University of Oulu

Customer value propositions in second-hand clothing e-commerce

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Author: Kassinen, Inka1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Pages: 84
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : I. Kassinen, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-12
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Koivumäki, Timo
Reviewer: Ulkuniemi, Pauliina
Koivumäki, Timo


Retailing started to go through an enormous change since internet offered an alternative platform for retailers to sell their products — e-commerce. Not only is the retailing changing but also customers’ set of values has started to change. Due to increasing awareness of environmental burden of fashion industry, customers are more concerned about ecological and ethical issues. That, alongside with general shift in attitudes, has made second-hand shopping increasingly popular.

The purpose of this master’s thesis is to gain broader understanding of customer value propositions in second-hand clothing e-commerce context. The thesis takes into consideration customer’s perspective through customers’ motivations to buy second-hand clothes and company’s perspective through customer value propositions. Regardless that second-hand shopping is rather widely studied topic, only a little research on second-hand clothing e-commerce and on customers’ motivations to buy second-hand clothes online can be found. As both second-hand shopping and e-commerce are growing fast and gaining popularity, the topic is extremely timely.

The study was conducted using quantitative research methods and it was an assignment from Finnish second-hand clothing e-commerce company Rekki. The data was collected using self-completed web questionnaire mainly among Rekki’s customers. The number of the total respondents was 561 from which 517 had bought clothes from second-hand online store. The data was first analysed using Exploratory Factor Analysis followed by Cluster Analysis.

Based on the Exploratory Factor Analysis the variables measuring customers’ motivations to buy clothes from second-hand e-commerce loaded to five factors: Economic, Stimulation and treasure hunting, Nostalgic pleasure, Originality and self-expression, and Critical motivations. The factors were used as a basis of K-means Cluster Analysis. Based on the Cluster analysis five clusters were found and named descriptively: Economic treasure hunters, Economic shoppers, Other motivations, Critical shoppers, and Self-expressive nostalgia seekers. The clusters vary mostly in terms of shopping motivations but also in terms of several background variables.

The implications of this thesis show that effective customer value propositions consist of customer understanding and right kind of value propositions depending on the target group. The customer understanding in second-hand clothing e-commerce context can be formed by understanding customers’ motivations to buy second-hand clothes. From managerial perspective, this thesis offers valuable information for second-hand e-commerce businesses about the importance of customer understanding from value perspective and how customer value can be effectively communicated through value propositions. In addition, this thesis broadens understanding of customers’ motivations to buy second-hand clothes online.

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Copyright information: © Inka Kassinen, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.