Template for Proposal Front Cover

The Impact of Tmall on Buying Behaviour of Luxury Fashion Goods among Millennial Consumers in Qingdao



Research Proposal

[1,500 words]

MSc International Operations and Supply Chain Management

April 2021

Glasgow School for Business and Society

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction 3

1.1 Research Background 3

1.2 Aims and Objectives 3

2.0 Literature Review 3

2.1 Buying behaviours of luxury fashion among millennials. 3

2.2 Theories of consumer behaviour and application in buying luxury products. 4

3.0 Methodological Framework 5

3.1 Planning and Critical Analysis 6

3.2 Ethical Concern 6

Reference 7


A. Ethic Form 8


1.1 Research Background

China is the world’s largest online shopping market, mostly made up of a new generation of young consumers who contribute to the global luxury market’s growth (Feng, 2018). Because of the social standing that comes with luxury products, young Chinese customers are becoming luxury consumers (Jain, Khan, and Mishra, 2015). They believe that owning and being associated with designer labels is social capital. Poor flow – how does this relate to the idea in the previous paragraph?E-commerce is employed to achieve a goal. There are gaps in the literature, especially in the role of social influence in individualist and collectivist societies. This literature review will focus on buying behaviours for luxury fashion among millennials, reviewing similar studies and reports, methodology and findings of similar studies, theories of consumer behavior and application in purchasing luxury products, and gaps in the literature.

1.2 Aims and Objectives separate aim and objectives

The main aims and objectives of this study are:

To investigate whether The theoretical frameworks of e-commerce and the economic effects of Tmall on luxury fashion buying. There are 2 separate objectives in this objective. Unclear what you mean by the economic effects of TMall on luxury fashion buying. You need to refer to TMall in the research background and explain why you’re using it

To investigate whether there is a positive relationship between the economic and social effects of Tmall and luxury fashion buying behavior of millennials in Qingdao.

Investigate the influence of online service provider Tmall on the consumers of millennials in Qingdao.

2.0 Literature Review

From around 34 million users in 2006 to over 466 million users a decade later, China’s online shopping market has grown at an exponential rate (Feng, 2018). E-commerce was first developed in the 1960s, but it was not widely used until the 1990s (Gensler, Leeflang and Skiera, 2012). Jingdong Mall, the largest professional 3C online shopping platform in China’s B2C industry and one of the most popular is an example of a successful online platform. It

2.1 Buying behaviours of luxury fashion among millennials.

Source? The article provides insight into how Tmall has impacted the buying behaviours of luxury fashion goods by forming partnerships with fashion designers. The article offers an insight into how loyalty, brand awareness, association with quality, and brand equality affect luxury consumers’ buying behaviours. The writers use Maslow’s theory to explain the consumer needs that affect behaviours in buying as the needs shift as people move from one level to another. The article explains that social media influences millennials, digital content, fashion influencers, and celebrities, so online content majorly drives their buying habits.

To begin with, new international luxury brands have entered the Chinese market at present, and consumers buy western products to show their social and economic status. The second characteristic is that millennials in Qingdao mostly buy luxury goods as gifts to keep a good relationship with their acquaintances, mainly because people from Qingdao have a collectivist culture. Hence, millennials buy luxury brands in order to be accepted by society. Considering the Chinese consumers’ luxury product buying behaviour, Solomon suggests that the motivation behind the buyer affects the buying behaviour of a customer. According to Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, the millennials in China spend much money buying luxury fashion because of reasons related to self-actualization, influence from others, and social comparison.

Most millennials aim at buying the most iconic items that one can easily recognize based on the latest trends. The influencers are meant to contextualize luxury products, but they play the role of luring young millennials into buying luxury fashion goods. Tmall always promotes fashion brands to increase brand awareness because most consumers prefer to buy a well-known product. Brand loyalty is the buyers’ emotional attachment to a specific brand, so they repeatedly purchase the product. The Chinese collectivist culture affects the buying behaviours of millennials in Qingdao. As a result, most millennials in Qingdao tend to buy luxury fashion goods from Tmall to satisfy their desire to gain a sense of belongingness. Sources?

Chinese consumers’ online luxury product buying behaviour is one of the significant trends in the fact that millennials in China buy luxury fashion goods for social capital. Digital media has profoundly affected the buying behaviours for luxury goods among young people in China (Feng, 2018; Gensler, Leeflang and Skiera, 2012). Chinese millennials are interested in buying innovative devices (Gensler, Leeflang and Skiera, 2012). Additionally, concerning the challenges facing Tmall in impacting the young luxury consumers, even though Tmall has positive impacts on buying behaviours of millennials in Qingdao, it faces several conflicts because some people sell counterfeit items on the platform. As a result, some millennials may be afraid to buy goods from Tmall. Young people who are not in the position of buying expensive items have been forced to do illegal activities to get the funds needed to support their lavish lifestyle. Many millennials feel social insecurity because they do not have funds to support luxurious buying. Tmall needs to look for ways in which they can make the buying experience much more personalized. The consumers do not have a chance to try on or touch the product they buy on Tmall, which creates doubt on the clients (Gensler, Leeflang and Skiera, 2012). Secondary data may not provide up to date information because the buying behaviours of millennials and fashion change within a short duration of time.

2.2 Theories of consumer behaviour and application in buying luxury products.

According to Madhavan and Chandrasekar (2015), the Engel Kollat Blackwell theory identifies the process of decision making and consumer buying behaviour during consumption. A negative experience during evaluating a good or service will affect the buyer’s decision in future occurrences. The model explains that a product should fulfil and exceed the customers’ needs to buy the product. If a product or service does not meet the expectations of a client, or a customer incurs a lousy experience during the purchasing process, the buyer shall not buy the good or service (Madhavan & Chandrasekar, 2015). Another theory that explains consumers’ buying behaviour is the planned behaviour theory (Bian and Forsythe, 2012, p.314). Some of the factors that affect the intentions of buying behaviours include subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and attitude toward the behaviour (Kumar, 2012, p. 7).

Moreover, concerning subjective norms theory, social influence plays a crucial role in consumer buying behaviour, as explained by the subjective norms. According to Shukla (2010), two approaches affect a consumer’s buying behaviour, divided into personally oriented and socially oriented practices. Most people buy luxury goods to gain a sense of belonging in a particular group. There is a clear relationship between a collectivist community and a person’s image, which finally affects the behaviour of a buyer. The theory relies on the assumption that consumers undergo complex cognitive processes before deciding to buy. Tmall contributes to the consumers’ choices by forming partnerships with fashion designers to build brand equity, using digital media, such as WeChat, to make the millennials aware of available brands and creating an opportunity for buyers to engage with the product. The study concludes that social media and the online marketing strategies of Tmall have significantly influenced the buying trends of millennials (Daswani and Jain, 2011, p. 29). The most exciting aspect of analyzing the buying behaviours of millennials is the use of shrewd digital brands, which capture shifting demand as consumer behaviour is dynamic.

3.0 Methodological Framework

Use a methodological framework to explain your methodology – either the research onion or the honeycomb. Whichever one you choose, you will be expected to explain and justify your choices in relation to:

Research philosophy – interpretivist, positivist or pragmatic?

Research approach – inductive, deductive or abductive?

Research strategy – qualitative or quantitative or mixed methods? Primary or secondary data?

Data collection and analysis – for secondary research, outline literature search strategy. How will you analyse it. It’s not clear how content or discourse analysis will answer your research question.

This research will utilise qualitative approach to determine the impacts of Tmall on buying behaviours of luxury fashion goods among millennial consumers in Qingdao. Qualitative study is captivating because of the ease at which one can carry out its competences (Bazeley, 2013, p. 74). Also, the qualitative model supports a naturalistic approach (Bryant and Oliver, 2009, p. 134). However, some scholars have criticised the qualitative approach because it involves gathering data from small non-random samples. Additionally, the study will use both content and discourse analysis methods of qualitative data analysis.  Furthermore, the research will use content and discourse analysis to identify the overall impacts of online shopping on luxury consumers (Leech, 2008, p.587). The report recognises the precise function of the text and the procedure for claiming authority connection with other discourses. Moreover, the analysis examines how the authors of various books constructed central concepts, processes of categorizing and naming, subject positions, construction of reality, and social relations. According to content discourse analysis, the way that people use language is purposeful, whether one freely makes conscious choices or not (Yin, 2017, p. 205). Additionally, the content analysis can shed light on deep cultural matters about the writer of the article. Also, content analysis shows the whole message system without having selectiveness of an individual.  The research will employee deductive approach in this project because they will test a hypothesis on an existing theory:

RQ1. What are the economic implications of Tmall on millennials consumers of luxury goods?

RQ2. How has online shopping affected the social status of the millennials of Qingdao? How is content and discourse analysis going to help you test a hypothesis. You nee ot do statistical analysis to test a hypothesis

On the other hand, the research will use an explanatory research design since they establish the cause and effect of Tmall on buying behaviours of luxury fashion goods among millennials. To produce meaning, the research will employee discourse analysis to determine language structures in connection to the context of a document. Discourse Researchers have utilized content analysis to infer elements of cultural change as well as culture (Yin, 2017, p. 205). The content and discourse analysis methods will be employed to research books and periodicals. That is because the medium is the vehicle through which the message is delivered. You’ re talking about the literature review here – that does not involve content or discourse analysis

If the text is on paper, the Researchers will use coloured highlighters to mark specific themes. They will check conventions of text such as titles, headings, legends, illustrations, and conventions of organization of the text such as sequencing. The documents will enable the Researchers to map out the facts that specific texts establish in each topic to assess cultural references on the material. After determining the context of the text, the Researchers will determine if the documents contained references from other sources for consumer buying matters. The Researchers will consider if the meaning of the text changes with the use of passive or active voice. The literary figures will enable Researchers to identify particular relations between text and behaviour, making categories to explain specific consumer behaviours. The Researchers will have to track down the direct statements and analyze the context of such statements and their function in the original text.This is utterly meaningless. How is this going to help you achieve your aim? Did you attend any research methods classes?

This study will examine e-marketing, buying behaviours and luxury fashion goods. The Researchers will use secondary data collection methods to ensure the information acquired is accurate and realistic. In total, the study will begin with 100 documents, but the number of documents will be narrowed down to 42, which will be most applicable and relevant. First of all, the documents were ensured to be reliable as they were tested through asking the whereabouts of the person who collected the data as well as the sources of data. Also, the time the data will be collected and bias regarding the data will be also taken into consideration. Secondly, the researcher will test the data for suitability. In this case, the researcher will scrutinise the definitions of various units and terms included in the collected information. Additionally, the researcher will inquire about the scope, nature, and object of the original inquiry. In this context, the Researchers will use data, which will be suitable, reliable, and adequate. What is the point of this? Are you gathering secondary data?

3.1 Planning and Critical Analysis







Research poster presentation

Work and submission of proposal

Literature review

Ethics forms and consideration

Data collection

Data extrating

Process of Questionnaires

Data analysis

Draft research report

Final draft recommendations and conclusions


3.2 Ethical Concern

Second-hand data collection methods will be used in this study, and since there is a consideration of data representation, the EC5 form was used.


Bazeley, P., 2013. Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. Sage.

Bryant, J. and Oliver, M.B., eds., 2009. Media effects: Advances in theory and research. Routledge.)

Chadha, R. and Husband, P., 2010. Cult of the luxury brand: inside Asia’s love affair with luxury. Nicholas Brealey International.

Feng, B., 2018. An exploration of how smart-phone addiction affects online shopping behaviour and decision making of Hong Kong Consumers.

Gensler, S., Leeflang, P. and Skiera, B., 2012. Impact of online channel use on customer revenues and costs to serve: Considering product portfolios and self-selection. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(2), pp.192-201.

Jain, V., Pingle, S. and Daswani, A., 2011. Understanding Indians purchase behaviour process: luxury apparel sector. Metamorphosis, 11(1), pp.82-94.

Jensen, M.B., 2008. Online marketing communication potential. European Journal of marketing.

Kim, J., 2019. Luxury fashion goods ownership and collecting behavior in an omni-channel retail environment. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel.

Kumar, V. and Dange, U., 2012. A study of factors affecting online buying behaviour: A conceptual model. Ujwala, A Study of Factors Affecting Online Buying Behavior: A Conceptual Model (August 25, 2012).

Madhavan, M. and Kaliyaperumal, C., 2015. Consumer Buying Behavior-An Overview of Theory and Models. St. Theresa Journal of Humanities and Social

Shukla, P., 2010. Status consumption in a cross‐national context. International Marketing Review.

Virlics, A., 2013. Emotions in economic decision making: a multidisciplinary approach. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 92, pp.1011-1015.

Yin, R.K., 2017. Case study research and applications: Design and methods. Sage publications.