is the third source and these are mainly concerned with the mass media and organisations that rate consumers. The decision to purchase is made when decisions have to be made from the alternatives available. Ramya & Ali (2016) explain that after the recognition of needs, people try to look for ways through which to solve the needs. First, they will recall how they solved the problems in the past and that is referred to as nominal decision making. After that, humans try to solve the problems by enquiring from their friends or actually visiting markets to get advice on the products that would best serve the need they have. This is referred to as limited decision making. Consumers involve themselves in the identification of information that is appropriate both passively and actively as per the needs they have for cosmetic products. The information that consumers search from ranges from product range availability, sustainability of product, price, use and the products nature. After the search for information. Consumers get to evaluate different opinions based on different criterion like features, characteristics and the benefits they expect to acquire. Consumers then get to decide on the products to buy from a set of alternatives depending on features that are unique that are offered by the product, if any. This analysis of alternatives is one the basis of their needs, brand image, used ingredients, availability, suitability, quality and price (Mihaela, 2015). The fourth step, purchase action involves the actual selection of the brand to buy from and also the retail outlet to buy the product desired from (Durmaz, 2014). The selection is followed by the financial transaction which is either by cash or credit. Consumers get to finally buy the products they desire after they evaluate the different brands of cosmetics that are available. They do an evaluation of the decision to purchase by putting into consideration different factors like physical risks, functional risks, psychological risks and financial risks involved. The final step involves the post-purchase action. If after the purchase, the consumer, as per their evaluation, is satisfied with the process, it can be concluded that the process was favourable. On the other hand, if, however, the perceived levels of performance fall below expectations, in the long run, this leads to dissatisfaction of the consumer. When consumers are satisfied, there is a high likelihood that in the future, they will go back to buying from the same brand. In the long run, this builds brand loyalty (Khaniwale, 2015). In the event the performance of particular products is not as per expectations, there is a high likelihood that consumers would switch to other different brands that they feel would exceed the current products performance. Today, there are different choices that are presented to markets and consumers are faced with variable variations of brands and products. Different information is detained by customers when they want make choices before making decisions to purchase. According to Wright (2006), there are up to five sub decisions that are made by consumers which include quantity, dealers, brands, method of payment and timing. Satisfaction is obtained when services and products meet the requirements of the consumers, if they fit with what they want, that is, if expectations are met by performance, satisfaction of the customers is obtained. Marketing mix also plays an important role in informing the buying decisions of consumers. Marketing mix is made up of the different factors that firms are capable of doing so as to influence products demand. Four groups of variables are used to collect the different groups of possibilities into promotion, price, place and product. Gilaninia, Taleghani & Azizi (2013), observe the different factors that have an effect on people`s shopping behaviour. With the movement of the expectations of customers continuously upwards, it becomes imperative for consumers to avoid any complaints that would invariably bring about complaints from customers. There are situations that have been identified by So et al., (2016), that bring about dissatisfaction of consumers with specific brands and engagement of customers is one of them. There are studies that have established customer loyalty as an important area. According to Rubio, Villasenor & Yague (2017), those retailers who deliver benefits that are genuine based on their customers intimate knowledge stand a chance of reaping the ultimate benefit which is higher loyalty of customers. As such, there has been considerable attention drawn by buying behaviour to earlier researchers. There are also quite a number of studies that look into the impact of buying behaviour in the design of marketing strategies. It is however, worth noting that there are only few studies that look into the functioning of consumer behaviours in retail markets. Another factor that dictates constant variability in consumers fashion variability is frequent lifestyle changes as this provides retailers with opportunities of appearing with new fashion apparels. Shopping is considered by Arholdt, Gudergan & Ringle (2019), to be a gendered activity with women claiming shopping more in comparison to men and actually attaching more importance to it. For women, shopping is a break from their normal routines and provides them with opportunities of for self-expression and fantasising. There are differences in the ways men and women think and from this brain differences that are gender specific it is possible to point out to effects that are significant of how different people deal with information, from absorption, processing and even retaining. It can be concluded that whenever women engage in purchases, they see bigger pictures as they involve many kinds of senses (Mokhlis, 2016). Women are capable of taking in more information in comparison to men (Dennis et al., 2016). Characteristically, the shopping style of women is interactive and they take their rime to try on, sample and test products before purchasing them. Before women partake to purchase an item, they will take part in a process of decision making (Dennis, Brakus & Alamanos, 2016). While they could come across products severally, they will also take their time to think about it, research about it and even ask their friends about it before they embark on the process of purchase fully. Women place value on brands and products that are unique as they believe that they could use this to define their individuality. They seek new styles actively and fashion trends to an extent that is larger when compared to men. They are more sensitive to clothing needs and the clothing awareness they possess is greater than that of men. Shephard et al., (2016) report that in women identity and emotion related dimensions play a more important role. The attitudes of women towards social interactions, perception of the acts of purchase as leisure activities, shopping and browsing are positive. In a study carried out by Sivagami (2016) on consumer purchase decision behaviours towards cosmetic marketing, they established that cosmetics are not luxury items and it is important for manufacturers to invest in identification of needs before they embark on the marketing of cosmetic products. The aim of the study was to explore cosmetic products consumer behaviour marketing. Their main objective was to identify the role played by different media in the motivation of consumers of consumers of particular cosmetic brands. They also established that new customers can be attracted by the reduction of prices and promotional schemes that are attractive. Kim & Moon (2005) carried out a study that sought to observe makeup behaviours and preferences for cosmetics on the basis of segmented age group. The study`s target consumers where women in their 20`s. the study established that there exists significant relationship between the specific cosmetic items that are in use currently and segmented age group. The study further established that there exists statistical differences between groups that are highly interested and other groups that are lowly interested in beauty and fashion. Among the group of individuals who had higher interests in beauty and fashion, trendy colours were given more consideration while for those groups that recorded low interest in fashion and beauty, their favourite colours were the main factors that informed their choice of makeup products for purchase. Pudaruth and Juwaheer & Seewoo (2015), carried out a study that aimed to explore the different factors that have an influence on beauty care products and cosmetics that are eco-friendly among Mauritius` female customers. The study also investigated these factors relative significance in the prediction of preferences for purchase and recommendation of beauty care products and cosmetics that are eco-friendly. From the study, it was established that there is a combination of eight factors that influences the patterns of purchase for beauty care products and cosmetics that are eco-friendly and these are; physical cues and visual appeal in cosmetic stores, the lifestyle of the women, economic and self-image health considerations, females ethical consumerism, green cosmetics pharmacological essence, effective promotion and decisions that are price-conscious.

2.7 Other classes of cosmetics.

The health awareness of human beings has over the years extended to the personal beauty industry from the food industry. Today consumers are observed to show more interest for packaging that is sustainable, ingredients that are natural and other green elements of cosmetics. Lin et al., (2018) carried out a study that explored the attitude of consumers towards green cosmetics. The researches key findings were the prevailing neutral attitudes towards green cosmetics as a result of confusion of market standards and lack of knowledge. Most of the individuals who were involved in this study viewed performance and price as the most important factors that inform the choice of cosmetics in comparison to green elements. Most of the respondents, however, admitted that with the increasing awareness of green production and natural and organic ingredients, there is potential for change of the current attitudes and in the future there is a high probability that they will be more supportive. The study by Lin et al., (2018) ascertained the attitudes of consumers towards green cosmetics and also called for green regulations and standards that are clearer. In the cosmetics market today, multifunctional cosmetics have become more common. They are characterised by their abilities to perform more than their basic functions (Schueller & Romanowski, 2016). As a result of the affluence of women and the increments in consciousness about appearance, the London cosmetics markets potential is large. There is a higher number today, of working women in comparison to the past. The purchasing power and esteem levels of these women of today is high and a good number of them work in the service sector where they are required to have one on one interactions with customers. Their appearance is quite important as it builds proper impressions on customers. As such, there is an increasing willingness among women to pay more for cosmetics so as to improve their appearance. Advancements in technology have enabled companies to manufacture cosmetic products that are multi-functional. These are products that are capable of performing more than just their basic roles, like those cosmetics that have UV protection and vitamins (Mills, 2015). There has been increasing competition among cosmetic companies to launch products that have more features for purposes of differentiating themselves. The popularity of products that are multi-functional has increased as more and more consumers place even stronger emphasis on getting value for their money for every purchase they make. The concern of consumers in London is on both the image of the product and also on the effectiveness of the product when they make choices of cosmetics. As such, companies that deal with cosmetics are keen competing with development of products and their subsequent marketing. Different marketing strategies are used for promotion of cosmetic products as a result of the keen competition faced in the cosmetics industry in London. The emphasis is today placed on advertisements through celebrities and spokes-models adopting images that are more professional far away from the traditional advertising practices. There is a tendency in marketers where instead of promoting products they promote the images of the products.


3.0 Methodology

This chapter expounds on the methods that were used for collection of data, the subsequent analysis and also presentation and also the ethical considerations that were factored in.

Research strategy

To find out the different factors that influence and inform the purchasing decisions of women of cosmetics, and their cosmetic preferences, a systematic approach is adopted in this study. For the successful attainment of the objectives of the study, a descriptive design is adopted in the study. Different research strategies are unique in their own ways. It is not possible to exercise the same procedure and approach to every other new research paper. Factors like the required time for accomplishment of research, a study`s main objectives and the environment in which a study is carried out determine the strategy and approach adopted in different papers.Systematic strategies are transparent of the way they generate their conclusions. That is because they avoid the misrepresentation of the knowledge base as every other piece of research is evaluated and its quality and relevance made clear. To improve the confidence placed on research findings it is always important that there is clarity of the steps that have been taken to reduce distortions and inaccuracies in the research. The systematic approach are also explicit in reporting their methods that facilitates their appraisal. That allows readers to make decisions for themselves on whether the researcher was careful enough and can confidently say that they have carried out extensive research that helps them to answer their research questions. When carrying out research, the primary goal is to a way that facilitates the answering and meeting of the objectives of the research. To be successful in this, it is quite important to identify the type of information required and its availability.


The study additionally relies on primary data collection methods to collect data that would answer the research questions. There are two types of information that are basically collected when collecting primary data (Norris et al., 2015). These are specific and exploratory information. In its nature, exploratory research is general and open-minded and on the other hand, specific research tends to be more precise and is used in solving those problems that are identified through exploratory research involving properly structured data collection methods that are also formal. In primary research, we collect new data that has not been collected before while secondary research involves the analysis of already existing data and the identification of themes that are repetitive with the intentions of meeting the objectives of the research (Driscoll, 2011). This research is quantitative and generates numerical data for purposes of determining the awareness of consumers, their preferences and those factors that influence their purchasing decisions of cosmetics in London. We quantify opinions, attitudes, behaviours and other defined variables and then go ahead and generalise results from a larger sample population. In quantitative research, data that is measurable is used for purposes of formulating facts and further uncovering patterns in research. It is worth noting that in comparison to qualitative data collection methods, quantitative data collection methods are more structured. There are different types of quantitative data collection methods and these include; online surveys, use of paper surveys, face-to-face interviews, longitudinal studies, questionnaires, systematic observations, online polls among others.

3.1 Research design

This is an outline of the way through which the entire research was carried out and what really needs to be done so that the research can answer the research questions that have been proposed. A descriptive survey research design is used in this study. This involves the determination and subsequent reporting of the way things are through the description of attitudes, possible behaviours, respondent’s characteristics, and their values (Gray, 2019). Questionnaires are used in this study as the appropriate tool (Find questionnaires in ppendix). Both open and closed ended questionnaires are used in this study to provide a representative sample from the different women in London who use cosmetics. The use of questionnaires is an economical means of information collection. The costs of carrying out studies with questionnaires are rather low as the only money spent is for printing of papers and postage (Testa & Simonson, 2017). Visiting the different respondents personally is not necessary. Questionnaires also make it possible to reach many people who would otherwise, not have been reached. They are capable of covering large groups of people at the same time. Whenever researchers have to cover respondents who are scattered widely, for purposes of minimisation of costs, questionnaires can be used. For instance in our case where we intend to get the views of many different women in London, interviewing would be expensive as there would be excessive costs of transportation both in monetary terms and time wise (Pozzo, Borgobello & Pierella, 2019). The reception of responses in the use of questionnaires are quite fast as it is never necessary to visit respondents personally or carry on with studies for longer time periods. Another advantage with the use of questionnaires is that there are merits that are unique with regard to the validity of information. In other methods like observations and interviews, responses reliability is dependent on those investigators who record the responses (Quinlan et al., 2019). However, in the use of questionnaires, respondent’s responses are available in their own versions and languages. As such, it is not possible for researchers to interpret the information wrongly. The downside to questionnaires, however, is that researchers are not capable of carrying out intensive and in-depth studies of the respondents’ reactions, feelings and sentiments. All these would only come about from a direct interaction of the respondents and the researcher. As a result of the lack of interactions with respondents, researchers are not capable of going into details of the life of the respondent.

Research philosophy

In any project, the research philosophy is always important as it has major impacts on the quality of data collected. What this implies is that the research philosophy decided on determines the actual nature of the research. Commonly used research philosophies include interpretivism, realism and positivism. There are specific advantages and disadvantages for researchers attached to each of these research philosophies. The researcher adopts the positivism research philosophy with the intention of exploring the awareness of consumers, their preferences and those factors that influence their purchasing decisions of cosmetics with special reference to London.


Justification of the selected approach

The positivity philosophy adheres to the views that only knowledge that is factual and that is obtained through means of observation and even measurement can be trusted. In line with the philosophy, the roles of the researcher here were confined to the collection of data and further interpreting it in ways that were objective. Research findings in this types of studies, usually are observable and can be quantified. Positivism is dependent on observations that are quantifiable and that can be analysed statistically. Rahi (2017), posits that the positivism philosophy is in line with the view of empiricists that human experiences bear knowledge. It contains a view of the world that is ontological and atomistic that is made up of observable and discrete elements and also events that interact in an observable manner that is also regular. Additionally, positivist studies adopt the deductive research approach as a general rule. Information related to the use of cosmetics is readily available which further pushed the researcher to adopt the deductive approach. The deductive approach is also very capable of analysing the hypotheses developed. Through the use of the deductive approach, the researcher was also able to approach different respondents maintaining minimal interactions with them to add value to the study and also improve its quality.

3.2 Sample size and Sampling procedure

The study`s sample size is made up of 1000 women based in London drawn from different age brackets and social statuses picked randomly estimates that there are up to 5.5 million women living in London. This population size is big and it is recommended that when that small sample sizes are best for large populations while larger sample sizes are ideal for smaller populations. The researcher settled on 1000 because they did not want the sample size to either be too big or too small while also factoring the costs of administration of the questionnaires. Whenever sample sizes are too small, the margin of error goes up which reduces the reliability of data. On the other hand, when sample sizes become very big, it becomes more expensive to incentivise and further convince target audiences to participate. Simple random sampling is used for the selection of the women involved in the study. Simple random samples are subsets of statistical populations whereby all the members of the subset have equal probabilities of being chosen. Simple random samples are intended to provide representations of groups that are unbiased. All the individuals who make up subsets of large groups are randomly chosen and as such, all individuals in population sets that are large have equal probabilities of being selected. In majority of the cases, this creates a subset that is balanced that carries great potential for representation of whole larger groups, bias free. Lottery methods are rather onerous for large populations and a computer generated process is required in the selection of random samples from large populations. The computer generated process follows the same procedure as the lottery method and instead of humans performing the number assignments and subsequent selections, computers perform them. There has to be a room for errors in simple random samples that are represented by a minus and a plus. For instance, in the event a survey has to be carried out in a school to determine the number of students who use their left hands, random sampling would help determine, that out of one hundred students, eight are left handed. In that case, it would be concluded that up to 8% of the student population is left-handed.

3.3 Method of data collection

Different options were explored in the selection of the most appropriate data collection method. We considered interviews, but, reached the conclusion that while interviews would be appropriate, the amount of data that would be collected from them would not be sufficient to answer the questions that were intended to be answered in this study. We settled on questionnaires as the appropriate tool for data collection. Questionnaires are standards sets of questions that are predetermined that are presented to people following the same order and with the intention of obtaining their responses. The use of questionnaires put the researcher in a good position to collect the information that was necessary for answering the research questions. Through the approach, the research was able to gather large volumes of information in a manner that was timely and at the same time also ensured the obtaining of a sample size that was reasonable. Through the use of questionnaires, the researcher was also able to eliminate bias that would have come about had the researcher only relied on the use of interviews solely for collection of data. The questionnaires had different questions that were aimed studying the buying behaviour of female consumers of cosmetics and understanding their preferences with regards to different cosmetic products. For purposes of legitimising the study, we prepared a properly written statement of introduction. The contents of the introductory statement include a statement of the purpose of the study that was properly written. The researcher assured all those who were involved in the study that anonymity would be ensured to avoid situations of the respondents feeling that the information could be used against them. In the questionnaires, there was also emphasis that the questionnaires did not have wrong or right answers to reassure them that they were not stupid. For purposes of increasing response rates, both closed and open ended questionnaires were used. These questionnaires were distributes among the women who had been selected through simple random sampling.

3.4 Instrumentation and pre-testing

The literature review was used for the development of the questionnaires. Subsequently, the research objectives and background information were used for organisation of the questionnaires. The purpose of carrying out pre-testing was for refining of the design of the questionnaire and for the subsequent identification of errors which would only have been apparent to the women who use cosmetics who in this case were the concerned population (Faux, 2010). It is a standard rule that all those questionnaires used in pre-testing have to be as similar as possible to the final group and the administration of the pre-testing should be in conditions that are as similar as possible to those in which the final questionnaire will be administered in. all those women who were involved in the pre-testing were not included in the final sample. Through pre-testing, the different errors that are associated to survey research are minimised. Pre-testing further helps to significantly improve the quality of data.

3.5 Ethical consideration

All the data that is collected in this duty will at all times be protected from access by third parties. The different participants will receive assurances of concealing of their identities and the recording of their responses will be done with utmost honesty and accuracy and the involved persons will not be identified by their names. To improve the confidence of the respondents, they received assurances of anonymity. Additionally, they were also assured that at no time would the information they had provided be used against them.

Before involving any participant in the study, we also had to obtain their informed consent. To achieve this, the researcher explained to the respondents the nature and the purpose of the research. These explanations were given and the respondents allowed to ask questions and decide on whether they were comfortable with participating in the study or not. There are different ways of obtaining informed consent. From time to time, in-person participant enrolment studies involve discussions and consent forms are signed. On the other hand, for web-based surveys, the consent is implied, in that when one completes a web-based survey, it is an indication that they consented to participating in the study (Connelly, 2014). In those instances that surveys are delivered physically, however, respondents should always be made to understand that it is within their right to participate or not do so. Additionally, it is also within the power of respondents to move on to subsequent questions in a questionnaire without responding to previous questions.


4.0 Results and discussion

The purpose of this study was to do an exploration of the different factors that influence the purchasing decisions of women for cosmetics. For achievement of these goals the following research objectives were formulated;

  • Understand the preferences of women for cosmetic products with respect to different cosmetic brands.
  • Identify the behaviours of female consumers.
  • To identify those factors that influence the purchase decisions of women. These objectives acted as a guide for the study. for the attainment of the objectives, a questionnaire was formulated distributed to different respondents selected through simple random sampling, coded, analysed statistically using Microsoft excel, analysed and presented in tables and graphs and finally interpreted.

4.1 Demographic characteristics of women by use of cosmetics

We sought to identify the percentage of women who use cosmetics to enhance their appearance.


Figure 3: Demographic characteristics of respondents by their use of cosmetics From this graph, it is quite clear that majority of women use cosmetics to enhance their appearance physically. Characteristically, the eyes of women are darker than those of women and these sex differences are enhanced by make-up. Additionally, those qualities that are desirable that men look for in women and that to a large extent are related to reproductive fitness are amplified by make-up. Guegen (2012) carried out a field study which established that red lipstick had an influence on the speed with which men approached women in bars. It’s all related to women desiring to look attractive than they actually are.

4.2 Demographic characteristics of respondents by age

The study sought to establish the ages of the different women who use cosmetics mostly in London.


Figure 4: Demographic characteristics of respondents by age The results in the above figure indicate that most of the women who use cosmetics fall between the ages of 36-45 percent at 27%, followed by 23% in the 46-55 age bracket. From the figure, it is also clear that 22% of the respondents are in the age bracket of 26-35 years old and 15% in the age bracket of 16-25 years. 10% of the respondents are in the age bracket of 56-65 years and the remaining 10% are 66 years and above. It is clear that most of the people who use cosmetics fall between the ages of 16 and 45 years. This could be a result of the increased consciousness of self-image and attractiveness among women. Majority of the women in this age bracket are in their active working years and are quite active socially. After 30 years, the signs of ageing start appearing on most women depending with their lifestyles (Goodman et al., 2019); wrinkles start appearing on their faces and hair growth slows and this could also inform the reason why most of them use cosmetics, to fight ageing. Different people in different age groups have different intentions for purchasing cosmetics. Not ageing stands out as a primary reason behind the use of cosmetics. Hume & Mills (2013), posit that baby boomers who do not want to get old provide the largest representative population group of purchasers of cosmetics. Baby boomers place additional importance on the maintenance of appearances that are youthful (Twigg & Majima, 2014). The development of make-up that is age specific together with colour cosmetics products will thus be stimulated by the ageing population and that is particularly in the sectors that deal with facial make ups (Ramos-e-Silva et al., 2013). Those ingredients that are capable of meeting the needs of the ageing baby boomers will continue to impact. With no doubt, looking more beautiful is one of the reasons that people purchase cosmetics. The concept of scarcity can be used to explain this. For instance, skin that is tanned appears more beautiful for westerners and there is scarcity of tanned skin in the west (Loboda & Lopaciuk, 2013). On the other hand, in Hong Kong, white skin is considered to be more beautiful because, amongst the Asians, fairness is scarce. Satisfaction of scarcities leads peop

4.3 PlSace of purchase

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Table 1: provides consumers preferences of purchase stores. From the table, it is quite clear that most of the women who buy cosmetics purchase from departmental stores, 38.9%, while 26.% purchase from big retail shops. 17.0% have no specific place from which they buy from and 18.0% buy from other places that were not specified.

Figure 5: Respondents preferences of outlet of purchase

4.4 Preferences of consumers

The preferences of consumers in the purchase and use of cosmetics varies in usage.

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presents the different cosmetic products that consumers prefer to purchase. From the table, lipsticks are the most popular cosmetic products used by up to 67.8% of the respondents, followed by body sprays used by 45.2% of respondents, powder is used by 42.1% of the respondents, deodorants by 35.4% of the respondents, nail polish by 34.5%, shampoo by 32.5%, eyebrow by 24.5% of respondents and snow is the least popular used by 23.4% of the respondents.

4.5 Preferred brands

The graph below presents 15 different leading cosmetic brands in the United Kingdom. This is based on usage by different female consumers. From the results, it is clear that majority of the women prefer products from Rimmel and Max Factor cosmetic brands. It is worth pointing out that most of these female consumers actually buy from different cosmetic brands.


Figure 6: consumers brand preferences

In the past, different products would go unbranded and the sale of products happened without the identification of the supplier. However, today, all products have to be branded and packaged well. Brand has over the years become an important attribute of products. Branding is intended at identifying the producers of given products. What this implies is that the use of a name, term symbol and also a combination of these for the identification of the products of certain sellers from those of competitors. The naming of a product, just like the naming of a product just like the naming of a baby is referred to as branding. A good brand has the following features;

  • Makes a suggestion about a product, its name, the benefits to be accrued from its use, its purpose and performance of action.
  • Names of brands need to be short, their pronouncing and spelling should also be easy and they also need to be easy to identify and explain. Advertising the brand name should be easy.
  • Registration and protection of the brand in line with set legislation should be easy.
  • The life of the brand needs to be stable and should not be affected by time. Styles and fashion have short life spans and as such, good brands should not be dependent on them.
  • It should build associations that are pleasant.
  • Should be distinctive, attractive and also unique.
  • .

Within the cosmetics industry, the inclination of consumers and their tendencies towards prices as good guides to quality has been exploited largely by different cosmetics manufacturers. Large amounts are spent by those who sell cosmetics to advertise them. Consumers prefer to buy from particular cosmetic brands. That makes it necessary to study their cosmetic purchase preferences. There are customers who are so particular with buying from particular brands while there are others who are not conscious of brand.

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Figure 7: consumers purchase intentions

In the world of today that is highly competitive, organisations are always looking for new ways of maximising loyalty to their brand among the consumers and there are factors that could lead to a rise in loyalty to a brand. Kala, Rahmadiani & Kumar (2013), posit that brand could use their high awareness amongst consumers and images for promotion of brand loyalty among their consumers and that would build intentions to purchase among the consumers. Nezekati, Yen & Akhoundi (2013), argue that brand names that are famous are capable of disseminating the benefits of products and eventually leading to higher recall of the benefits that are advertised when compared to other brand names that are not famous. The marketplace is crowded with many brand names that are not familiar to many. For purposes of gaining satisfaction, consumers could show preference to trust major brand names that are famous. Customers are attracted to purchase from this brand names that are prestigious (Tajeddini & Nikdavoodi, 2014). Additionally, the images of these famous brand names have the effect of attracting consumers to buy from the brand and bring about repeat purchasing behaviour while also reducing switching behaviours that are related to price. According to Hakkak, Vahdati & Nejad (2015), building brand names encompasses the development of a brands identity and also building of an image and this processes are both time consuming and expensive. Brand development is an essential part of the process and that is mainly because the basis of a brands image is its name. Strong brand names help firms to attract customers to buy products and also influences repeat purchases (Cho & Fiore, 2015). Often, the perceptions of consumers of products are from an overall perspective and this involves the association of the brand name with the experienced satisfaction from the purchase and subsequent use of the product and its attributes and also any existing negative associations. An investigation was carried out by Sakara & Alhassan (2014), on the niche market in female cosmetics which established that there was an increasing number of cosmetics buyers becoming conscious of fashion who demand for products that have designs that are attractive. Additionally, for different occasions, there is a tendency amongst consumers to put on different make up designs. It is also argued that another important part of the product is its visual appearance and design and this includes the details that have an effect on the perception of customers towards different brands (Taghipour & Loh, 2017). Consciousness of fashion is described by Mirabi, Akbariyeh & Tahmasebifard (2015), as an awareness of new designs, dynamic fashions and styling that is attractive together with the inherent desire to buy trendy ad exciting products. Shahroudi & Naimi (2014), posit that those brands that supply packages that are stylish are capable of attracting consumers who are loyal and fashion conscious. Leaders in fashion often do their purchases from highly fashionable stores. Their satisfaction comes from the use of the latest designs and brands. This also goes a long way in satisfying the ego of the consumer.

4.6 Loyalty to brands

To measure the loyalty of customers, we asked them questions about their likelihood to recommend the brand they buy from to their contacts and friends, their likelihood of buying from the same brand in the future and their likelihood of trying out other services and products of brands they brought from in the future. For this part, we involved only respondents who had indicated using the Rimmel and Max Factor brands to establish their loyalty.


Figure 8: Graphical representation of the loyalty of Rimmel consumers


Figure 9: Consumer loyalty to Max Factor

From these two graphs, it is quite clear that the consumers of different cosmetics are quite loyal to specific brands and would go back to buying from them, refer their contacts and friends to buy from them and also buy different products from them. The definition and subsequent measurement of brand loyalty is approached in different ways. All marketers are concerned with the topic of brands. All companies make efforts to have groups of customers who are unwavering for their services and products and that is mainly because increments in market share are closely related to improved loyalty to brands. As such, those brands that aim at improving their positions within markets need to be successful both in gaining new users of their brands and also in developing their loyalty (Pappu & Quester, 2016). It is worth noting that loyalty to brands is more than just repeat purchasing and encompasses more. There are six conditions that need to be met and these are biased, expressed over time, with respect to one or more alternative brands out of such brands, by some decision making unit, behavioural response and the function of psychology. According to this definition, it is possible that consumers could be loyal towards more than one brand, that it they could be loyal to the different brands at the same time (Chan & Mansori, 2016). Loyalty to brands rejects certain brands from a set of alternatives in addition to selecting the same brands. While, brand loyalty is one of the areas of consumer behaviours that is widely researched on, there is very little that is known of it. Four loyalty patterns were identified by George H. Brown and these include;4

Undivided loyalty –

this comes about when consumers only purchase from one brand in a product category.

Divided loyalty –

consumers divide their purchase between different brands in a product category.

Unstable loyalty –

consumers make purchases from brands A and B without following any specific order, that is, they could purchase in the following order; AABBBBABB. This indicates that the loyalty of the consumer is undivided between brands A and B.

No Loyalty

consumers purchase from a brand in a product category in an order that is completely random. It is worth noting that customers are not always loyal to specific brands and from time to time they switch to different brands in search for satisfaction. Switching between brands comes about when consumers are dissatisfied or bored with products that they have been using. There are other consumers who are more concerned with prices in comparison to brand names. Concluding that all consumers are either loyal to a brand or disloyal is really not easy. In discussions of brand loyalty, quality of product and the quality of the process of production play some very important roles. Designers must always be capable of designing those standards of quality that customers and marketplaces expect in terms that are both clear and precise (Khan, 2013). All features should meet the expectations of customers in terms of performance requirements. There should be precise limits of acceptability set by manufacturers so that the manufacture of products by the production team is per the specifications (Aliyar & Mutambala, 2015). So that this can be achieved, all individuals charged with design, production and quality control should take part in the different marketing stages. The design of the product should be in conformance with those requirement specifications that are jointly created by the teams in charge of marketing, design, manufacturing and management of quality (Jothi, 2015). There are different characteristics that are related to cosmetic products like weight, chemical composition, volume, smell, taste, colour, period of expiry among others. Additionally, majority of cosmetic products also have to conform to standards of quality like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The team involved in design always has to take into account all these aspects when they embark on design of cosmetic products. According to Parmar (2014), the quality of a product plays a pivotal role in influencing the loyalty of customers to brands. Their findings also point out to majority of consumers showing preference for brandname, quality of product, price, and promotion, quality of service and store environment as factors that are relevant and that are attributable to loyalty to brands. With no doubt, when there is an increment in social activities, the cosmetics industry is one of the areas that offers vast potential in the consumer market (Bae & Sung, 2014). Findings that are more positive and more reliable would affect consumers, makers of policies and even marketers. By gaining an understanding of the different ways through which loyalty factors possibly affect the buying behaviours of consumers, they would be able to segment markets and consumers for marketing communication and also for their brands (Yang & Liu, 2014). Companies can improve their marketing strategies through examination of the different ways through which the usage of cosmetics influences the perceptions of brands which would go a long way in enhancing the satisfaction of customers and also increasing their customer base. Additionally, through the identification of those brand personalities that are capable of attracting consumers, it becomes possible for companies to pinpoint those characteristics that customers seek in products and that in turn could be used to enhance the image of brands (Ghazai et al., 2017).

4.7 Influence of packaging dissertationhomework

Figure 10: Does colour of package influence purchasing decisions of consumers?


Figure 11: Does the material of packaging influence consumers buying decisions?


Figure 12: Are consumers purchasing decisions influenced by the design of packaging?


Figure 13: Does labelling information on product packages influence the buying decisions of customers?

From these graphs, it is quite clear that the packaging of products goes a long way in influencing the purchasing decisions of customers. There are those who will be attracted to a packages colour, others will be attracted by the graphics on the package, others will be attracted by the labelling information on the packages and others will be attracted to the design of the package. Through use of symbols both pictorial and verbal, packaging influences the purchasing behaviour of consumers and also informs potential customers of a products contents, its properties, usage procedures, advantages to be drawn from the use of a product and possible side effects. All companies that manufacture cosmetics should as such, focus on packaging as a tool with the capabilities of increasing their sales and also reducing costs of promotion. Packaging could be used for promotional purposes, that is, to make the products differentiate from other brands. There are multiple tasks and functions performed by packaging which involve the description of products and their features and also the communication to the consumers. Packaging also helps with safeguarding of products. For instance, a products package contains information on usage guidelines, the ingredients used in the manufacture of the product, and the precautions to be taken in the event a product has a side effect on someone, warnings, date of expiry, name of manufacturing company among others (Kiygi Calli & Kilic, 2019). It is as such evident that one of the foremost components of product promotion is packaging and there is an important role played by package design in marketing. Products that are of food quality and that have unique packages are able to remain in the minds of customers for longer time periods. As such, it is always necessary that the design of packaging is in such a way that it is capable of promotion of the sales of a product (Suki, 2016). Whenever people are attracted towards a product, there is a high likelihood that they would buy more of it and that would go a long way in driving sales up and also revenue. There are many purchase decisions that are made at the point of purchase and this further increases the importance of good packaging. A Jaud, Melnyk & Landwehr (2018), posit that more quantities of products are purchased by consumers after they see their labels and that makes it clear that consumer buying behaviours are influenced by labelling even though there are other factors that influence the buying behaviour of consumers. There is an important role played by colour in product`s marketing. Colour is with no doubt the most powerful visual component of a product (Vilnai-Yavetz & Koren, 2013). A products colour acts to maintain the interest of a customer and consumers identify products with their colours in their minds. There are many ideas embodied by colour and is in itself sufficient for communicating the messages of the images they represent. Fariq, Habib & Aslam (2015), posit that there is an important role played by graphics and colour in the promotion of the sales of a product. It maintains the interest of the consumer and is also identified with products even after purchase in the mind of the consumer. Raheem, Vishnu & Ahmed (2014), point out that colour is an excellent information source and communicates both positive and negative messages to consumers and the evaluation of up to 70% buyers do their assessment and evaluation on the basis of colour alone. There are any effects that colour has on the thoughts, behaviours and feelings of consumers and so it is important that marketers focus on use of colours as devices that support cognition and thoughts and also grasp the attention of consumers towards products (Vilnai-Yavetz & Koren, 2013; Kauppinen-Raisanen, 2014). As such, companies should be careful in their choices of packaging colours as they should only settle on colours that are capable of affecting products in the long term and that are also capable of influencing consumers buying behaviours. Other important aspects of product packaging are the wrappers and materials used and packages and wrappers that are creepy are capable of holding back consumers from making purchases. Olawepo & Ibojo (2015), posit that when a products package is damaged by up to 55%, the trust that buyers place on that product steadily declines and this makes consumers to move towards other brands. Today, many people prefer uniqueness and are stylish and as such, good packaging material. According to Rafi (2015), whenever companies design products of high qualities with elements that are superior and that look superb, they affect the buying behaviour of consumers mostly the upper class. The upper class is characteristically more conscious of their self-image within societies and it is for this reasons that they would want to be more careful with the choice of brands and products. They majorly carry themselves as a classy group of the society and as such, whenever products packaging designs are in accordance to their mind sets and demands, it could possibly have an effect on their purchasing behaviours and as such driving revenues up (Beneke et al., 2015).

Effect of pricing on purchase intentions

We sought to establish whether pricing has an influence on the purchasing decisions of cosmetics by women.


Figure 14: Effect of pricing on purchase decisions4

Most of the respondents admitted considering the price of a product before making a purchase. To a large extent, the perceptions of price influence the purchasing decisions of customers for cosmetic products. That makes price an important factor in influencing purchase decisions. A perception about a price expounds on the available information about a product and further provides consumers with deeper meaning. When it comes to the judgement of those benefits that consumers wish to get from purchase of different services and products, they are normally very rational. There are three main dimensions of product prices, namely; fixed prices, fair prices and relative prices. Fair prices are those adjustments in price that offer combinations of appropriate services of high quality at prices that are reasonable. On the other hand, fixed prices are those prices that are det equally for all those who intend to buy. Majority of the consumers use prices as indicators of quality following the famous say of “you get what you pay for” and “cheap is expensive.” Brands must always set prices that are reasonable. Pricing involves the determination of the amounts of payment required for different items offered for sale (Weisstein, Asgari & Siew, 2014). The balance of supply and demand determines pricing and the setting of prices is done with a confidence that consumers will pay for it. Decisions to purchase are dependent on the perceptions of consumers of prices. There are different pricing strategies that companies use for their products. We discuss some of the commonly used pricing strategies namely; odd-even pricing strategy, bundle pricing and discount pricing, and the effect each strategy has on customers.

2.5.1 Odd even pricing

There are different explanations that are offered for the reasons behind the use of odd pricing. The fact that customers perceive odd prices as being cheaper than they actually are is one of the reasons (Quigley & Notarantonio, 2015). A price of £5.99 would be viewed by consumers as being closer to £5.00 in relation to being close to £6.00. The responses of buyers are believed to be triggered by the illusions of much cheaper products. As such, when the price of an item is set at £5.99 buyers would recall the prices as being £5.00 and not £6.00. This pricing strategy is based on the theory that there are certain prices that have psychological impacts (Kung & Hsu, 2012). Their design is in such a way that they influence the customers psyche and attract them into buying. Even pricing is intended at making prices to appear as though they are lower than they actually are.

2.5.2 Bundle pricing

This is a strategy for pricing whereby, different products and services and also combinations of them are presented to the customers as single packages with a set single price (Rafiei et al., 2012).

2.5.3 Discount pricing

The long and short term effects of promotional pricing are explained by Hinterhuber & Liozu (2012). In line with this view, consumers in the short run, switch to particular stores that offer promotional prices. Additionally, consumers also switch to those brands that are frequently involved in promotional pricing. This strategy engages new customers and ultimately leads to generation of even higher profits for firms (Beracha & Seiler, 2014).


5.0 Conclusion

The findings of this study point out clearly that Brand image, brand loyalty, quality of product, packaging of product, design of packages and pricing of cosmetics are some of the factors that influence the buying decisions of consumers. The findings of this study could be used by marketers in the designing of cosmetics marketing strategies. It is worth noting that it is not all consumers who are motivated to buy by the sensing of needs. Majority of consumers, actually, do not make any decisions until they get into stores. A good number of decisions to purchase cosmetics are made in stores. The responses of consumers are towards what is new and even store formats. As such, shifting focus on consumers and further understanding the needs they have is quite important for the marketing of cosmetics. It is now wise to ignore factors like emotional appeal and indulgence. One of the effective ways of introducing new product features to customers is in-store promotion. Today, the marketplace is riddled with category explosion and economic slowdown and that make innovation the password to the success of different societal aspects including the development of products, formulation of ingredients and even packaging. Products that are multifunctional are demanded by the customers of today who are increasingly sophisticated and that makes innovation a ey contributor of the cosmetic markets long term growth. The largest percentage of innovations that come about from the development of new products is in the markets of skin care, fragrances and make up. Formulation has also been gaining prominence, as consumers increasingly demand of products to have benefits that are effective and functional. For the marketing of cosmetics in London, branding is quite important. in the larger Europe, the key to successful marketing lies in possession of sound knowledge of consumers and also in brand building. Building of brands follows the possession of sound knowledge of consumers. When the brand equity of brands is considerable, consumers want to stick around them. In the event the consumers are pushed away by increments in price, they would easily be brought back by reductions in selling prices. It is worth noting that it is brand loyalty and not brand equity that leads to consumers being less sensitive of prices. Strong brands do not even have to advertise. Brand positions offer a range of beauty care and natural skin care products that are friendly to the environment. There are different opinions on product line expansion. Awareness of consumers could possibly come about from expansion. Those brands that have more products in line are capable of attracting more attention of consumers. Line expansion has the potential of leading customers to shifting to other brands as consumers flock to goods that are cheaper or stick with premium brands. Development of products that are highly differentiated is quite important. These products should be capable of providing consumers with benefits that are unique. Consumers have been demanding products with enhanced performance that are capable of offering different perceived benefits like mildness. Whenever there are products with new features, it is always advisable that effort is put to ensure that the additional features are unique and also provide consumers with additional benefits so that products can be capable of differentiating from others. It is also advisable that while products have features that are unique, the features should not be too many. Decision making could involve making trade-offs on the attributes that are key.

It is necessary for marketers to have a proper understanding of these key attributes and also work towards providing those key attributes that consumers place high values on.


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This survey intends to determine the awareness of consumers, their preferences and those factors that influence their purchasing decisions of cosmetics with special reference to London.

Information about respondents

Do you use any types of cosmetics?

Please tick against your age group

16 – 25 ☐

26 – 35 ☐

36 – 45 ☐

46 – 55 ☐

Over 66 year’s ☐

Information on purchasing behaviours

Where do you buy your cosmetics from?

Departmental stores ☐

Big retail shops ☐

No specific outlet ☐

Others ☐

Which cosmetics do you use?




Nail polish☐


Body spray☐/p>


Shampoo ☐

From which brand do you buy your cosmetics

Nyx ☐

Garnier ☐

Estee Lauder ☐

Bare Minerals☐

Benefit Cosmetics☐



L`Oreal Paris☐



Maybelline New York☐

Max Factor ☐

Rimmel ☐

Brand Loyalty Only fill this section if you use either the Rimmel or Max Factor cosmectics

Do you buy from particular brands or do you buy from just any brand?

Purchasing from particular brand ☐

Not purchasing particular brand ☐

How likely are you to recommend the brand you buy from to your friends?

Yes ☐ No ☐

Will you buy from the brand you bought from previously in the future?

Yes ☐ No ☐

Would you buy different products from these brand?

Yes ☐ No ☐

Influence of packaging

Does colour of package influence your purchasing decisions?

Always ☐ Rarely ☐

Often ☐ Never ☐

Sometimes ☐

Does the material of packaging influence your purchase decisions?

Always ☐ Rarely ☐

Often ☐ Never ☐

Sometimes ☐

Does the design of the packaging influence your purchase decisions?

Always ☐ Rarely ☐

Often ☐ Never ☐

Sometimes ☐

Does labelling information on product packages influence your buying decisions?

Always ☐ Rarely ☐

Often ☐ Never ☐

Sometimes ☐


Do you consider a products price before buying it?

Yes ☐ No ☐

Survey Results

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Place of purchase


Preference of consumers


Preferred brand

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Do you buy from a particular brand or from different brands?


Loyalty brands We narrowed down to two brands for this part. Rimmel and Max Factor.

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Max Factor


Packaging Does colour of package influence your purchasing decisions?


Does the material of packaging influence your buying decisions?


Does the design of a package influence your buying decisions?


Does labelling information on product packages influence your buying decisions?



Do you consider the price of a product when making a purchase?

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