Understanding the factors influencing green purchase intention.
Aigbe, Vivian Chineye Ofili.
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Rapid worldwide economic growth has given rise to increased consumption by consumers, raising concern about the ecological decline and overconsumption of natural resources. Environmental sustainability issues and problems encountered around the world are affecting and altering the consumption patterns of humans lives and actions. Stimulated by the seriousness of the deterioration of the environment, consumers’ attitudes and behaviours in consumption matters are steadily changing, but consumption levels of sustainable products in South Africa are still low. Factors such as perceived high price, perceived inferior quality of green products, and greenwashing has been found in some studies to affect consumers’ perceptions of green products. The focus of this study was to determine the extent to which these negative perceptions limit consumers’ green consumption amongst a sample of South African consumers. To understand the factors potentially limiting green behavioural intentions the following factors were investigated: perceived quality, perceived price, social value, environmental concern, trust in green products and demographics. A casual research design with a survey of 301 adult respondents was used. Descriptive analysis of the profile of the sample presented, and the subsequent analysis of the reliability and validity tests carried out. Univariate analysis was also carried out and to conclude, a multivariate analysis was examined to determine how well the independent variables predict the dependent variable and to test the hypotheses. Findings showed that the independent variables (perceive quality, perceived trust, environmental concern, and social value) positively influence South Africa consumers’ intention to purchase green products, while perceived price had a negative influence. However, the two main variables that had a greater impact were environmental concern and perceived trust. The perceived higher price of green products was found to be a significant but relatively minor constraint’ to consumers purchasing these products. Given the major findings from this study, it is recommended that green products should be advertised more intensively and positioned in a way that portrays the benefits that are associated with purchasing and using them. This will raise awareness and trust in green products and may reduce the sensitivity to the higher prices. Marketers should invest in the quality of green products and both marketers and government should put in place environmental awareness campaigns to increase green consumer knowledge on the effect of not going green on the environment. This will raise a concern and in turn intention for green consumption. Limitations are identified and recommendations for future research are proposed.