A STUDY OF DRIVERS AND MOTIVATORS OF
HANDICRAFT CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOR.
INSIGHTSFOR MAKING HANDICRAFT BUSINESS
Group 7 | Section B
Aayush Jain (B15063) | Aishwary Gupta (B15066) | Akshay Ratan (B15068)
Ankit Anand (B15071) | Rohit Chalasani (B15103) | Devraj Jee (B150142)
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 2
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Handicrafts constitute a wide and diverse market in India. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing
and a way for consumers to connect with their roots, they also provide a means of livelihood for
vast swathes of the population and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the country. This
study focused on studying the consumer behavior for handicrafts and tried to derive the
motivations and drivers behind the same. The study also aimed at studying the pattern of purchase,
usage and disposal of handicrafts and the attitudes surrounding them.
Research was divided into four stages – projective techniques, interviews, focused group
discussions and online quantitative surveys, over a period of 10 weeks. The primary driver
handicraft purchase was found to be the preservation of customs and traditions. They were
perceived to be a way of keeping one close to his/her roots and as such most handicrafts are defined
as hand-made goods that have an indigenous aspect to them. Handicrafts also came across as a
very popular gift option. This was mostly driven by the fact that they were perceived to be of
higher price and were more unique. Surprisingly, the fact that purchasing handicrafts provides a
means of livelihood to local artisans and craftsmen did not come across as an important reason for
their purchase. The most important quality of a handicraft was, intuitively so, its aesthetic value
and uniqueness. Even with handicrafts that served as utilities, they also always served a display
purpose. In view of these insights, recommendations were drafted to drive the consumption of
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 3
2 PROJECT BRIEF
The project focused on studying the consumption behavior of handicrafts in India. The consumer
segment studied was the upper and middle class educated urban citizens. The study explored the
consumer-mindset when it comes to the purchase, usage and disposal of handicrafts.
The study was executed using a four-pronged approach. First, the purchasing behavior at the point-
of-sale was studied. This was done via observations at a temporary handicrafts stall that was set
up for a period of 3 days at Valhalla, the annual cultural and sports festival of XLRI Jamshedpur.
Attracting 1000+ participants from various B-schools in the country in addition to some
undergraduate colleges and the families of the faculty and staff of XLRI, it was a hotbed of
consumers of the segment the study focused on.
Next came the interviews which were conducted for 10 individuals on the basis of convenience
sampling. Members of the study group reached out to friends and family both within and outside
of XLRI to glean insights about their handicraft-consumption behaviour. The results obtained from
the first and second steps – the store observations and the interviews were used to then build a
group-discussion moderation guide. The guide ensured that with minimal intervention and null
participation, the moderators were able to successfully guide the discussion to cover all relevant
points while not cutting down on the eloquence of the participants.
The focused group discussions was between people who had purchased handicrafts at the stall.
Loosely moderated but structured, the discussions were free-wheeling yet on-topic. Various
viewpoints were raised and debated actively gleaning a lot of insights on the rich diversity of
motivators, drivers and barriers for the purchase of handicrafts. While the groups were mostly in
agreement when it came to some of the points like aesthetics and uniqueness being key drivers of
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 4
handicraft-purchase, the attitudes and beliefs around what defines a handicraft, measure of a
handicraft’s worth etc. had the rooms divided.
The insights gained from the FGDs presented the group with a holistic list of hypotheses that could
then be quantitatively tested. This was done using a survey that was designed to be short (under 5
minutes) yet touched upon all hypotheses that could yield actionable insights. The survey was
fielded using snowball sampling. The method additionally reinforced the study’s focus on the
target segment since respondents belonging to the segment referred others from the same segment.
After data collection and analysis, insights and recommendations were presented.
We divided our research into three broad categories of handicrafts – Functional, Decorative &
souvenirs and wearables. As per our secondary research, consumers had different attitudes towards
the three categories and hence the motivations and drivers varied across them. The next step was
to identify the buying behavior of the three categories. We have used three different techniques in
1. Qualitative Research
We conducted focus group discussions (FGD) and personal interviews to understand what all
factors might be affecting a consumer’s beliefs attitudes and motivations towards purchasing
handicraft products of all three categories. The aim of this was to get a list of attitudes & beliefs
which we could further test and quantify. A questionnaire was developed to direct the FGD and
interview. However, it was used only when the discussion was going beyond the required scope.
2. Projective Techniques
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 5
Some of the factors that came to light from the qualitative analysis were difficult to test on a larger
audience and were below the level of verbalization. For e.g. it was difficult to measure quality as
everyone had a different threshold. Also, for some handicrafts, the story behind their origin and
preparation and their endangered art form status affected the premium that customers were willing
to pay. To test these, we decided to do a projective test.
3. Quantitative Analysis
The last leg of the analysis was to use surveys to evaluate the most important attitudes, beliefs and
drivers of first time and repeat purchase. The survey aimed at finding the correlation between
various attitudes, beliefs and behavior and helped gain deep insights about the purchasing behavior
as discussed further.
The final step was to collate he findings of both projective techniques and surveys to gain a holistic
view of the consumer’s preferences for the different categories of handicrafts.
To test out and concretize the observations obtained from the handicrafts stall set up during the
cultural and sports festival of XLRI, interviews were conducted with 10 respondents, who were
selected based on convenience sampling. They involved friends and family, both inside and outside
XLRI, of the members of the research group.
Respondents were called up or interviewed face to face. A pre-decided interview guide was used
which was designed to be exploratory in nature and had the ability to incorporate subjective
answers to questions. Each interview lasted approximately 10 minutes.
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The word “handicrafts” mostly evoked mental images of traditional and ethnic items. There
did not appear to be any space for contemporary or western handicrafts
The common factor among all handicrafts purchased was that they were in a position where
they could be displayed – be it as a living room display or a piece of outfit or jewelry
Handicrafts are also a preferred gift of choice – mostly as it shows a certain amount of
effort in procurement, especially while returning from a vacation
Handicrafts were also considered to be of higher price and quality than mass-produced
However, the sample was split on the willingness to pay a premium for handicrafts over their mass-
3.2 FOCUSSED GROUP DISCUSSIONS
To get a comprehensive understanding of attitudes and beliefs of the consumers and their decision
making while purchasing handicraft products, firstly we have conducted in-depth interviews based
on convenience sampling. Next, to gain a deeper understanding into the buyer’s purchasing
decision making process, we decided to conduct focussed group interviews.
We contacted customers who purchased handicraft products from the Kalamandir Handicrafts stall
during Valhalla (organized from 29-31 Jul). To maintain homogeneity and for the convenience of
the group, only XLRI 2nd
year students were invited for the FGD.
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 7
Laddering techniques of questioning were used to put the participants at ease and reduce the stress.
The FGD began with asking the participants to reflect onto their last purchase of handicraft
products or they last time they visited a handicraft store.
The moderator probed further and started to enquire about the factors which went into their
decision making while purchasing the handicraft product. This has given us the following insights
into the attitudes and beliefs of the participants towards handicraft products.
• Handicrafts were mostly defined by their ethnic, traditional and/or tribal look
• Many decorative handicrafts were impulse purchases, while those with utility were purchased
• Many instances of handicraft-purchasing were for gifting purposes – driven by the fact that it is
perceived to be unique and hence not easily replaceable; they are also a popular choice for gifts
upon return from a vacation
• Handicrafts were primarily evaluated on uniqueness, originality, aesthetics and utilitarian-value
• Most handicrafts that are purchased, even those which have utility, are displayed in the house
• Handcrafted souvenirs were preferred over mass-produced ones as they were considered to be of
• Handicrafts are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing, and unique as compared to their
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 8
• Handicrafts are perceived to not be mass-produced, which is not always true; in fact, the term
“mass-produced goods” was spoken of as an antonym to handicrafts
• While aesthetics are considered to be a handicraft’s primary attribute, utility value was also
considered very important
• Beliefs were divided on the reliability of handicraft items serving utilitarian functions – the group
was split on whether they were more reliable than “mass-produced items” or not
• Handcrafted souvenirs were considered to be of much superior value compared to non-
handcrafted ones as they were perceived to be more unique and more personal
• Price of the handicraft souvenir was equated with the measure of its uniqueness – the costlier the
item, the more skilled its craftsman was perceived to be.
3.3 PROJECTIVE TECHNIQUES
Thematic Appreciation Tests were used to validate the insights drawn from the in-depth interviews
& the FGD’s. The test has consistently been amongst the most widely researched and used
technique in projective researches. The technique helps in removing the socially-desirable options
and helps bring out underlying hidden emotions and internal conflicts. Projective research was
used on a sample of 25 people in accordance of the target segment of our study. The sample
followed convenience sampling technique and consisted consumers of the handicrafts who
underwent FGDs and Personal Interviews as well as students of the batch – both consumers and
non-consumers of handicrafts.
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 9
In our tests, we presented the respondent with 4 pictures (appendix) along with a context and
situation. It was primarily to evaluate the handicraft buying behavior of the consumer. It was
primarily to assess the handicraft purchase along certain dimensions.
The dimensions and the insights drawn were:
People showed highest degree of price sensitivity for functional wares. The general
perception was to look for value for money as they found little intangible value in it
Medium sensitivity incase of souvenirs. People seemed ready to pay premium upto a
certain threshold for handicraft souvenirs as they felt it had an emotional value (location
exclusivity) attached to it. However since they are low involvement products, a
significantly high pricing seemed to deter them from buying them
For products like designer goods, paintings, and traditional art; people seemed to show
least price sensitivity towards the product. They were ready to buy such products even if
they were priced at a significantly higher price over mass manufactured product. They
seemed to associate a high degree of intangible value on such handicraft products.
In case of functional wares, people seemed to associate handicraft products as low quality
products which lacked durability and sturdiness when compared to mass manufactured
products. There was a belief that the mass manufactured goods will use better quality
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 10
materials unlike wood, clay traditionally used in handicrafts. Warranty and guarantee was
also associated with mass products which people felt isn’t the case in handicraft products
For low involvement products like souvenirs, people were indifferent with respect to
quality between handicraft and mass products. They felt both to be at par with each other.
People associated better quality with hand crafted designer goods, paintings, and traditional
art over mass manufactured designer goods and art. People felt that such goods require a
certain degree of creativity and exclusivity which is better served by hand crafted rather
than machine production.
The perception is usually regarding the sturdiness and lifetime of a product. Consumers
tend to purchase regular products over handicrafts for things which are mundane such as a
Utility when combined with place – such as penstand on a table, Key holder in drawing
room tend to attract handicraft repeat purchase. Respondents were inclined to buy
handicraft as a preferred choice and not mind paying some extra money. However, for this
category, price is definitely a consideration factor though the things seem to be low
Consumers are inclined to buy handicrafts which are claimed to be very exclusive at a
higher price if they feel it has a high desirable value in the society such as an exquisite
painting. Opinions of the reference group play a big role in this. Repeated purchases were
seldom atleast in the category of respondents we interviewed.
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 11
Respondents invariably went to buy the handicraft which has an emotional value such as
poor income of the people who made it, or resemblance to something their loved ones
owned etc. For this segment, it was never a repeat purchase. Maximum price they were
ready to pay depends on the level of emotion, quality and the exclusivity of the product.
Opinions tend to matter less in this category.
Religiously connoted handicrafts were a preferred choice especially for people above 35.
Consumers are more willing to buy handicraft products as gifts primarily owing to the
perception of exclusivity of the gift.
Buying behavior of handicraft souvenirs as a category was repeated in travelling to new
For specific occasions to gift something, respondents were less inclined on price as a consideration
factor than the exclusivity and the quality of the handicraft.
3.4 Survey to Understand Attitudes
Attitudes driving purchase of Handicrafts have been analyzed using the Fishbein and Ajzen’s
Theory of Reasoned Action. A questionnaire was floated to a sample of 47 respondents by
employing a convenience sampling technique. A Cronbach’s alpha of 0.807 was achieved
signifying the reliability of data collected.
Attitudes towards purchase of handicrafts is a function of individual’s beliefs regarding outcomes
of the behavior and evaluations of the outcome.
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 12
B1 Purchasing handicrafts can help someone in need
B2 Purchasing handicrafts is a way of saving local art forms
B3 Handicrafts are personal gift items
B4 Handicrafts are a way of maintaining customs and traditions
B5 By buying handicrafts, I feel that I am helping someone in need
B6 I feel that I am saving an art form by purchasing handicrafts
B7 I feel that handcrafts make my gifts more personal
B8 I feel that I am helping save my customs and traditions by using handicrafts
E1 Artisans making handicraft items need financial help
E2 Local art forms of making handicrafts stand a risk of extinction and need to be preserved
E3 Gifts need to be more personal
E4 Customs and traditions need to be preserved
Correlations between beliefs (B1 to B8) and evaluations (E1 to E4) are given below:
Belief - Evaluation Attitude
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 13
From the above correlations matrix, the most significant beliefs towards handicrafts are:
Handicrafts are a way of maintaining customs and traditions (B4) and Handicrafts are personal gift
Subjective norm comprises beliefs as to whether important people think the individual should
engage in the behaviour or not (NB), and motivation to comply (MC) with their preferences.
Label Normative Beliefs
NB1 My friends think artisans making handicrafts need financial help
NB2 My friends think that local art forms need to be preserved
NB3 My friends think that personal gifts are better gifting options
NB4 My family believes that we should preserve our customs and traditions
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 14
Label Motivation to Comply
MC1 It is important for me what my friends think of me
MC2 It is important for me what my family thinks of me
Correlations between respective Normative Beliefs (NB1 to NB4) and Motivations to Comply
(MC1 and MC2) are given below:
Normative Beliefs – Motivation to Comply Subjective Norm
NB2MC1 - 0.051
From the above correlations, the most significant Subjective norm is: My friends think that
personal gifts are better gifting options (NB3).
Since the correlations for normative beliefs are significantly lower than those of beliefs, weights
of 0.80 (W1) and 0.20 (W2) have been assigned to attitude components and subjective norms
respectively to calculate Behavioural Intention.
BE * NBMC Attitude Subjective Norms Behavioral Intention
B1E1 * NB1MC1 0.180 0.068 0.1576
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 15
B2E2 * NB2MC1 0.360 - 0.051 0.2982
B3E3 * NB3MC1 0.413 0.174 0.3652
B4E4 * NB4MC2 0.604 -0.050 0.4932
B5E1 * NB1MC1 0.172 0.068 0.1512
B6E2 * NB2MC1 0.364 - 0.051 0.3014
B7E3 * NB3MC1 0.210 0.174 0.2028
B8E4 * NB4MC2 0.474 -0.050 0.3892
From the above Behavioural Intentions, the most significant drivers are:
1. Handicrafts are bought for maintaining and preserving customs and traditions
2. Handicrafts are bought for gifting as a personal gifting option
4 SUMMARIZED INSIGHTS
Factor Key Insight Obtained
Consumers assume handicrafts to be of higher price than of mass
Purchases are usually displayed in common spaces
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 16
Consumers look for value for money and aesthetic appeal is not the
most important factor
Poor income of the craftsmen and legacy of the craft commanded
Handicrafts are primarily bought as gifts and souvenirs, with souvenir
purchase being repeated as they are considered to be more personal
For specific special occasions price was not considered to be an
Customers were willing to pay higher for handicrafts prepared by
Religiously connoted products were preferred by people over 35 years
With in-depth interviews, insights from the Focused Group Discussions, analysis from Projective
Research and the quantifications derived from the survey results, we are in a position to draw
conclusions and suggest ways to position the handicrafts in a better way so that handicraft industry
can be made more profitable.
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 17
People tend to buy handicrafts
as a way to maintain customs &
Wherever linked to local customs & traditions,
positioning to be traditionally oriented and price higher
as repeat purchases are lower.
People tend to prefer
handicrafts as good gift options
Handcrafted souvenirs are considered to be of much
superior value compared to non-handcrafted ones as
they were perceived to be more unique and more
personal. Too higher range for souvenirs not
recommended, however, varying price of type of
products should be there for gifts purposes to increase
purchases. Products should be well-stocked.
People are emotionally
involved in the purchase of
handicrafts and they think it is
a way of saving local art form
as well as helping someone in
Repeat Purchases are almost nil in this category.
However, price point should be higher & importance to
be given to the originality & process of manufacture of
handicrafts for increases purchases. High Price is
Handicrafts were primarily
evaluated on uniqueness,
originality, aesthetics and
Marketing and positioning of handicrafts should be done
on these parameters
For products like designer
goods, paintings, & traditional
art; people seemed to show
least price sensitivity towards
Products should not be too many in variety – exclusive
buying. Salesman needs to be well trained to position
the product as unique. Visual merchandizing plays an
important role here.
Price of the handicraft souvenir
was equated with the measure
of its uniqueness – the costlier
the item, the more skilled its
craftsman was perceived to be
Salesman should be well-trained and price point to be
higher along with lesser varieties on showcase.
In case of functional wares,
people seemed to associate
handicraft products as low
Focus should be on communicating sturdiness & utility
of the handicraft. Sales Pitch to be well-trained. Less
focus on uniqueness. Price lower in the range of usual
alternatives to attract the target segment.
Most of our target audience for survey, FGD, and projective techniques were students from
XLRI. Though they came from diverse geographic, cultural, and financial background,
GROUP 7 | SECTION B | HANDICRAFTS 18
most of them were from same age group and led similar lifestyle since the start of their
MBA journey. This makes the research vulnerable as our target audience may not be the
true representation of the total population.
We conducted observatory research at handicraft stalls set-up during Valhalla. Moreover
FGD was conducted between people who had purchased goods from the stall. However the
insights gained from this exercise might be biased as the motivators and drivers for
handicraft consumption might be quite different across Tier-1, Tier-2, towns, and villages.
Lack of secondary data to get insights on the motivators and drivers of handicraft
Due to paucity of time and resources, we couldn’t take a large sample population for our
research. Thus there is a possibility of the results being skewed.
6 FUTURE SCOPE
Conducting observatory and ethnographic research at handicraft exhibitions as it attracts
huge number of crowd. This will help us identify critical incidence points during the
purchase decision making. It will also help us get insights on the motivators and drivers of
individual/group handicraft purchases.
Designing our sample population with a right mix of people from diverse age , SEC, socio-
cultural and geographic locations in order to get true representation of the total population.
Simultaneously conducting observatory research at POS across Tier-1, Tier-2, towns, and
villages to understand the differences in motivators and drivers of consumption
Increasing the sample size to have an un-skewed statistical/ quantitative analysis.
Interacting with more number of handicraft players to get insights about the industry
scenario, customer lifecycle, and their customer interaction points