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AbstractThe topic of cosmetics expiration is under researched in the marketing literature, and consumers can lack awareness about it. However, cosmetics expiration is important because it represents a consumer health issue, as illustrated by several papers published in medical journals. The aim of this research is to understand the role of cosmetics expiration date – specifically the Period After Opening (PAO) in cosmetics marketing, and how it influences consumer behaviour in the UK and China markets. This is the first study in a marketing management context that has investigated the role of PAO in consumer behaviour. The research adopts a mixed method approach and employs three studies: qualitative interviews in both countries (the UK and China), a quantitative experimental design in the UK, as well as a large survey in China. The data are analysed using NVivo, SPSS, AMOS and Fuzzy logic. The main findings and contributions to knowledge are: From the qualitative work: 1) A perceived risk framework is useful to an understanding of consumer attitudes to PAO in cosmetics. Self-brand connection (SBC) risk and environmental risk should be added to the existing risk framework. 2) Two major positionings in the cosmetics market can be identified: brands which emphasise the science behind their production and brands which emphasise their use of natural ingredients. 3) Some differences in PAO attitudes emerged by country (China versus the UK). In the UK study, psychological risk emerged as the most important in explaining overall risk, which is compatible with prior work. For UK respondents, the longer the PAO, the higher their purchase intention, irrespective of the brand type, thereby demonstrating that PAO can be a marketing signal as well as a statement of shelf life. In the China study, however, social risk emerged as more important, which can be explained by cultural differences. Different segments exist in the China market, defined by brand type, PAO, price and product type. PAO again emerged as a marketing signal. Both the UK and China studies indicate PAO and perceived risk can interact, and that such interaction can help explain the relationship between brand image and purchase intention. Specifically, perceived brand warmth is not as strong a predictor of purchase intention for cosmetics as prior work suggests it should be, and the interaction between PAO and perceived social risk in China and psychological risk in the UK helps explain why.
CitationWang, Y. (2023). Understanding consumer perceptions of expiry dates for cosmetics [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Chester.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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