The SA government has identified the craft industry as a key focus area contributing to sustainable development, economic growth and employment opportunities. However the industry faces many challenges such as global competition and lack of resources. More importantly, craft producers in SA cannot access the craft retailer market successfully which limit their financial success.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the buyer behaviour of craft retailers in SA. The specific focus of the study is to investigate the buying process followed by craft retailers, to determine the importance of supplier selection criteria used to evaluate suppliers, as well as to determine the sources of information that craft retailers use most often when searching for suppliers.
A self-administered survey was conducted among craft retailers and a sample of 233 were realised. The descriptive statistics are reported as well as factor analysis, ANOVA and MANOVA results.
Findings indicated that the buying process craft retailers go through are extensive and that certain stages are also more often used than others. No statistical significant differences were found between the types of craft retailers or the years of buying experience and the stages of the buying process.
„Product quality‟ was considered the most important supplier selection criteria followed by „product is exciting and attractive‟ and „product styling and design‟. Statistical significant differences were found between different types of craft retailers and the importance they attach to selected supplier selection criteria but no significant differences were found for the years of buying experience.
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The results also indicated that craft retailers consult certain information sources more often than others. Information sources were grouped into three factors after the factor analysis: internal and personal information, promotional information and print advertising. The statistical significant differences were found between the different types of craft retailers and their use of promotional information sources but no differences were evident for the other two sources, namely internal and personal and print advertising.
The study resulted in a proposed marketing strategy for craft producers to enable them to market their craft products more effectively to crafts retailers.