Consumer behavior is the study of consumer preferences and what motivates or influences their purchase decisions or discarding products/services. The study integrates psychology, biology, chemistry, and economics to analyze consumers’ emotional, mental, and behavioral responses. Studying customer behavior is essential to understand the factors influencing their buying decisions. It helps marketers identify and meet customer expectations by enhancing their marketing strategies and the features of products/services to make a significant impact.
Getting to know your consumers and their purchase patterns will give you insights and enable you to classify your audience. Marketing strategies, economic factors, personal preferences, group impact, and purchasing power are some of the factors that influence consumer purchase patterns. Pursuing a short-term certification course from Texila CPD enables you to understand, research, and track consumer behavior, which is crucial for businesses to succeed.
Table of Contents:
- Why is it crucial to examine consumer behavior
- Four Categories of consumer behavior
- various factors that influence consumer purchase patterns
- Human behavior patterns
- Classifying consumers based on their behavior in making purchases
- Key Takeaways
We make several buying decisions daily regarding clothes, accessories, perfume, food preferences, etc.; these decisions might seem trivial, but marketers utilize this information to acquire more customers and boost revenue. Consumer behavior studies consumer preferences and what motivates or influences their purchase decisions or discarding products/services.
The study integrates psychology, biology, chemistry, and economics to analyze consumers’ emotional, mental, and behavioral responses. In this article, let’s explore the different aspects of buyer behavior and the effective types of customer segmentation.
Why is it crucial to examine consumer behavior?
Studying customer behavior is essential to understand the factors influencing their buying decisions. It helps marketers identify and meet customer expectations by enhancing their marketing strategies and the features of products/services to make a significant impact.
A consumer behavior analysis should reveal consumer expectations, and perceptions about different products, what motivates them to buy specific products/brands, customer shopping and buying patterns, and various environmental conditions that influence their purchase decisions.
Three types of factors influence human behavior, they are:
- Personal factors include the demographics that affect individual buying preferences: age, gender, culture, etc.
- Psychological factors include individuals’ responses to marketing campaigns.
- Social factors comprise friends, family, education levels, social media, income, etc., that influence individuals buying preferences.
Four Categories of consumer behavior:
1) Complex buying behavior: Consumers planning on purchasing expensive or rarely bought products fall under this category; considering you are planning to make a high-end investment like purchasing a car or a house, you will be highly involved in the process by exploring various options before committing.
2) Dissonance-reduced buying behavior: In this category, the consumer will be highly involved in the purchase process but will face difficulty or be indecisive about choosing a brand; they often tend to worry about regretting their decisions, and even after making the purchase, they seek confirmation about their choice of brands. Consider a scenario wherein you purchase a refrigerator, and your choice will be based on pricing and convenience. Still, after making the purchase, you seek your friend’s or family’s affirmation concerning your selection.
3) Habitual buying behavior: This type of purchase pattern is based on regular purchases rather than affinity toward a specific brand. For example, while purchasing groceries, you visit the store and buy your preferred products out of habit, with little or no concern for brands.
4) Variety-seeking behavior: Consumers often tend to purchase products of different brands not because of their displeasure or dislike for a particular brand but because they seek variety while making purchases, like trying out various perfume brands.
Getting to know your consumers and their purchase patterns will give you insights and enable you to classify your audience. Let’s look at the
various factors that influence consumer purchase patterns:
1) Marketing strategies: Do you know that a good marketing message can encourage buyers to make impulsive purchases?
Carefully planned brand marketing strategies can influence buyers’ purchasing patterns, making them change brands or choose expensive alternatives. Reminders in the form of Facebook ad campaigns can be subtly used to induce the audience into buying products that need to be purchased regularly but are not on top of their mind.
2) Economic factors: The economic conditions of buyers play a huge role in purchasing expensive products like houses or cars. Did you know? A positive economic environment makes consumers confidently purchase expensive products irrespective of their financial abilities. The decision-making process for expensive products is longer and influenced by several factors.
3) Personal preferences: Likes, dislikes, morals, values, priorities, etc., influence buying behavior while purchasing fashion items, accessories, or food. Advertisements persuade the buying decisions to a certain extent; for example, a vegan cannot be motivated to buy a non-veg burger with unique ads. Its preferences influence consumers’ choice of food items.
4) Group impact: General beliefs and opinions of family, classmates, friends, neighbors, etc., can have an immense effect on buying choices. Similarly, social psychology, education levels, and social factors can make a significant impact. For example, when the group you hang out with prefers fast food to home-cooked meals, you eventually have more fast food than home-cooked meals.
5) Purchasing power: Buyer choices are highly influenced by budget, except for the wealthy. It can be a fantastic product with effective marketing campaigns, but you will need more money to motivate you to purchase. Hence marketers need to classify their audience based on purchasing capacity to achieve better results.
Human behavior patterns:
Patterns in buying behavior are not due to buying routines inclination toward certain activities develops as habits that become spontaneous over time, and each customer exhibits distinct buying habits. Wherein patterns show a predictable mental framework, collective buying behavior patterns enable marketers to characterize them. Let’s look at the various aspects of consumer buying behavior based on where, when what, and how consumers purchase:
1) Where consumers buy their items: Even though every item is available in the same store, customers prefer to purchase from different stores; in a hypermarket where all clothes and accessories are available under one roof, we like to buy them from specific brands. The capability and access to purchase the same products from different stores depict that customers are not permanently loyal to a particular store or brand. Studying consumer buying behavior based on the choice of place enables marketers to determine key store locations.
2) What consumers purchase: Examining the shopping cart of buyers gives marketers insights about the purchased products and the quantity of each item purchased. The buyer’s shelf life of product purchasing power, the unit of sale, pricing, the intended number of consumers using the product, etc., impact the number of product purchases. Essential items are bought in bulk, while luxury and premium products are bought less frequently and in small amounts.
3) When consumers purchase: Customers shop based on their convenience, and at odd hours with e-commerce, shopping is just about a few clicks. Business houses should be able to meet shopper demands by identifying purchase patterns, considering seasonal variations and regional differences, and providing service according to the time and frequency of purchases.
4) How consumers purchase: A customer can buy an item in-store or order online and pay online via credit card or at the time of product delivery. The method of shopping can also make the customer spend more; for example, you will incur shipping charges for online shopping. Collecting information about consumer buying behavior patterns enables marketers to understand their customers better and devise new strategies to make them buy again, more frequently, and at higher costs.
Classifying consumers based on their behavior in making purchases:
Identifying types of behaviors and organizing consumers is essential for organizations to succeed. Finding the right segmentation strategies that suit your business is also imperative. Let’s look at the traditional segmentation strategies that most companies employ:
1) Benefits sought: A customer looks for whitening, sensitivity, flavor, or price when buying toothpaste. Consumer preference for the benefits sought is the motivating factor that drives purchase decisions. When consumers research products, their behavior reveals the aspects that motivate them, like advantages, features, values, problems, etc.
2) Occassion or timing based: Consumers can be segmented based on occasions when they purchase the products. Universal experiences refer to holidays or seasonal events when consumers make certain purchases. Recurring personal circumstances are when consumers make consistent purchases repeatedly, like, investments for birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, daily routines, etc. Rare-personal occasions are due to irregular or spontaneous buying.
3) Usage rate: Consumers can be classified based on the frequency at which he makes the purchase or interacts with the products, which indicates consumer loyalty towards your products.
4) Brand loyalty status: Consumers can be segmented based on their loyalty towards the brand marketers should understand their needs and satisfy them. Loyal customers are valuable to business since they become brand advocates, and exclusive strategies to nurture and strengthen consumer relationships encourage them for future purchases.
5) User status: Depending on your type of business, consumer status can be non-user, prospects, first-time buyers, regular users, and ex-customers.
6) Consumer journey stage: Segmenting the audience based on buyer readiness helps marketers to plan their communication strategies and improve consumer experience to increase conversion at every step of the process. It also assists in identifying stages where consumers need to progress and the scope for improvement.
In addition to the traditional methods, eCommerce marketers use RFP models to segment their audience and create personalized user experiences across each segment. RFM denotes Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value and helps you determine your loyal and profitable customers and competitors.
Pursuing a short-term certification course from Texila CPD enables you to understand, research, and track consumer behavior, which is crucial for businesses to succeed. It is about how people make purchase decisions to meet their requirements and how their emotional, mental, and behavioral responses impact buying decisions.