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What is the meaning of the term ” Consumer Behavior”

Consumer Behavior is a term that is affected by various factors like cultural, social, personal, psychological, marketing campaigns, economic conditions, personal preferences, etc.

But before discussing “What influences” we must know “What consumer behavior” is.

What’s in it for me?

  1. What is Consumer Behavior
  2. Importance of Consumer Behavior
  3. Types of Consumer Behavior
  4. What factors influence Consumer Behavior
  5. The 5 factors that influence our decisions

1) What is Consumer Behavior?

Consumer Behavior is a study of individuals’, groups’ and organizations’ decisions by observing their selections, purchasing, use and rejections of goods, ideas or experiences to fulfill their wants and needs.

It defines the actions of the consumers in the marketplace and what are their motives behind those actions.

In simple words we can say that Consumer Behavior is how consumers decide what they need, want and what they desire and how they buy, use and get rid of goods that they don’t need or they don’t want.

2) Importance of Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior is quite important and it contributes a lot to the marketplace.

By studying its market understands and can figure out which products are needed in the marketplace, which products are outdated and how to present the product to the consumer.

Understanding Consumer Behavior, we can assume that the consumer is an actor in the marketplace and he is playing a role.

They play various roles. They play roles like information providers from users to the payer and the disposer. These roles are generally played while making decisions.

These roles might be different in different consumption situations.

For example- A mother plays the role of an influencer when her child is in the purchasing process and at the same time she plays the role of a disposer for the products used by her family.

Types of consumer behavior

3) Types of Consumer Behavior

  1. Complex Buying Behavior –

This type of Consumer Behavior is experienced when a consumer is buying an expensive, occasionally bought products.

They have already done a lot of consumer research and are highly involved in the purchase process before investing. For example – Buying a car, buying a house, etc.

  1. Dissonance-reducing buying behavior –

In this type of Consumer Behavior, the consumer is highly confused between the brands and the differences between the brands but they are highly involved in the purchase process.

This type of situation generally occurs when a consumer has second thoughts or might think that h/she might regret his/her decision or choice later.

  1. Habitual buying Behaviour –

This type of behavior is characterized by the fact that the consumer has very little involvement in the category of the product or brand.

For example – You go to buy bread. There you buy your preferred type of bread irrespective of which brand it belongs to.

In short, you are following a habitual pattern and not having brand loyalty.

  1. Variety seeking behavior

In this type of Consumer Behavior, the consumer seeks variety. They try different products at different times.

This necessarily does not mean that they weren’t satisfied with the previous product. It is just they want to try different varieties.

factors-influencing-consumer-behaviour

4) What factors influence Consumer Behavior?

The influence on Consumer Behavior changes by 5 factors. These two factors are:

  1. Personal factors: There are three major personal factors.
  2. Age and lifecycle factor: Age brings a lot of changes in Consumer Behavior’ buying. As people grow their need changes. Some products are age-based like baby bottle and diapers are made for children as an adult is not going to use the same.
  3. Cultural Factor
  4. Psychological Factor
  5. Social Factor

 Some companies make products only for a specific age group. Every age group has different needs and wants. With Age lifestyle of a person also changes.

Where a youngster spends money mostly for entertainment purposes, an older person spends money for health purpose.

Personal Factors includes

  1. Gender
  2. Income
  3. Education

Now we explain all these factors in detail which affect Consumer Behavior.

  1. Gender:
    Consumer’s buying behavior also changes with gender. A man and a woman can have different preferences.

    The reason for the different choices is different needs. In some areas, they can have some choices too like in movies, web series, food, fun, technological gadgets, and travel but some products are made for either of them.
    Like makeup products are used by women and a product like shaving razor are used by men only.
  2. Income:
    Income also plays an important role in shifting consumer preference from one product to another product or from one brand to another brand.
    i) A person with a high income will always prefer luxurious products as he can buy. but a person with low income will prefer cheaper products.
    ii) People with high incomes will spend more on their lifestyle and entertainment as compared to a person with low income.
    iii) Consumers with less income will focus on their basic needs like food, clothes, and shelter but a high-income person will complete these basic needs with luxury. Based on income, a person prepares his budget so any increase or decrease in the income can cause a shift in the people’s choice of brands and products.
  3. Education:
    Education causes a big change in how a person looks at the world. An educated person will do big research before going to the market which an uneducated person will not do.

 As people are getting educated, they want to know more about the products offered to them. They do not keep themselves depend on ads only. Now, if an educated person is going to the market, he will choose only that product that satisfies him properly.

Example: if an educated person is going to buy a mobile phone, he will research its features and he will compare the prices with its substitutes and after that, he will come to a decision.

(2) Psychological Factors: Psychological Factors is also another factor that drives Consumer Behavior very much. This factor affects the consumer emotionally and mentally. Some of them are:

Perception:
Perception is how a consumer understands your product and interprets it.

It depends on many factors like how he sees, hear and understands about the brand. What a consumer think of a product can change its decision making in the same way.

As we know, the first impression is the last. So if a brand has advertised its product effectively then it can leave a long-lasting image in the mind of the customer.

 A belief may be positive as well as negative. Attitude is how a consumer responds to a product that depends on his belief.

(3) Cultural Factors: Cultural factors that affect Consumer Behavior are:

1.Culture: Culture is the set of beliefs and perceptions that a person learns from its family and society at a very early stage and follows it.

 Culture can be divided into food, tradition, clothes and also behavior. Culture is varied from country to country and group to group.

Example: The tradition of America is different from India. Females in America will prefer western clothes whereas, in India, Saree is our tradition.

Subculture: Each culture is then divided into sub-cultures like caste, class, and gender. Every caste has its own belief like in Hindu marriages red lehengas are preferred while in Christian white gowns are preferred.

 An Upper-class person will spend on luxurious items whereas a lower-class person will spend on cheaper items. And in a gender, males are generally not considered to buy fairness cream.

It is a belief that only females can use fairness creams.

Social class: When a society is divided based on its social standing, economic success and wealth then it is known as social class.

 Social classes are also made based on Education and Occupation. Social class affects the behavior of the consumer as people made their Choices, purchases, consumption and also interact based on their social standing.

(4) Social Factors: Social Factors are related to society and mainly with a group. Social factors that affect Consumer Behavior are:

Family: Family can be defined as when people or groups of people are related to each other by blood, marriage, adoption or are living together.

 Family plays a big role in influencing Consumer Behavior as an individual will shape their personality, beliefs, perception, tastes according to their family.

Ex: Decisions taken by a male head in a family.

  1. Reference group: Reference group is people or groups of people whose advice an individual seek while making any purchase. A reference group can influence consumer behavior as An individual’s beliefs, perception, values, and behavior are generally influenced by its reference group. Example: neighbors, teachers.
  2. Role and Status: A person’s role is defined by its position in that particular group. People make their purchases based on their role and status in society.

 They purchase products that can be showed as a status symbol in their group so marketers should make their product based on the status of their targeted audience.

Other Factors include

  1. Learning: Learning is what consumer remembers about the product after use of that product. It can be positive or negative.
    He will buy that product in the future or not depends on a consumer’s experience with that product.
    He will make that decision if the product’s quality, price, service has satisfied him properly and meet his expectations.
  2. Motivation: Motivation is an internal force that encourages the customer to buy a particular product. When a consumer decides that I want to buy this particular product and I will get it anyhow then it works in favor of that product.
  3. Attitude and beliefs: Sometimes consumer attaches beliefs to a particular product. Beliefs are when a consumer has a particular mindset about a particular product and he believes it to be true.

To know more about this topic read the blog customer’s demand.

Types of Consumer Behavior

5) The 5  Factors that Influence Our Decisions:

There are 5 factors are:

  1. Purchasing Power: Purchasing Power is a very important role play to influence consumer behavior.
    Generally, Consumer analyses their Purchasing capacity, as well as a consumer, think about his budget before the purchase any product or services. It doesn’t matter how your product is Excellent if it fails to meet the potential of buyers’ ability. It will highly impact on its sales. The consumer behavior and their purchasing capacity would help in determining eligible consumers to get achieve better results
    . Greater impact on the end purchase made by a consumer.
  2. Economic Conditions: Economic Conditions is the very important role play to influence Consumer Behavior. Consumer decisions strongly influence the current financial position of the market. Whenever the Economy is growing then buyer purchasing also increases. Or whenever the economy is going down then it also affects buyer purchasing power hence its effect on the total market. The positive economic environment is known to make consumers more confident and ready to purchase despite their financial liabilities.
  3. Marketing Campaigns: Marketing Campaigns or advertisements is an important role in influence the purchasing decision made by the consumer.
    They are also known to bring a great change in the market shares of competing industries by influencing the purchasing decisions of consumers. Regularly conducted marketing campaigns can influence a consumer’s purchase decision to the extent that they can choose one brand for another or make unsightly or unsightly purchases. Marketing campaigns if undertaken at regular intervals even help to remind consumers to shop for not so exciting products such as health products or insurance policies.
  4. Group Influence: Group Influence also plays an important role in influencing consumer behavior. The Primary influential groups include Family Members, close friends, Immediate Relatives and Classmates, and the Secondary influential groups includes co-workers, neighbors, clubs, and organizations, as well as acquaintances, are seen greater influence on consumer purchasing decisions. Say for example Craze for the iPhone in luxury phone are an example.  
  5. Personal Preferences: In the Personal level, Consumer behavior is influenced by various colors of Morals, Values, likes, dislikes, preferences, beliefs. Some certain dynamic industries such as personal care, consumer personal outlook, fashion, and food industries, personal views and opinions related to style and fun can become major influencing factors. Although adverting can help to influence these factors to some extent, The individual consumer likes and Dislikes having a greater impact on the end purchase made by a consumer.
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Consumer Behavior
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