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Hedonic and utilitarian shopping

motivations of fashion leadership
Jiyun Kang and Haesun Park-Poaps

Received July 2008
Revised June 2009
Accepted July 2009

School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge,

Louisiana, USA
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between fashion
innovativeness/opinion leadership and utilitarian/hedonic shopping motivations. This study seeks
to develop a better understanding of fashion leadership and determine the primary shopping
motivations associated with fashion leadership.
Design/methodology/approach A survey was completed by a total of 150 students at a large
university in the southeastern USA. Multiple regression analyses, MANCOVA, and ANCOVA were
employed to test the research hypotheses.
Findings The results indicated that fashion innovativeness was significantly related to various
hedonic shopping motivations; fashion innovativeness was positively associated with adventure and
idea shopping motivations, whereas it was negatively associated with value shopping motivation.
Fashion opinion leadership was positively associated with utilitarian shopping motivation.
Practical implications The results of the study help to suggest various marketing and retailing
strategies to stimulate fashion innovative behaviors through adventurous, stimulating, and up-to-date
new fashions. They also suggest that fashion opinion leadership could be activated by focusing proper
shopping environments or advertising on information/features for cognitive stimulation.
Originality/value The study investigated a direct relationship between fashion leadership and
shopping motivations for the first time. The findings of the study strengthen academic research on
fashion leadership by identifying pre-positioned shopping motivations that trigger fashion leadership,
as well as practical applications.
Keywords Consumer behaviour, Fashion, Leadership, Innovation, Shopping, Product differentiation
Paper type Research paper

Journal of Fashion Marketing and

Vol. 14 No. 2, 2010
pp. 312-328
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/13612021011046138

The success of a new fashion product is determined by its adoption by a majority of
consumers in a market (Polegato and Wall, 1980). This mass acceptance of a new
fashion is often initiated and accelerated by fashion leadership, which commonly
involves two major dimensions: fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion
leadership. Fashion innovativeness is the tendency to buy a new fashion earlier than
any other consumers (Sproles, 1979), while fashion opinion leadership is the ability or
tendency to convey information regarding a new fashion in a way that influences
successive purchasers to accept or reject it (Workman and Johnson, 1993).
As a result of this important role of fashion leadership in the adoption process, a
great deal of research has been conducted on the phenomenon of fashion leadership.
Earlier studies mostly focused on the roles of demographic variables in determining
fashion leadership, such as age (Baumgarten, 1975; Hirschman and Adcock, 1978),
gender (Summers, 1970; Polegato and Wall, 1980; Goldsmith et al., 1987), race (Bauer
et al., 1965), and marital status (Polegato and Wall, 1980). Other studies have defined

associated behavioral characteristics of fashion leadership, such as participation in

social activities (Hirschman and Adcock, 1978; Baumgarten, 1975) and
information-seeking behaviors (Polegato and Wall, 1980; Chowdhary and Dickey,
1988; Vernette, 2004). Some studies have identified fashion leadership as leading to
such shopping outcomes as high expenditure of time and money on fashion shopping
(Gutman and Mills, 1982) and impulse shopping (Phau and Lo, 2004). However, these
studies have not been sufficient to explain what drives or activates fashion leadership
so that marketers can utilize the information.
Researchers have argued that fashion behaviors are deeply rooted in emotional and
psychological motivations (Goldsmith et al., 1996; Goldsmith and Flynn, 1992).
Uncovering the mechanisms of the complex emotional and psychological motivations
behind fashion behaviors can advance our understanding of fashion leadership
(Forsythe et al., 1991; Goldsmith et al., 1996). Beyond demographic backgrounds and
behavioral outcomes of fashion leadership, it is necessary to examine primary
motivations associated with fashion leadership, especially in the context of shopping.
Understanding what shopping motivations drive fashion leadership behaviors will
enable marketers and retailers to create effective and attractive marketing strategies
and shopping environments that can satisfy targeted or desired shopping motivations
and thus influence fashion leadership behaviors.
Motivation refers to the processes that cause people to behave in a particular
manner (Solomon and Rabolt, 2006). Researchers have found that shopping
motivations are primarily driven by utilitarian and hedonic reasons (Childers et al.,
2001; Kim, 2006; Babin et al., 1994). In particular, recent studies have identified multiple
varying hedonic motives for shopping. With evidence of a multiplicity of hedonic
desires, Arnold and Reynolds (2003) systematically developed a typology of hedonic
shopping motivations, which includes adventure, gratification, role, value, social, and
idea shopping motivations. Although the connection between fashion leadership and
shopping motivations is not clearly known, several studies have indirectly suggested a
relationship exists between them (Gutman and Mills, 1982; Chang et al., 2004; Bellenger
and Korgaonkar, 1980; Phau and Lo, 2004; Hausman, 2000; Lennon and Davis, 1987).
Furthermore, a substantial number of studies have investigated fashion leadership
from segmentation approaches (Workman and Studak, 2007; Workman and Studak,
2006; Workman and Kidd, 2000; Baumgarten, 1975; Hirschman and Adcock, 1978),
mainly focusing on fashion innovators or fashion opinion leaders. However, innovators
and opinion leaders comprise only 2.5 and 13.5 percent, respectively, of the general
population, according to adoption theory (Rogers, 1983). On the other hand, individuals
have varied levels of fashion leadership, according to previous studies (Goldsmith and
Clark, 2008; Bertrandias and Goldsmith, 2006; Park et al., 2007). That is, the variance of
fashion leadership and its relationship with shopping motivations has not been fully
The purpose of the present study was to determine primary shopping motivations
associated with fashion leadership. Two dimensions of fashion leadership were
studied: fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership. Utilitarian and
hedonic motivations (i.e. adventure, gratification, role, value, social, and idea shopping
motivations) were examined to capture varied motivational characteristics that are
significant to each dimension of fashion leadership.





The findings of the present study fill a void in the literature and thus contribute to
academic research on fashion leadership by empirically identifying pre-positioned
shopping motivations behind fashion leadership. Further, this study is meaningful for
the building of fashion leadership theory because it clarifies the distinction between
fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership in terms of the shopping
motivations associated with each. Additionally, this study contributes to the hedonic
and utilitarian shopping motivation literature by suggesting that shopping values
sought by consumers are linked to their fashion leadership. Rather than fashion
leadership being a fixed variable, evidence suggests that fashion leadership is actually
the combination of psychological and learned behaviors (Sproles, 1979). Consequently,
the findings of this study can be used by marketers in the development of strategies to
motivate consumers to be involved in fashion leadership behaviors.
Review of literature
Fashion leadership: fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership
Rogers (1983) theory of adoption and diffusion of innovations describes the manner in
which an innovation can be spread throughout a social system over time. He suggests
the model of adopter categorization, which classifies members of a society on the basis
of innovativeness, that is, the tendency to adopt an innovation soon after it appears on
the market and relatively earlier than most other consumers. In this model, the five
consumer groups are placed in a sequence of categories that describe how early a
consumer adopts an innovation compared to others: innovators, early adopters, early
majority, late majority, and laggards. Along with innovativeness, Rogers also noted
opinion leadership as one of important determinants of consumer groups and defined it
as the degree to which an individual is able to influence informally other individuals
attitudes or overt behavior in a desired way with relative frequency (p. 331). Rogers
suggests there is a relationship between adopters and both innovativeness and opinion
leadership. Innovativeness is higher for innovators and decreases for later adopters. By
contrast, opinion leadership is higher for early adopters than for any other adopters.
Rogers theory offers a foundation for Sproles (1979) to construct a framework of the
adoption and diffusion of a fashion. Sproles stressed the significant roles of consumers
fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership in the adoption and diffusion
process of a new fashion. Consumers at a high level of fashion innovativeness tend to
be the first to display a new fashion, playing the role of a pioneer in the early history of
the new fashions acceptance. Meanwhile, consumers with high fashion opinion
leadership are likely to influence mass consumers through interpersonal
communication, mainly occurring among intimate social groups where they can
legitimate the acceptance of a new fashion.
According to Sproles (1979), retailing or marketing strategies that target or activate
fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership also effectively facilitate the
acceptance of new fashions into the mass market. Therefore, consumer researchers and
marketers are interested in the ability to identify predictors for understanding fashion
leadership. Early studies primarily focused on profiling fashion leaders based on
demographics (e.g. age, gender, race, and marital status). Many studies found that
fashion leadership was negatively associated with age (Baumgarten, 1975; Hirschman
and Adcock, 1978; Summers, 1970), while other studies showed that females had higher
fashion leadership than males (Polegato and Wall, 1980; Goldsmith et al., 1987;

Summers, 1970). In addition, it was found that Black women were more likely than
White women to describe themselves as fashion innovators (Bauer et al., 1965;
Robertson et al., 1969; reported by Goldsmith et al., 1987). Finally, most fashion opinion
leaders were found to be married, whereas most fashion followers were single
(Polegato and Wall, 1980).
Nevertheless, research results on the effects of demographic variables on fashion
innovativeness and/or fashion opinion leadership have been inconsistent. For example,
several researchers found that age was not a significant predictor of fashion opinion
leadership (Polegato and Wall, 1980; Chowdhary and Dickey, 1988). Others found that
women were not fashion leaders more frequently than men (Goldsmith and Stith, 1993)
and that middle-class Blacks and Whites were similar in their self-reported fashion
innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership (Goldsmith et al., 1987). In terms of
marital status, there was no significant difference between fashion opinion leaders and
later adopters (Phau and Lo, 2004). Accordingly, it seems demographic variables have
limitations in their ability to predict or explain fashion leadership.
Other studies have investigated relevant behavioral characteristics such as
participation in social activities, information seeking patterns, and fashion expenditure
behaviors. Some findings indicate that consumers with high fashion leadership are
more likely to participate in social activities than others (Hirschman and Adcock, 1978;
Baumgarten, 1975). They also tend to favor marketer-dominated sources (e.g. fashion
magazines) over consumer-dominated sources (e.g. classmates) as the most important
sources of new fashion information (Vernette, 2004; Chowdhary and Dickey, 1988;
Polegato and Wall, 1980). These findings support Sproless theory, which suggests that
fashion leaders play the roles of information sources and advisors for later adopters. In
addition, consumers with high fashion leadership were found to spend more money on
clothing than did fashion followers (Baumgarten, 1975; Goldsmith and Stith, 1993).
Although these studies can explain behavioral characteristics associated with
fashion leadership, they are limited in their ability to explain fashion leadership
because of the associative nature of their focus; the predictors of fashion leadership
behaviors remained unclear. As a result, researchers began studying psychological
factors associated with fashion leadership. Studies have found that fashion innovators
appear to have unique self-images (Goldsmith et al., 1999), and, when compared to
fashion followers, fashion opinion leaders may perceive themselves as more excitable,
indulgent, contemporary, formal, and colorful (Goldsmith et al., 1996). In addition,
fashion innovators were found to perceive themselves as being psychologically
younger than fashion followers when the effect of chronological age was statistically
controlled (Goldsmith and Stith, 1990) and showed a significantly higher need for
variety than fashion followers (Workman and Johnson, 1993). Similarly, fashion
leaders showed a higher need for uniqueness than fashion followers (Workman and
Kidd, 2000). As far as social values, fashion innovators placed greater importance on
excitement and fun/enjoyment than fashion followers (Goldsmith et al., 1991;
Goldsmith and Stith, 1993). More recently, it was reported that fashion opinion leaders
were more sensitive to social comparison information, a tendency to be concerned
about others reactions to ones own behaviors (Bertrandias and Goldsmith, 2006).
Thus, consumers with high fashion leadership seem to have different sets of values
and psychological characteristics than typical mass market consumers. However,
previous studies were primarily carried out using an approach in which the sample




was halved into two groups based on the fashion leadership scale. That is, the variance
of the fashion leadership and its function in influencing the behaviors were not fully
captured. Further, based on Rogers (1983) theory, fashion leaders are assumed to
account for only 16 percent of the population. Hence, it is questionable whether an
entire half of the sample can be identified as fashion leaders.


Shopping motivations: utilitarian and hedonic shopping motivations

Shopping motivations are deeply rooted in the values of shopping held by a consumer
and the pleasures the consumer seeks (Babin et al., 1994). Shopping motivations are
largely categorized as utilitarian and hedonic drives (Childers et al., 2001; Kim, 2006;
Babin et al., 1994). Traditionally, consumer behavior researchers have regarded
shopping as a highly rational process from the utilitarian perspective. Shopping has
been viewed as mainly driven by a need for specific product acquisition and with a
work mentality (Forsythe and Bailey, 1996; Fischer and Arnold, 1990; Sherry et al.,
1993). However, researchers have recently abandoned the perspective that shopping is
only an activity of cognition and have started examining hedonic values as a drive for
shopping, such as shopping for leisure and recreation, or the emotional roles of mood
and pleasure (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982; Halvena and Holbrook, 1986; Bagozzi
and Heatherton, 1994; Hoffman and Novak, 1996).
In utilitarianism, which is a task-related and rational view (Batra and Athola, 1991),
an individual is viewed as a problem solver (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982).
Utilitarian shopping motivations are task-oriented, rational, and cognitive (Babin et al.,
1994), with the intentions or desires to purchase a product efficiently and rationally
highlighted. On the other hand, hedonism, the festive or even epicurean side (Sherry,
1990), is motivated by a desire to have fun and be playful. Therefore, hedonic shopping
reflects the experiential values of shopping that include fantasy, arousal, sensory
stimulation, enjoyment, pleasure, curiosity, and escapism (Scarpi, 2006; Hirschman and
Holbrook, 1982). As the hedonic values of shopping have been confirmed, researchers
have started to recognize multiple varying hedonic reasons for shopping (e.g.
enjoyment, pleasure, social experience, and other values related to entertainment
aspects of shopping) (Babin et al., 1994; Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982; Scarpi, 2006).
Through a series of qualitative and quantitative studies, Arnold and Reynolds (2003)
developed and validated a scale of hedonic shopping motivations: adventure,
gratification, role, value, social, and idea shopping motivations. Adventure shopping
motivation refers to shopping for adventure, stimulation, or something that just feels
different from the ordinary. Gratification shopping motivation drives shopping used as a
means of stress relaxation, for improvement of a negative mood, or just to buy a special
self-treat. Prompted by role shopping motivation, an individual goes shopping to give
pleasure or gifts to others to make himself or herself happy. Value shopping motivation
applies to shopping for sales and discounts and the enjoyment of finding bargains and
reduced prices, seen as a kind of game to be won or challenge to be conquered. Shoppers
driven by social shopping motivation go shopping to maintain their membership to some
social group and to enhance their relationship with peers and family by shopping
together. Lastly, idea shopping motivation drives shoppers whose goal it is to learn new
styles and to keep up with trends by noticing new products and innovations.
The work of Arnold and Reynolds (2003) was significant, as studies have indicated
that these motivations have a great impact on consumer behavior. Shopping enjoyment

was shown to be positively related to the amount of time spent shopping (Forsythe and
Bailey, 1996). Consistent with this finding, recreational shoppers were found to spend
more time shopping than economic shoppers, although they spent less time
deliberating before purchasing (Bellenger and Korgaonkar, 1980). Another study that
examined differential roles of hedonic and utilitarian shopping motivations and their
predictive roles of behaviors found that consumers at a high level of hedonism tended
to purchase more frequently than those at a high level of utilitarianism (Scarpi, 2006).
In addition, Scarpi found that the dollar purchase amounts and the number of items
purchased were negatively associated with utilitarianism, but positively with
hedonism. A similar study conducted in the context of online shopping (Childers et al.,
2001), found that usefulness and enjoyment were both related to positive attitudes
toward Internet shopping, which suggests that utilitarian and hedonic motivations
play an equal role in predicting a consumers attitude toward online shopping.
Likewise, scholars have concluded that utilitarianism and hedonism are essentially
complementary and intertwined (Babin et al., 1994; Scarpi, 2006) and consumers may
seek the benefits of both when shopping for fashion products (Scarpi, 2006).
Fashion leadership and shopping motivations
Several studies have suggested possible connections between fashion leadership and
shopping motivations. Previous research on fashion leadership indicates it may be
related to cognitive utilitarian motivations. For example, individuals with a higher level
of fashion innovativeness/opinion leadership tend to have a higher level of fashion
involvement and heavier shopping experience than others (Baumgarten, 1975;
Goldsmith et al., 1991). Their involvement and experience corresponds to their
expertise in fashion products, which leads them to be active fashion advisers for other
members of the mass consumer market. High levels of involvement and knowledge are
known to be associated with extensive information searching and elaborated cognitive
efforts in information processing (Solomon and Rabolt, 2006). Similarly, fashion
innovativeness has been found to correlate with awareness of alternatives that indicate
cognitive complexity (Lennon and Davis, 1987), and consumers less involved in fashion
were found to show a lower level of shopping planning than those who are more involved
(Gutman and Mills, 1982). Further, efficiency and timeliness in achieving a goal (i.e.
product choice or purchasing) are important characteristics of utilitarian shopping
(Bellenger and Korgaonkar, 1980; Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982). These studies suggest
that an individual with a higher level of fashion innovativeness/opinion leadership may
be more involved in fashion and thus be more willing to cognitively process information
when shopping for fashion products. These connections among fashion
innovativeness/opinion leadership, fashion involvement, knowledge, and cognitive
efforts indirectly suggest a relationship between fashion innovativeness/opinion
leadership and utilitarian shopping motivation.
On the other hand, other studies have suggested a seemingly contradictory, but
intriguing prediction. In these studies, consumers with high fashion leadership were
found to be more involved in fashion, enjoy shopping more, and be less cost-conscious
and practical than those with low fashion leadership (Gutman and Mills, 1982).
Meanwhile, involvement in fashion and hedonic shopping motivations have been
found to be positively related (Chang et al., 2004). Taken together, these findings
suggest that fashion leadership may also be positively related to hedonic shopping





motivations. Fashion-oriented impulsive behavior plays an important role in fulfilling

hedonic desires (Hausman, 2000), and fashion innovators have been found to show
more impulsive shopping behavior than non-fashion innovators (Phau and Lo, 2004).
This series of studies suggests that fashion innovativeness and its corresponding
behaviors could be related to fulfilling hedonic desires. Similar inferences might also be
made from the following series of studies. Individuals with high levels of fashion
innovativeness and/or opinion leadership were likely to purchase more frequently and
spend more on fashion products than others (Baumgarten, 1975; Goldsmith and Stith,
1993). This result is comparable to the finding that the amount purchased and
frequency of shopping for fashion products are positively associated with hedonic
shopping motivations (Bellenger and Korgaonkar, 1980). The motivations behind
consumer behaviors are deeply rooted in consumers value preferences or
predispositions (Goldsmith and Stith, 1993). A previous study (Goldsmith et al.,
1991) suggests that the values held by consumers with a high level of fashion
innovativeness, including excitement, fun, and enjoyment, influence their hedonic
motivations and possibly their behaviors to fulfill their desires.
Based on the consensus that both utilitarianism and hedonism come into play in
consumer shopping (Babin et al., 1994; Scarpi, 2006) and the discussion on fashion
leadership and its associated characteristics, the following hypotheses were generated:
H1. Fashion leadership is associated with utilitarian/hedonic shopping
H1a. Fashion innovativeness is associated with utilitarian and hedonic shopping
H1b. Fashion opinion leadership is associated with utilitarian and hedonic
shopping motivations.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between fashion leadership
(i.e. fashion innovativeness/opinion leadership) and utilitarian and hedonic shopping
motivations. A survey method using an online self-administered questionnaire was
employed. Compared to traditional pencil-and-paper surveys, online surveys have a
number of advantages, including lower financial and coding time costs, fewer coding
errors, and more privacy and convenience for respondents. However, they have a weak
compulsion level, and subjects must be computer/internet-literate. We used the
following strategies to overcome these shortcomings. Subjects were reminded and
encouraged to participate in the survey by e-mail, and the sample consisted of young
college students who were literate in computer use and the Internet.
Participants and sampling
The respondents included in this study were college students ranging in age from 18 to
25 years from a large university in the southeastern region of the USA. With
permission of the instructors, four different classes in the clothing and textiles
discipline were selected, and the students in each class were asked to participate in the
survey. It is known that 18- to 25-year-old college students tend to show behaviors that
are positively associated with fashion leadership (Workman and Studak, 2006). In
particular, it has been frequently found that university students majoring in textiles

and clothing are more involved with clothing, buy clothing more often, and put more
time and effort into purchasing clothing than students in other majors (Han et al., 1991).
These studies suggest that a greater proportion of college students majoring in textiles
and clothing are more likely to be fashion leaders than the general population.
Therefore, a convenient sampling method was chosen to make it possible to obtain
variance of fashion leadership, given the fact that individuals with high levels of
innovativeness/opinion leadership account for only approximately 16 percent of the
general population (Rogers, 1983). A total of 150 surveys were collected, of which 140
female responses were analyzed after discarding seven responses from those aged over
25 and three responses from males.
Fashion leadership consists of two constructs: fashion innovativeness and fashion
opinion leadership. Fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership were
measured by six items of the domain-specific innovativeness (DSI) scale (Goldsmith and
Hofacker, 1991) and six items of the fashion opinion leadership scale (Flynn and
Goldsmith, 1996). The reliability and validity of these scales has been established in
many previous studies dealing with fashion products (Flynn and Goldsmith, 1996;
Goldsmith et al., 1996; Goldsmith and Flynn, 1992). Respondents were asked to rate, on a
seven-point Likert-type scale, the level of their agreement to each statement according to
their self-perception, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).
A total of seven shopping motivation variables were included: utilitarian,
adventure, gratification, role, value, social, and idea shopping motivation. Utilitarian
shopping motivation was measured by six items developed Babin et al. (1994). The
scale has been used by many studies and proved to be effective in profiling consumers
and in predicting fashion behavior (Scarpi, 2006; Kim, 2006). While utilitarian shopping
values (motivation) is effectively measured by one scale, scholars have suggested
hedonic shopping motivation is multi-dimensional (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003). Thus,
we adopted Arnold and Reynolds six hedonic shopping motivations (adventure,
gratification, role, value, social, idea shopping motivation). A scale for each motivation
included three items, each of which was scored on a seven-point Likert-type scale
ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Respondents were asked to
first think about their most common shopping trips for fashion products (e.g. clothing,
shoes, bags, and related accessories) for a moment before proceeding with the survey.
This instruction was to allow respondents to refresh their memory about their
shopping habits to reflect their habits more precisely (Babin et al., 1994). All items used
in this study are shown in Table I.
Sample characteristics and descriptive results
The average age of the respondents was 21 (SD 1:31). In terms of academic rank,
seniors were most frequent (n 62, 44.3 percent), followed by juniors (n 48, 34.3
percent), sophomores (n 19, 13.6 percent), freshmen (n 10, 7.1 percent), and
graduate students (n 1, 0.7 percent). The descriptive statistics and correlation
coefficients of the measures of fashion innovativeness, fashion opinion leadership, and
each shopping motivation are shown in Table II. As suggested by many studies in the
past, fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership were correlated with each






Fashion innovativeness

In general, I am the last in my circle of friends to know the names of

the latest designers and fashion trendsa
Compared with my friends, I do little shopping for new fashionsa
In general, I am among the last in my circle of friends to purchase a
new outfit or fashiona
I know more about new fashions before other people
If I heard that a new outfit was available through a local clothing or
department store, I would be interested enough to buy it
I will consider buying a new fashion, even if I have not heard of it yet

Fashion opinion leadership

My opinion on fashion seems not to count with other peoplea

When they choose fashionable clothing, other people do not turn to
me for advicea
Other people come to me for advice about choosing fashionable
People that I know pick fashionable clothing based on what I have
told them
I often persuade other people to buy the fashion I like
I often influence peoples opinions about clothing


Utilitarian shopping motivation It is important to accomplish just what I had planned on each
shopping trip
While shopping, I found just the items I was looking for
I would be disappointed if I have to go to another shop to complete
my shopping
A good store visit is when it is over very quickly
Adventure shopping motivation To me, shopping is an adventure
I find shopping stimulating
Shopping makes me feel like I am in my own universe

Table I.

Gratification shopping

When I am in a down mood, I go shopping to make me feel better

To me, shopping is a way to relieve stress
I go shopping when I want to treat myself to something special

Role shopping motivation

I like shopping for others because when they feel good I feel good
I enjoy shopping for my friends and family
I enjoy shopping around to find the perfect gift for someone

Value shopping motivation

For the most part, I go shopping when there are sales

I enjoy looking for discounts when I shop
I enjoy hunting for bargains when I shop

Social shopping motivation

I go shopping with my friends or family to socialize

I enjoy socializing with others when I shop
Shopping with others is a bonding experience

Idea shopping motivation

I go shopping to keep up with the trends

I go shopping to keep up with the new fashions
I go shopping to see what new products are available

Note: aReversed item

No. of items












2 0.02


2 0.17


2 0.22
2 0.15
2 0.04
2 0.02



other (r 0:52), which is consistent with previous studies (Gutman and Mills, 1982;
Goldsmith and Stith, 1993; Gorden et al., 1985; Goldsmith and Clark, 2008). Shopping
motivation items were refined through an exploratory factor analysis. In the result, two
out of the six items on utilitarian shopping motivation were excluded: It feels good to
know that my shopping trip was successful, and I like to feel smart about my
shopping trip. These deletions resulted from the low factor loading of item, and the
low ability to discriminate factors for item. As these items include the wordings
feels/feel, they may have resulted in a weak facet representativeness of the utilitarian
concept. Therefore, the sum of the four remaining item scores was used to represent the
level of a respondents utilitarian shopping motivation. All the items of each hedonic
shopping motivation were used since the exploratory analysis showed a consistent
result with previous studies (Kim, 2006; Arnold and Reynolds, 2003).
Inferential results
Multiple regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Given that, in theory,
shopping motivations can be predictors of fashion leadership (i.e. motivations precede
fashion behavioral tendency), fashion innovativeness or fashion opinion leadership
was treated as a criterion variable (dependent variable) and motivational factors as
predictor variables (independent variables) in each regression model. However, the
relationship we tested may not implicate a cause-effect relationship because a clear
indication of causality between the two variables has not been empirically established.
Previous literature indicates a high correlation between fashion innovativeness and
opinion leadership (Goldsmith and Stith, 1993). Therefore, when fashion
innovativeness was regressed on the seven shopping motivations, fashion opinion
leadership was included as a covariate to control its effect on the criterion variable.
Likewise, when fashion opinion leadership served as a criterion variable, fashion
innovativeness was included as a covariate in the model along with motivational
factors as predictor variables.
The first multiple regression analysis had fashion innovativeness as a criterion
variable and revealed that approximately 49 percent of the variance of fashion
innovativeness could be accounted for by the linear combination of the predictors



Table II.
Descriptive statistics of
the measure of constructs



(R 2 0:49, p , 0.01). Therefore, the hypothesis H1a was supported. Close

examinations revealed that fashion innovativeness was positively related to
adventure shopping motivation (b 0:36, p , 0.01) and idea shopping motivation
(b 0:60, p , 0.01), and negatively related to value shopping motivation (b 20:22,
p , 0.01). The effect of the covariate, fashion opinion leadership, was found to be
significant (b 0:36, p , 0.01).
The second regression analysis, with fashion opinion leadership as a criterion
variable, revealed that approximately 32 percent of the variance of the fashion opinion
leadership could be accounted for by the linear combination of predictors (R 2 0:32,
p , 0.01). Therefore, hypothesis H1b was supported. However, only utilitarian
shopping motivation was a significant predictor (b 0:17, p , 0.05). The effect of the
covariate, fashion innovativeness, was found to be significant (b 0:48, p , 0.01).
Many previous studies have examined fashion leadership using a split method to
determine how individuals with high and low levels of fashion leadership differ with
respect to their demographic variables and behaviors. In this study, follow-up analyses
were conducted to examine the differences between significant shopping motivations
using this approach to generate implications along with previous findings. The
analyses examined the mean differences in the levels of shopping motivations between
two groups (high versus low) while varying the levels of their fashion innovativeness
and fashion opinion leadership. The respondents were classified into two groups
according to their scores on fashion innovativeness, using a median split method.
Respondents who scored above the median of the fashion innovativeness measure were
classified as the high fashion innovativeness group, with those who scored below the
median classified as the low fashion innovativeness group (median 35). A similar
grouping method was used on the fashion opinion leadership scale (median 33) (i.e.
the high fashion opinion leadership group vs the low fashion opinion leadership
group). About 20 percent of the respondents around the median were projected to be
excluded in order to discriminate the groups more clearly. A total of 16 percent of the
sample was excluded for the fashion innovativeness splitting, and 22 percent of the
sample was excluded for the fashion opinion leadership splitting.
To examine the difference between groups with high and low levels of fashion
innovativeness in their combined shopping motivations that were found significant in
the main analysis (adventure, idea, and value shopping motivation), a multivariate
analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted, after adjustment for differences
on a covariate (i.e. fashion opinion leadership) (see Table III). As previous multiple
regression analyses had confirmed there was a significant correlation between fashion
innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership, one of the two was again treated as the
covariate in the model, with the other as criterion variable. Boxs M statistic was
insignificant, [F6; 92138 1:45, p 0:19]; therefore, homogeneity of the
variance-covariance was assumed. The interaction between the factor and the
covariate was not significant [F3; 111 0:53, p 0:97, partial h 2 0.01]; thus,
homogeneity of slopes was also assumed.
Wilks lambda was used as a test statistic to interpret the multivariate results. The
main effect of the fashion innovativeness factor was significant [F3; 112 8:66,
p , 0.01; effect size h 2 0:19], indicating approximately 19 percent of multivariate
variance of combined shopping motivations was associated with the fashion
innovativeness factor. Univariate ANOVAs using the Bonferroni method were tested

Notes: *Wilkss L; * *p , 0.01

Shopping motivations
Adventure shopping motivation
Idea shopping motivation
Value shopping motivation






Low (n 55)

High (n 62)

8.64 * * (df 1; 114)

7.09 * * (df 1; 114)
8.88 * * (df 1; 114)

Univariate F

Multivariate F *
8.66 * * (df 3; 112)




Table III.
The results of
univariate ANOVA on
shopping motivations by
the fashion
innovativeness factor



at a 0:017. The results revealed that there were significant mean differences in
adventure shopping motivation [F1; 114 8:64, p , 0.01, partial h 2 0:07], idea
shopping motivation [F1; 114 7:09, p , 0.01, partial h 2 0:06], and value
shopping motivation [F1; 114 8:88, p , 0.01, partial h 2 0:07] between the two
groups with varied levels of fashion innovativeness. Estimated marginal means were
examined to determine how the two groups actually differed in detail (see Table III). In
brief, the means of adventure and idea shopping motivations for the high fashion
innovativeness group were higher than those for the low innovativeness group, while
the mean of value shopping motivation for the high fashion innovativeness group was
lower than that for the low innovativeness group.
Likewise, an ANCOVA was used to test the mean difference between the high and
low fashion opinion leadership groups on utilitarian shopping motivation, with fashion
innovativeness as a covariate. The result of Levenes test for equality of error variances
was not significant [F1; 107 0:019, p 0:89], which suggests homogeneity and
normality of variance. Homogeneity of slopes was also assumed, as there was no
significant interaction between the factor and the covariate [F1; 105 0:55, p 0:46,
partial h 2 0:01]. However, the main effect of the ANCOVA was not significant
[F1; 106 0:002, p 0:97, partial h 2 0:00]; therefore, no significant mean
difference in utilitarian shopping motivation existed between the high and the low
fashion opinion leadership groups.
Discussion and implications
The purpose of this study was to determine primary shopping motivations associated
with two dimensions of fashion leadership: fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion
leadership. The results of multiple regression analyses indicated that fashion
innovativeness was associated with some hedonic shopping motivations (adventure,
idea, and value shopping motivations), whereas fashion opinion leadership was
associated with a utilitarian shopping motivation but not with any hedonic shopping
The findings suggest that motivations driven by for adventure-seeking and desires
for new ideas explain the underlying reason consumers with a high level of fashion
innovativeness are willing to try new fashion at the very first life-stage of the product.
These types of consumer are also less concerned with value (e.g. bargaining, searching
for sales, and efficiency). On the other hand, fashion opinion leadership is more likely to
be linked to the achievement of shopping goals and the efficiency of the shopping
process (i.e. utilitarian shopping motivations) rather than hedonic reasons. These
findings have an important implication for the fashion leadership literature. Although
the two dimensions of the fashion leadership construct are established, studies have
shown unclear and highly mixed results (Darden and Reynolds, 1972; Summers, 1970).
The fashion cycle moves faster than that of other consumer products, which might be
one of the reasons it is difficult to be clear-cut innovative consumers (i.e. the first
purchaser) compared to early adopters. In addition, fashion involves a unique essential
characteristic: non-verbal communication media that evolve overtime (Kaiser, 1997). In
addition, it has been found that consumers with higher levels of both fashion
innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership are so-called innovative communicators
(Baumgarten, 1975; Hirschman and Adcock, 1978). Thus, rather than profiling
innovators and opinion leaders, theory and the marketing industry can benefit from

motivational characteristics associated with fashion innovativeness and opinion

leadership to promote corresponding behaviors for new products. Establishing the
rigor of the fashion leadership construct requires repeated empirical examinations of
determinants and associated psychological and behavioral indicators. This study has
defined the motivational characteristics that are significant for fashion innovativeness
and fashion opinion leadership and was able to distinguish between them. Even after
eliminating the effect of each construct, fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion
leadership were found to be associated with different shopping motivations. This
result could contribute to fashion leadership theory by suggesting that fashion
innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership are distinctive constructs.
Furthermore, the findings of this study suggest ways in which the fashion industry
could trigger those significant motivations that are associated with fashion
innovativeness and opinion leadership behaviors in order to accelerate fashion
adoption processes in the market. The findings provide information about what
marketers should focus on or discourage if they are aiming to trigger fashion
innovativeness and fashion leadership behaviors, especially during the launching
stage of new products. Marketing and retailing strategies that stimulate idea and
adventure shopping motivations will activate and encourage fashion innovative
behaviors. For example, retailers may provide customers with invitations to new
product-line launchings or fashion shows. They can experiment with accessible
showcases with new styles/products and adventurous shop interiors/fitting rooms that
allow consumers to easily see, try, and experience new and exciting fashion styles or
products. This will help stimulate consumers innovative tendencies to be risk-takers
and the first adopters. On the other hand, marketing or retailing activities focusing on
value and competitiveness such as low prices or practical product attributes such as
durability or comfort would have negative impacts on stimulating fashion innovative
The positive relationship between fashion opinion leadership and utilitarian
shopping motivation suggests that the tendency to be advisers and role models to later
adopters is likely to be associated with an emphasis on efficiency in achieving their
shopping goals. Strategies that emphasize their utilitarianism would trigger fashion
information-sharing behaviors and thus help marketers achieve word of mouth for
their new styles or products. The development of shopping environments where
consumers can achieve effectiveness and efficiency in their shopping, characterized by
intuitive floor plans with new merchandise and prompt salesperson responses, could
trigger fashion opinion leadership behaviors. However, the follow-up univariate result
warns against the validity of the finding; thus, the relationship between fashion
opinion leadership and utilitarian shopping motivation should be cautiously
interpreted and needs to be confirmed in future replication studies.
Limitations and future studies
This exploratory study was conducted to investigate whether relationships exist
between fashion leadership and shopping motivations and, if so, what those
motivations are. Traditional studies in fashion leadership have used grouping methods
to profile consumers with varying degrees of fashion innovativeness and opinion
leadership. However, we were unable to divide respondents into more than two groups
to compare with previous findings because of sample size restrictions. Therefore,





further studies can examine how different consumer groups such as fashion
innovators, fashion opinion leaders, innovative opinion leaders, and fashion followers
have different shopping motivations.
The findings of this study should be used as a basis for future studies to test
hypotheses that are more refined. Issues that limited the generalizability of the findings
of this study, such as data collection from a geographically and gender limited sample
(i.e. females enrolled in a university), could be resolved by a random sampling of the
general population. Furthermore, studies on the effect of fashion leadership and
shopping motivations on shopping behaviors such as store patronage and shopping
patterns in online environments would also be valuable in understanding fashion
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