Hybrid segmentation as pursued by international supermarkets to segment customers : Ireland and China compared

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Tong, Xiang Xue
Issue Date
MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School
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Globalization brings massive opportunities to international enterprises to operate and expand their businesses in international markets. Consumer segmentation strategy is one of the most widely used marketing strategies to assist international enterprises to identify and analyze existing and potential consumers. Due to the fact, consumers from different background have various buying behaviours and distinct opinions on the product sought, that creates a lot of difficulties for international enterprises when they conduct single component of consumer segmentation to segment consumers internationally. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate why hybrid consumer segmentation is the most appropriate segmentation strategy pursued by international enterprises (supermarkets). This research study is based on detailed theoretical literature of consumer segmentation and hybrid segmentation. The international supermarket is selected as the sample industry, and the researcher has used a case study to show how hybrid segmentation helps the international supermarket to identify and segment consumers' profiles. In other words the case study supports the secondary data by using a real life example. The researcher has identified the main research questions and has carried out primary research in the form of surveys and in-depth interviews in Ireland and China. From both the supermarket and consumer's point of view, the researcher illustrates the substantial research findings in the SPSS software outputs (such as tables, graphs and pie charts) and document analysis formats. The researcher discusses the reasons and importance of using hybrid segmentation strategy, utilizing the comparisons of the quantitative and qualitative research findings in the Irish and Chinese markets to measure and analyze dynamic consumers' profiles internationally. Finally, the researcher draws conclusions from the research findings in order to answer the main research questions in this study and recommends that international supermarkets need to focus on multiple combinations of consumer segmentation strategy for future research.