The decision making process of visually impaired consumers in an apparel retail environment

Conference: 

Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Keywords: 

  • vulnerable groups, visual communication

One of the most severe disabilities known to man is the loss of sight, as it deprives the individual of the primary sense used to acquire information and knowledge about their direct environment. Visual impairment limits effective decision making as it severs the individual’s essential involvement in society. Such individuals have restricted mobility and are mostly dependent on other people and as a result their ability to make decisions, and develop a sense of purchasing orientation is hampered. This research aimed at exploring the shopping experiences of visually impaired consumers in regards to clothing prices, colour choices, fibre content and the feel or hand of the fabric used for the garment. The study used qualitative research approach whereby a group of visually impaired consumers were interviewed regarding their shopping experiences in a retail environment. Following the gathering of this information, a decision making process is developed to aid the retailers and marketers in catering adequately for the blind consumers.

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