Create amazing things by listening to your customers
Consumer behaviour refers to the action of consumers and the motives behind the purchase of a product. It is the study of how customers or organizations choose, purchase, use goods and services to satisfy their needs and wants. In marketing, studying and understanding consumer behaviour is good because it helps them to determine which product stays on the market and which product has become obsolete.
Nowadays the study of consumer behavior is becoming important. With the increase of substitute goods and technology, there is a large choice of product available on the marketplace. Therefore, studying the motive of customers behind purchase plays a great role in deciding whether a product is doing great or need improvement or innovation or need to stop being on the marketplace. In the previous article we have talk about the type of consumer, and therefore it is important to devise strategies to understand the motives behind different types of consumer and then plan strategies that will influence consumers to buy a particular product.
So what are the different ways to study consumer behaviour ? Let’s have a look below at the 3 main methods that are used to understand and study consumer behaviour.
You can conduct interviews with your customers to undestanf how they feel about your product. Surveys can be conducted face-to-face, by phone or using the internet. Is it best to avoid too many open-ended questions and include multiple-choice questions to as to obtain the answers easily.
2. Focus groups
Or you can host a focus group, which involve to look for 8 to 10 participants who are already consumers of your product and you ask them questions so as to understand their motives of purchase. It is also good to have consumers of competitors so as to understand why they prefer to buy their products and not yours. The types of questions during a focus groups are mainly open-ended so as to let the participants express themselves freely.
Or you can ask for statistics from stores and compare the figures over time to as to have a good picture why people select your product or not.
Factors Influencing Consumer Behaviour
The buying behaviour of consumers is influenced by several factors. Below is the breakdown of the major influences of consumer behaviour which are psychological, social, cultural, personal and economic.
1. Psychological Factors
Human psychology is a component that is difficult to measure but is a powerful factor in influencing a consumer behaviour. Some psychological factors are motivation, perception, attitude and beliefs.
- Motivation – The hierarchy of Maslow demonstrates that a person has several needs which are social, basic, security, esteem and self-actualization. Out of all these needs, the basic and security need are more powerful than the other and hence can motivate a consumer to make a purchase.
- Perception – Consumer perception is how a consumer perceives a product. Advertisements, promotions, customer reviews and social media help a customer to build an image of a product and all these can positively or negatively influence a consumer.
- Attitude and beliefs – The beliefs and attitude of a consumer play an important role defining the brand image of a product. Depending on the beliefs that a consumer have about a product, he may or may not decide to make a purchase.
2. Social Factors
We are surrounded by people and we feel that it is important to be accepted by the people around us. And thus, sometimes our behaviours are influenced by the people around us, it can be our family, friends or a reference group.
- Family – The family in which we grow up play a great role in shaping our behaviour. A person already develops preferences since childhood by simply watching the buying pattern and behaviour of his family.
- Reference group – A reference group is a group of people with whom we associate ourselves and normally these people in these groups influence each other.
- Roles and Status – The role and status of a person in the society are a major factor in consumer behaviour. Generally, a person will buy according to his status. For instance, the buying pattern and behaviour of a director of a company will be different compared to that of his staff.
3. Cultural Factors
Another important component in the buying behaviour of a consumer is culture. The buying behaviour of a person is greatly influenced by his community. Some cultural factors are culture, subculture and social class.
- Culture – Culture include our beliefs, values, perceptions, needs and wants that are observed and learned from our family and people that are important to us. And cultural factors are a strong determinant in the buying behaviour of a consumer.
- Subculture – Subculture consists of people of religion, nationalities or race. Subculture is used by marketers to design products for a specific group.
- Social class – The social class of a person is not only determined by his income, but also by his job, family background, education and locations. Therefore, consumer behaviours are adopted by the social class of a person.
4. Personal Factors
Personal factors vary from one person to another and therefore resulting into different perceptions and consumer behaviours. Some examples of personal factors are age, income, occupation and lifestyle.
- Age – Age plays a great role in the buying behaviour of a consumer. The buying decision of a middle-aged person will be completely different from that of a teenager. For instance a middle-aged person will be more interested in buying a house or a car and a teenager will be more interested in buying branded clothes and beauty products.
- Income – Your income will definitely influence the purchase decision of a person. When a person has a high income, they are more able to spend their money on luxury products. And a person with a low income will spend most of his income on basic needs.
- Occupation – A person will mostly buy according to his profession. For example, the buying behaviour of a doctor and a teacher will be completely different.
- Lifestyle – The lifestyle is the way and attitude of a person in the society. For example, the buying decision of a person who prefer to maintain a healthy lifestyle will be completely different from one who prefer junk food.
5. Economic Factors
And now, let’s have a look at the last factor influencing the behaviour of consumers. When an economy is growing, the consumers will have a higher purchasing power compared to a weak economy with a high inflation rate and a high unemployment rate. Some of the important economical are income, consumer credit, liquid assets and savings.
- Income – Income is cascaded down into personal income and family income. For personal income, we are talking about disposable income of a person which will determine his buying behaviour. Disposable income is the money left after tax. The higher the disposable of a person is, he is able to spend more thus resulting in a difference in the buying behaviour or a person with high disposable income a someone with low disposable income. The same principle applies to family income. When the income of a family is high, they tend to spend more on luxury.
- Consumer credit – Consumer credit can be in the form of credit cards, bank loans, hire purchase and many other credit options. If a consumer has a high credit facilities, he will spend more.
- Savings – If a consumer decides to save more, therefore most of his income will be in his saving account. However, if a consumer decides to save less, more of his income will be spent on buying products.