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The current study aimed to explore the impact of advertising on consumer purchasing decisions. The study was driven by the assumption that incomplete information influences decision making. Buyers should not make purchasing decisions without proper knowledge, as this is dangerous.

Based on this, the current study was designed to evaluate the impact of advertising on customer purchasing decisions, with a focus on evaluating alternatives, which is a step in the buying process. The study used a survey research approach and included 300 toothpaste users as participants.

Four research questions and four hypotheses were created to lead the investigation. Data were collected via a questionnaire. The acquired data was analysed using descriptive statistics such as mean, frequencies, and percentages, and chi-square was used to test hypotheses at the 0.05 level of significance.

The findings of this study showed that advertisements have a considerable impact on customers’ purchasing decisions. The study also found that advertisements impact customers’ ultimate decisions to purchase a product over alternatives.

The study also found that advertisements influence consumers’ post-purchase evaluations of the product. Based on these findings, the study concluded that advertising products have a significant impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions and thus recommended that business organisations use advertisement to ensure that their products receive the publicity they deserve to attract customers’ attention.

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria, as a sovereign state, has remained a point of reference in Africa and on the international scene. This is due to its status as one of the world’s top suppliers of crude oil to both developed and developing countries.

For more than three decades, crude oil has been the primary source of energy, money, and foreign exchange profits for Nigeria’s economy (Abubakar, 2015). According to Eke and Enibe (2007), Nigeria’s domestic economy relies heavily on the production and distribution of petroleum products.

Petroleum product distribution is thus concerned with the flow of refined petroleum from the refinery to the ultimate users via numerous delivery points throughout the country (Adeleke, 2002).

Until recently, petroleum supplies were distributed by an extensive network of nearly4,000 kilometres of pipelines that connected to 21 widely spread depots across the country.

Thus, petroleum products can be purchased from the three local refineries or, in the event of a supply shortage from offshore refineries, imported.

The transportation system allows things such as petroleum products to be sold to consumers in locations far from the region where they are produced. Economists argue that things are not generated until they are carried to the final consumers,

who will satisfy their want (utility) through consumption of the goods. It follows that transportation, which moves things from the place of production to the point of consumption, provides productive services (Akintayo, 2010).

In Nigeria, refined petroleum products are delivered from refineries to 21 regional storage/distribution depots scattered across the country via pipelines, coastal (marine) vessels, road vehicles, and rail waggons (Obasanjo and Nwankwo, 2014). Marketing companies sourced their materials from these depots.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is supplied by imports and domestically refined products from both major and independent merchants. Since 1970, the country has made significant investments in refineries, storage facilities, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects.

According to Ehinomen and Adeleke (2012), Nigeria’s total pipeline network is approximately 4500 kilometres. In recent years, the supply of these petroleum product mixtures to storage depots and eventually to customers has been insufficient to meet rising demand. Demand includes the domestic, industrial, transportation, and agricultural sectors.

According to Ilodigwe (2011), a distribution channel is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the physical flow of resources, finished items, and related information from point of origin to point of consumption in order to meet client demands while being profitable.

Proper distribution scheduling via pipeline networks can promote the economical integration of refinery locations and storage depots, allowing for easy shipment of products from refineries to depot locations and finally to customers at the lowest possible delivery cost.

The distribution channel, also known as the channel of distribution, is the path that goods and services take from the vendor to the consumer, or payments for those products go from the consumer to the vendor.

Kotler and Armstrong (2001) defined the distribution channel as the marketing function in charge of moving products to end customers. According to Armstrong (1975), distribution decisions should be directed by three broad criteria:

market coverage, which is the size of the prospective market that has to be supplied; control, which is control over the product; and costs, which are both fixed and variable.

Whatever the country’s economic situation, the importance of distribution cannot be overstated. Ehinomen and Adeleke (2012) stated that distribution efficacy is critical in lowering operational costs, which leads to lower product prices for the benefit of all industry players.

No surprise Egede and Ngwoke (2013) remarked that one of the key issues affecting the pricing of vital products (PMS, AGO, and DPK) is the high cost of distribution, which also affects the official pump price.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Distribution channels serve a variety of tasks that enable the flow of commodities from manufacturer to client. For starters, channels offer time, location, and ownership utility. They make things available when, where, and in the sizes and quantities that clients prefer.

Distribution channels perform a variety of logistics or physical distribution activities, improving the efficiency of the movement of commodities from producer to client. Furthermore, distribution networks increase efficiency by lowering the number of transactions required to move items from several manufacturers to a big number of clients.

Regardless of the country’s economic situation, the importance of distribution channels cannot be overstated. According to Ehinomen and Adeleke (2012), distribution efficacy is critical in lowering operating costs, which leads to lower product prices for the benefit of all industry stakeholders.

Egede & Ngwoke (2013) highlighted that one of the key issues affecting the pricing of vital products (PMS, AGO, and DPK) is the exorbitant cost of delivery of these important medicines, which also influences the official pump price.

Despite the installation of three refineries, several storage depots, and pipelines joining them, an uneven distribution route is one of the primary causes of Nigeria’s continuous scarcity and inequitable distribution of petroleum products.

Against this backdrop, the current study’s aim is to analyse the distribution channel in Nigeria’s petroleum business, with a special focus on Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study tries to assess the distribution channel in Nigeria’s petroleum industry, with a focus on Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc. Specifically, the current study seeks:

1. To investigate the impact of petroleum distribution routes on product availability in the market.

2. Assess the impact of transportation costs on the company’s profitability.

3. To assess the impact of distribution channels on customer satisfaction.

4. To examine the impact of government policies on the distribution of petroleum products.

1.4 Research Questions.

The following research questions are developed to lead the investigation.

1. How do distribution routes affect the availability of petroleum products in the market?

2. How does the cost of transportation impact the company’s profitability?

3. How does the distribution route affect consumer satisfaction?

4. How do government policies influence the distribution of petroleum products?

1.5 Research Hypotheses.

H01: Distribution routes have little impact on the availability of petroleum products in the marketplace.

H02: The cost of transportation has no impact on the company’s profitability.

H03: Customer happiness is unaffected by distribution channels.

H04: Government policies have no effect on the market distribution of petroleum products.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will help managers and administrators in the manufacturing industry make better decisions. This is because evaluating the performance of distribution channels helps enterprises and organisations plan for better use of them. One such decision is marketing channel selection.

This study will assist researchers and academics in particular because it is intended to lay the groundwork for future research targeted at advancing knowledge. It is also relevant in the review of literature for a similar investigation.

Another feature of this study is that its findings seek to explain the efficiency of distribution channels on sales volume. This knowledge will act as a reference point for other industries that may require similar expertise to make decisions that will propel their organisation to new heights of success.

1.7 Scope of Study

The report is an evaluation of the distribution route in Nigeria’s petroleum industry, namely Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc. The study examines the effect of distribution channels on product availability in the market, transportation costs, customer satisfaction, and the impact of government policy on petroleum product distribution. The study spans five years, from 2010 to 2015.

1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms

Distribution Channel: In this study, distribution channel refers to the means via which products are conveyed from the source to the end consumer.

Petroleum Products Distribution: In the context of this study, petroleum products distribution refers to the transfer of refined petroleum from the refinery to the final consumers via numerous delivery points.

Nigeria Petroleum Industry: This industry produces and distributes petroleum products such as PMS, AGO, and DPK.

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