Source:Tekstilna Industrija

Withthe increasing rate of internet penetration Macedonian apparel manufacturersare granted the opportunity to increase their retailing potential by embracinga new retail channel. The purpose of this research is to identify appropriateand distinct segments of potential internet consumers, to allow apparel retailersto develop efficient and effective online strategies for the local Macedonianmarket. To address the question a paper based survey was conducted, on a targetpopulation of frequent internet users. Factor analysis and cluster analysiswere used to obtain a three-cluster solution, tested by a discriminant analysis(98.5 per cent score). The two potential internet apparel shoppers segmentswere characterized by higher perceived usefulness of online shopping, andefficient shopping orientation; while they differed regarding their previous experiencewith online shopping, apparel purchasing expenditure and age. The third andlargest segment consisted of consumers highly involved with apparel products,with strong recreational shopping orientation, hesitant to buy local apparelonline.


Retailingon the Internet started as early as 1990, went through the turbulent phase ofthe dot com bubble on the turn of the millennia, and emerged as a viable retailstrategy for a number of products, including apparel. However, on the emergingSouth-East European markets e-retail is yet to be established. Macedonia is a typical example of a market where internet penetration is relatively high,still in 2009 only 2% of the population had purchased goods or services via theInternet, according to Eurostat [1], of which none purchased apparel products.In comparison, in 2009 the EU 15 average of online purchases was 33% of all individuals,of which 19% purchased apparel. Furthermore, Macedonia has a well developedapparel industry searching for appropriate manners to retail their products. Asa cost-efficient method of retailing, which can connect the manufacturers withconsumers without any intermediaries e-retail is an option apparelmanufacturers can pursue in order to develop their retail network. However, anymarketing strategy, including e-retail strategies, has to pay attention to the consumer.In the case of e-retail strategies, where the consumer is able to terminate theonline transaction at any given point, consumer knowledge grows in importance.Thus, the purpose of this research is to identify appropriate and distinctsegments of potential internet consumers to allow apparel retailers to developefficient and effective online strategies for the local Macedonian market.

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Originally published in Tekstilna Industrija March 2011

Mag. Elena Tomovska is associated with University"Ss. Cyril and Methodius", Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy,Institute of textiles, Ruger Boskovic bb., 1000 Skopje, Macedonia and Prof.Dr. Sao Josimovski & Prof. Dr. KalinaTrenevska Blagoeva are with University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius",Faculty of Economics, School of E-business, Krste Misirkov bb, 1000 Skopje,Macedonia.