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Abstract


THE ROLE OF PARASOCIAL INTERACTION IN CONSUMER LOYALTY FOR ORGANIC FOOD

Negative experiences in the ready-made food sector have changed the way consumers see this sector and led them to turn to natural food. The demand for natural food has led to the emergence of a new sector, and the concept of organic has entered our lives. It can be observed that this concept, which is used to mean producing food by natural methods, is included in studies in various fields in the literature. Today, as the number of social media users and social media phenomena are increasing rapidly, parasocial interaction expresses a one-way and symbolic relationship that followers develop with media figures, and it can guide consumption decisions of the followers. The purpose of this study was to reveal whether the level of parasocial interaction between the influencers and consumers that follow them affects consumer loyalty for organic food. In this sense, preliminary research on organic consumption was carried out, it was found that the largest share in organic food shopping is made by mothers and expectant mothers, and supported by similar findings encountered in the literature, mothers and expectant mothers were selected as the sample group in the study. There was a total of 27 questions in the questionnaire applied, including demographic variables. The relationships between consumer loyalty for organic food, parasocial interaction, and demographic characteristics of the participants were examined. The analyses were performed using the SPSS package program. In the first part of the study, which consisted of two parts, the relevant literature was discussed, and the relationships between concepts were explained. In the second part, research hypotheses were analyzed. According to the results of the study, it was found that as the perception of parasocial interaction among the consumer mothers increases, consumer loyalty for organic food also increases. Differences regarding demographic variables, parasocial interaction, and consumer loyalty for organic food were obtained and interpreted. With the findings obtained, it is considered that the study will be a guide for determining the appropriate influencer, which is one of the biggest challenges for businesses.



Keywords
Parasocial Interaction, Organic Food, Consumer Loyalty for Organic Food



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