Beauty is no longer only meant for a particular gender. Everyone in the society irrespective of gender wants appearance similar to the models. Customers think the core of pleasant life concealed in the beautiful and bright skin and idyllic body shape (Nair, 2007).
As numerous studies indicated, the shifting sex-roles, the global trend of metro sexuality, the influence of media and various marketing stimuli, to a large degree, have inspired men and women to adapt themselves to new lifestyles and attitudes.
Physical attractiveness is essential to everyone since it always plays an essential role in enhancing self-confidence level and in effectively tracking careers. An increasing number of men and women become more aware about how they could be in line with their ideal appearances. In this context, with the aim of enhancing and maintaining desirable looks, both men and women tend to be no longer hesitating to strategically opt and utilize cosmetics. This rising attention is the keystone of the worldwide phenomenal boom of men’s grooming market.
Development in the purchasing power of consumer and the new emerging market trends made people more aware and more conscious towards hygiene and beauty (Souiden and Diagne, 2009). This development in technology and people awareness leads to rapid growth of beauty care industry, particularly in the last ten years. Since the beauty market is unsaturated and highly profitable, domestic companies were not the only one who was taking advantage in their local market but multinationals companies are also trying to reach and grasp this market.
The beauty industry in women has been obviously growing since long times ago whereas the men’s market has just become blooming in men aspects lately. Currently men are more aware of their body and the demand for beautifulness, aesthetics, youthfulness, healthiness, and thinness which drag them away from old opinion about “only sanitation”. The advancement of fashion magazines for men emphasizes this point of view against their appearance (Souiden and Diagne, 2009).
For both men and women, a smooth and bright skin with an ideal body shape is an idea to live a wonderful life (Nair, D. V. K. And Pillai, 2007). This desire and trends are growing and seen as a gold mine for the beauty care market. Beauty care products imply psychologically that customers are taking care of their hygiene, beauty and healthiness by using some products items to support. Therefore, as research purpose, it is concerned significantly to understand and know which factors have the impacts on decision making toward purchasing of skin care products.
Beautifying or decorating the body and the face is considered to be one of the widespread methods and this activity is not only limited to older people but also gaining attention of younger generation as well. Skin care cosmetics have symbolic or communicative value (Coulter, Feick and Price, 2002). The U.S. FD & C Act defines cosmetics as articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, introduced into or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleaning, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance.
The YWCA developed a report, Beauty at Any Cost, which discussed the consequences of the beauty obsession on women and girls and reported that $7 billion is spent each year on cosmetics(Ywca, 2008).
The pursuit of beauty and health is no longer confined to young women only. As males were becoming more conscious about their looks and image in the past few years that leads to increase in sales of male grooming products by 18 percent globally between 2006 and 2011 (Li and Fung Research Centre, 2012).
Skin care is the range of practices that support skin integrity, enhance its appearance and relieve skin conditions. They include nutrition, avoidance of excessive sun exposure and appropriate use of emollients. Skin care is a routine daily procedure and it is a part of the treatment of wound healing, radiation therapy and some medications (Wikipedia, n.d.). Washing, cleansing, bathing, and the use of soaps, detergents, oils, etc. falls under the category of effective skin care and taking care of skin is significant (Draelos & Thaman, 2006).
Purchase decision is activities directly related to obtaining, consuming, and disposing of products and services, including the decision processes that precede and follow these actions. Several factors affect the consumption and purchase of skin care products among the male and female. Consumer’s behavior is mainly affected by three different factors: cultural, social and personal factors(Kotler and Keller, 2009).
According to Souiden & Diagne, (2009), the attitudes and behaviors of men and women who buy beauty products depend on a group of variables that affect consumer behavior of skin care products. Mainly three factors affect the purchase of skin care products: Personal Factors (Self-image, Aging Effect, Physical Attractiveness, and Healthcare), Socio-cultural (Social beliefs, Lifestyle), Marketing Factors (Advertisement, Purchase Situation). Khuong & Duyen (2016) defined that consumer purchase intention for skincare products is influenced by personal factors including skin’s health attention, body attraction, age and aging process, self-image, and cognition of using men skin care products. On the other hand, Cheng, Ooi and Ting,(2010) found that purchase intention for male grooming products is influenced by Self-image, social expectation and celebrity endorsement.
Personal factors are those characteristics which are specific to a person and may be different from other people living in the same society or even in same group. These factors or characteristics affect how people make their decision in purchasing a product. Personal characteristics include the consumer’s age and stage in the life cycle, occupation, economic circumstances, personality, self-concept, lifestyle and values(Kotler and Keller, 2009).
Self-image is the totality of a person’s feelings about himself to serve as an object (Hershey and Wilson, 1997). Not only female but also male consumers use gender-based cosmetics products to highlight self-image (Grubb and Grathwohl, 1967). The “self-image” factor was the most influential factor which had the strongest impacts on the level of consumer purchase decision (Khuong and Duyen, 2016). Consumers are called motivated consumer when they are confident about the self-image products (Sirgy, 1982). Self-image projective products give representative and practical benefits to consumers (Seitz and (Vic) Johar, 1993). Literature shows that opposite genders perceive the information differently in the consumption process of products (Coley and Burgess, 2003). For enhancing the self-image of men consumers and conveying this through a symbolic meaning, the use of such products has grasped the central importance of men (Grubb and Grathwohl, 1967).
Kotler & Keller, (2009) discuss that age often determines what type of food, clothes, music and recreational activities consumers like. Mode of purchase among teenagers, youth and aged respondents is dominantly individual. Among the middle aged the practice of purchasing with spouse is prevalent. It also usually determines the type of products or services they need. Noel (2009) agrees that consumers’ interests and needs often change as they grow older. Literature shows that younger consumers are more interested than older consumers in purchasing of beauty care and personal care products (Sarpila, O., & Rasanen, 2011). Younger males are more curious about their youngness and to preserve this youngness they use cosmetic products. Youth and middle aged dominantly depend on advertising as a source of brand information but teenagers and aged people got the information through friends and teenagers are more willing to pay for skin care products and look themselves smart (Nair, D. V. K. And Pillai, 2007).
Our physical appearance is the one personal characteristic which is obvious and accessible to others in almost all social interaction (Berscheid and Walster, 1974). Physical attractiveness is the degree to which a person’s physical features are considered aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. It includes notable features including appearance, body size and body contour. (Souiden and Diagne, 2009). According to Gill, Henwood, & McLean (2005) physical attractiveness is considered by male and female customers while purchasing skin care products and their research supports that the societies of the same age are giving much importance to the body and physical appearance.
Health conscious consumers care about the desired state of well-being and try to have a healthy life (Newsom et al., 2005). Looking healthy is especially advantages for many workers, and having smooth skin is one of the most observable ways to perform good health. Male are more vulnerable to the environment than female and their skin are more affected by UV rays, environmental pollution, wind damage, and other factors that all work together to harm the skin, creating more wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Consumption of personal care products by male consumers is increasing because of health consciousness (Souiden and Diagne, 2009). Therefore, health care concern of male consumers is a significant factor for their grooming product consumption. Health concern motivates male consumers to purchase cosmetics and prevent them from many health problems (Sturrock and Pioch, 1998). According to Khan et al. (2017), Health care is significant variable showing the substantial positive impact on men’s attitude toward consumption of grooming products.
H1: Personal Factors(PF) have positive and significant effect on consumer purchase intention for skincare products.
Sociocultural Factors: Sociocultural factors are customs, lifestyles and values that characterize a society. People live and behave in the way which is supported by the cultural environment. Cultural factors have a significant effect on an individual’s buying decision. Every individual has different set of habits, beliefs and principles which he or she develops from his family status and background. Culture impacts on consumer behavior as it reflects from individual behavior and people buy products to fulfil their needs that are influenced by culture (Weber and Capitant de Villebonne, 2002). Social beliefs are statistically highly significant explanatory variable showing the substantial positive impact on men’s attitude toward consumption of grooming products (Khan et al., 2017).
The consumer is interested in changing their outlook like a woman to become modern (Fuat Firat, Dholakia and Venkatesh, 1995). Despite people’s similarities, their lifestyle can differ radically and companies are more involved and connect with customer to identify their lifestyle. Male customers purchase grooming products because of lifestyle determinants in many countries.
H2: Sociocultural Factors(SF) have positive and significant effect on consumer purchase intention for skincare products.
Marketing Factors: Advertisements reflecting “cultural values” are more persuasive than those that exclude them (Hans, S.P. & Shavvitt, 1984). Advertising is seen as the foremost means of associating cultural meanings with a brand, research done in the past few years has revealed consumption communities, written reviews, blogs by consumers, news reports, and expert columns also influence consumer opinions about a brand (Thompson, 2004). Media is increasingly targeting the men’s products through communicating messages to increase the sales of cosmetics for male and advertising through mass media has set beauty standards in our society (Souiden and Diagne, 2009). Advertisement on men cosmetic products has a positive effect on men’s attitude towards cosmetic products consumption.
Situational influences are temporary conditions that affect how buyers behave. They include physical factors such as a store’s buying locations, layout, music, lightings and even scent. The environment of buying situation or retail store is a caring function for attracting and keeping the customer interested in the shopping experience, and it has a significant effect on the moods of customers. Literature shows that purchase situation positively influences purchase intention (Grimmer, Kilburn and Miles, 2016).
Celebrities are endorsed to offset the negative attributions that are associated with skincare products (Souiden and Diagne, 2009). Well-connected celebrity must be using the best quality available on the market and women are quick to buy the products when a celebrity claims to use it. Although always do not meet consumer’s expectations, they are interested to buy the next products being endorsed by a celebrity (Begoun, 2010). Increasing endorsement of celebrities in skincare product publicize that men can make themselves look better with the product and contributed to making men more comfortable and positively changed men’s attitude toward the idea of consuming skincare products (Coley and Burgess, 2003).