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Seminar: Ethan Jenkins: Product Source Labeling and E-Commerce: Consumer Perception of Horticultural Products through Information and Messaging

June 10 | 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Product Source Labeling and E-Commerce: Consumer Perception of Horticultural Products through Information and Messaging
Ethan Jenkins, MS Seminar
Monday, June 10, 2024, 8:30 am
(Under the direction of Dr. Melinda Knuth, Chair)

Location: 121 Kilgore / Hybrid
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID:  944 0214 2870


Consumer behavior concerning horticultural products has indicated an increased desire for businesses to provide more in-depth labeling and communication regarding product sourcing. However, there is a lack of consensus on what defines certain product attributes, such as a product being local, preventing solidified conclusions addressing consumer perceptions and purchasing tendencies. The thesis explores consumer perceptions and behaviors related to product source labeling and e-commerce in the horticultural industry. The first chapter investigates how labeling information, particularly regarding the local sourcing of ornamental plants, influences consumer purchase intentions. It highlights the increasing importance of marketing strategies that emphasize ecological and sustainable practices, including the sourcing and environmental impact of horticultural products. Through a detailed examination of consumer interactions, the research aims to understand how different labeling tactics can affect consumer purchasing habits and their overall perceptions of these products.

In addition, the first chapter utilizes eye-tracking technology to gain insights into consumer decision-making processes, since visual attention can impact purchasing behavior. Eye-tracking metrics such as time to first fixation and total fixation duration were used to determine which aspects of product labeling captured and held consumer interest. The findings indicate that consumers show a strong preference for plants labeled as locally sourced and value products indicated with sustainable production practices. This preference underscores the importance of transparency and detailed information in the marketing of horticultural products.

Chapter 2 examines the evolving trends in online plant shopping. The changes in consumer behavior have led to an increased demand for convenient and reliable online shopping options. The research identifies key factors influencing online purchasing decisions, including the role of social media engagement, the perceptions of plant hobbyists versus non-hobbyists, and overall spending habits among plant consumers.

Overall, the thesis provides valuable insights into how marketing tactics, such as detailed product labeling and leveraging online platforms, can enhance consumer engagement and meet consumer demand for horticultural products. It underscores the need for ongoing adaptation and innovation in marketing strategies to meet the changing preferences and behaviors of modern consumers. The findings suggest that businesses in the horticultural industry should focus on providing comprehensive product information, emphasizing sustainability, and enhancing their online presence to capitalize on the growing trend of e-commerce.


June 10
8:30 am - 9:30 am
Event Categories:
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Rachel McLaughlin
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121 Kilgore Hall
2721 Founders Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States
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