consumer behaviour


  • [15] Other purchase decisions, In consumer practice, consumers must make highly complex decisions, often based on a lack of time, knowledge or negotiating ability.

  • Consumer actions, in this instance, could involve requesting a refund, making a complaint, deciding not to purchase the same brand or from the same company in the future,
    or even spreading negative product reviews to friends or acquaintances, possibly via social media.

  • “[7] The term consumer can refer to individual consumers as well as organisational consumers, and more specifically, “an end user, and not necessarily a purchaser, in the
    distribution chain of a good or service.

  • “[8] Consumer behaviour is concerned with:[9] • purchase activities: the purchase of goods or services; how consumers acquire products and services, and all the activities
    leading up to a purchase decision, including information search, evaluating goods and services, and payment methods including the purchase experience • use or consumption activities: concerns the who, where, when, and how of consumption and
    the usage experience, including the symbolic associations and the way that goods are distributed within families or consumption units • disposal activities: concerns the way that consumers dispose of products and packaging; may also include
    reselling activities such as eBay and second-hand markets Consumer responses may be:[10] • emotional (or affective) responses: refer to emotions such as feelings or moods, • mental (or cognitive) responses: refer to the consumer’s thought
    processes, their • behavioural (or conative) responses: refer to the consumer’s observable responses in relation to the purchase and disposal of goods or services.

  • Other types of calls-to-action might provide consumers with strong reasons for purchasing immediately such an offer that is only available for a limited time (e.g.

  • [51] Post purchase evaluation can be viewed as the steps taken by consumers to correlate their expectations with perceived value and thus influence their next purchase decision
    for that good or service.

  • [29] Specific brand names enter the consumer’s consideration set based on the extent to which they satisfy the consumer’s purchasing objectives and/or the salience or accessibility
    of the brand at the time of making the purchase decision.

  • A typical strategy is to look to peers or significant others for validation of the purchase choice.

  • [26] As the consumer approaches the actual purchase, they distill the mental list of brands into a set of alternatives that represent realistic purchase options, known as
    the consideration set.

  • Methods used might include ‘social evidence’, where the salesperson refers to previous success and satisfaction from other customers buying the product.

  • Part of any marketing program requires an understanding of which motives drive given product choices.

  • [24] Consumers may choose to supplement the number of brands in the evoked set by carrying out an external search using sources such as the Internet, manufacturer/brand websites,
    shopping around, product reviews, referrals from peers and the like.

  • [37] The marketing organisation needs a deep understanding of the benefits most valued by consumers and therefore which attributes are most important in terms of the consumer’s
    purchase decision.

  • As consumers approach the actual purchase decision, they are more likely to rely on personal sources of information.

  • A simpler way of thinking about problem recognition is that it is where the consumer decides that they are ‘in the market’ for a product or service to satisfy some need or

  • After evaluating the different product attributes, the consumer ranks each attribute or benefit from highly important to least important.

  • Other factors that may affect the purchase decision include the environment and the consumer’s prior experience with the category or brand.

  • This is marketing, which could be defined as “the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships, in order to capture value
    from customers in return.

  • New Products or Categories When consumers become aware of new innovative products that offer a superior means of fulfilling a need.

  • “[36] Consumer beliefs about a brand or product category may vary depending on a range of factors including the consumer’s prior experience and the effects of selective perception,
    distortion, and retention.

  • [11] The purchase decision and its context Understanding purchase and consumption behaviour is a key challenge for marketers.

  • The study of consumer behaviour formally investigates individual qualities such as demographics, personality lifestyles, and behavioural variables (such as usage rates, usage
    occasion, loyalty, brand advocacy, and willingness to provide referrals), in an attempt to understand people’s wants and consumption patterns.

  • Related products The purchase of one product may trigger the need for accessories, spare parts, or complementary goods and services e.g.

  • The implication for marketers is that relevant brand information should be disseminated as widely as possible and included on any forum where consumers are likely to search
    for product or brand information, whether traditional media or digital media channels.

  • New Needs or Wants Lifestyle changes may trigger the identification of new needs e.g.

  • [27] By definition, the consideration set refers to the “small set of brands which a consumer pays close attention to when making a purchase decision”.

  • However, when consumers become more knowledgeable, functional attributes diminish and consumers process more abstract information about the brand, notably the self-related

  • Information search[edit] Customer purchase decision, illustrating different communications touchpoints at each stage During the information search and evaluation stages, the
    consumer works through processes designed to arrive at a number of brands (or products) that represent viable purchase alternatives.

  • [3] In its early years, consumer behaviour was heavily influenced by motivation research, which had increased the understanding of customers, and had been used extensively
    by consultants in the advertising industry and also within the discipline of psychology in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

  • Consumer behaviour, in its broadest sense, is concerned with understanding both how purchase decisions are made and how products or services are consumed or experienced.

  • Thus the relevant evaluation attributes vary according to across different types of consumers and purchase contexts.

  • No universal evaluation process is used by consumers across all-buying situations.

  • [18] The purchasing decision model To approach the mental processes used in purchasing decisions, some authors employ the concept of the black box, which represents the cognitive
    and affective processes used by a consumer during a purchase decision.

  • Consumers typically use most of their resources (time, energy, and finances) attempting to satisfy these lower order needs before the higher order needs of belonging, esteem,
    and self-actualisation become meaningful.

  • The extensive data produced by these databases enables detailed examination of behavioural factors that contribute to customer re-purchase intentions, consumer retention,
    loyalty, and other behavioural intentions such as the willingness to provide positive referrals, become brand advocates, or engage in customer citizenship activities.

  • Foxall suggested that post-purchase evaluation can provide key feedback to marketers because it influences future purchase patterns and consumption activities.

  • Social media further enables consumers to share views with their peers about the product they are looking to purchase.

  • The consciously, and subconsciously, consumed content in traditional as well as social media greatly plays the role of a stimulus for the consumer’s recognition of a new need.

  • This means that a need is built for a consumer, with the product presented or advertised to them through an analytical study of the user’s patterns of consumption and their
    behaviours and habits.

  • Faced with the severe competition situation, companies began to realize the importance of implementing brand strategy, and began to focus on market research, and on this basis,
    deeply grasp the consumer’s psychological pulse to improve market share and brand loyalty.

  • [25] The fact that a consumer is aware of a brand does not necessarily mean that it is being considered as a potential purchase.

  • In practice, the consideration set has assumed greater importance in the purchase decision process because consumers are no longer totally reliant on memory.

  • Routinised problem-solving Repeat purchases or habitual purchases Consumers become aware of a problem in a variety of ways including:[23] The purchase of a mobile phone may
    trigger the desire for accessories such as this phone mount for use in a car.

  • [47] For this reason, personal sales representatives must be well versed in giving sales pitches and in tactics used to close the sale.

  • Consumers use a number of strategies to reduce post purchase dissonance.

  • When a purchase decision is made by a small group, such as a household, different members of the group may become involved at different stages of the decision process and
    may perform different roles.

  • Problem recognition[edit] The first stage of the purchase decision process begins with problem recognition (also known as category need or need arousal).

  • ‘Scarcity attraction’ is another technique, where the salesperson mentions that the offer is limited, as it forces the consumer to make a quicker decision and therefore spend
    less time evaluating alternatives.

  • Consumers who are less knowledgeble about a category tend to evaluate a brand based on its functional characteristics.

  • personal growth, artistic expression) Physiological needs and safety needs are the so-called lower order needs.

  • [19] The black box model is related to the black box theory of behaviourism, where the focus extends beyond processes occurring inside the consumer and also includes the relation
    between the stimuli and the consumer’s response.

  • Post-decision dissonance[54] (also known as cognitive dissonance) is the feeling of anxiety that occurs in the post purchase stage, as well as the uneasy feelings or concerns
    as to whether or not the correct decision was made at purchase.

  • As a result, new substantive knowledge was added to the marketing discipline – including such ideas as opinion leadership, reference groups, and brand loyalty.

  • At the end of the 1950s, two important reports criticised marketing for its lack of methodological rigor, especially the failure to adopt mathematically-oriented behavioural
    science research methods.

  • [35] The social media presence of a brand plays a huge part in this stage, with the effect described as “Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper
    or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.

  • It is customary to think about the types of decision roles; such as: In a family unit, an adult female often makes brand choices on behalf of the entire household, while children
    can be important influencers.

  • Definition and explanation Consumer behaviour entails “all activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer’s emotional,
    mental and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities.

  • Through their experiences consumers can learn and also engage in a process called hypothesis testing.

  • The consumer’s underlying motivation drives consumer action, including the information search and purchase decision.

  • Origins of consumer behaviour In the 1940s and 1950s, marketing was dominated by the so-called classical schools of thought which were highly descriptive and relied heavily
    on case study approaches with only occasional use of interview methods.

  • Social Marketing,[61] Customised Marketing,[62] brand-name shopping,[63] and the consumer’s perception of the price of the commodity (directly expressed as the consumer’s
    sensitivity to price) are all main factors for understanding consumer attitudes, and help explain the reaction of market demand to price changes.

  • [34] A considerable body of research suggests that consumers are predisposed towards brands with a personality that matches their own and that a good match can affect brand
    preference, brand choice, satisfaction with a brand, brand commitment and loyalty, and the consumer’s propensity to give positive word-of-mouth referrals.

  • Motivations and emotions[edit] Maslow’s hierarchy suggests that people seek to satisfy basic needs such as food and shelter before higher order needs become meaningful.

  • According to the American Marketing Association, consumer behaviour can be defined as “the dynamic interaction of affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events
    by which human beings conduct the exchange aspects of their lives.”

  • For example, one person may suggest the purchase category, another may search for product-related information while yet another may physically go to the store, buy the product,
    and transport it home.

  • Areas of particular interest include risk perception and risk reduction activities, brand switching, channel switching, brand loyalty, customer citizenship behaviours, and
    post purchase behavioural intentions and behaviours including brand advocacy, referrals, word of mouth activity etc.

  • [145] As online environments become more important as a consumer search tool, it may be prudent for web designers to consider site-design issues such as ease of navigation,
    lest poor design contribute to customer frustration thereby engendering a bad mood and ultimately leading to unfavourable product/brand evaluations.

  • • Financial Risk: the potential financial loss in the event of a poor decision • Performance Risk (also known as functional risk): the idea that a product or service will
    not perform as intended • Physical Risk: the potential for physical harm if something goes wrong with a purchase • Social Risk: the potential for loss of social status associated with a purchase • Psychological Risk: the potential for a purchase
    to result in a loss of self-esteem If a consumer perceives a purchase to be risky, they will engage in strategies to reduce the perceived risk until it is within their tolerance levels or, if they are unable to do so, withdraw from the purchase.

  • [citation needed] An example of switching that includes both monetary and psychological costs is when Android or Apple users wish to switch to a different platform, they would
    need to sacrifice their data, including purchased music tracks, apps, or media and may also need to learn new routines to become an efficient user.

  • The marketing literature identifies many different types of risk, of which five are the most frequently cited:[113] Facilitating trial of a product may help to alleviate risk

  • [109] Consumer decision styles are important for marketers because they describe behaviours that are relatively stable over time and are therefore useful for market segmentation.

  • [101] Both panic buying and revenge buying were compensatory in nature and therapeutic in nature – an attempt for consumers to control an external situation that was out of
    their internal control, as well as provide comfort, security, and improvement of well-being.

  • Spurious loyalty can also occur when there are no genuine alternatives or the consumer is ‘locked-in’ to purchasing a given brand due to some quasi-contractual arrangement
    or membership status which creates difficulties for switching.

  • [110] Other topics in consumer behaviour In addition to understanding the purchasing decision, marketers are interested in a number of different aspects of consumer behaviour
    that occur before, during, and after making a purchase choice.

  • In the case of credence goods, such as many professional services, the consumer finds it difficult to fully appreciate the quality of the goods even after purchase and consumption
    has occurred.

  • A consumer may be prompted to switch channels when the product or service can be found cheaper, when superior models become available, when a wider range is offered, or simply
    because it is more convenient to shop through a different channel (e.g.

  • However, the exact shape and timing of curves varies in different product markets such that some innovations are diffused relatively quickly, while others can take many years
    to achieve broad market acceptance.

  • Based on these factors, the authors developed a typology of eight distinct decision-making styles:[107] • Quality conscious/Perfectionist: characterised by a consumer’s search
    for the very best quality in products; quality conscious consumers tend to shop systematically making more comparisons and shopping around to compare quality and value.

  • Services marketers have argued that risk perception is higher for services because they lack the search attributes of products (i.e.

  • Affect: Emotions, feelings and mood[edit] The consumer’s affective state has implications for a number of different dimensions of consumer behaviour, including information
    search, evaluation of alternatives, product choice, service encounters, complaining, and advertising responses.

  • [115] In terms of risk perception, marketers and economists identify three broad classes of purchase: search goods, experience goods, and credence goods with implications
    for consumer evaluation processes.

  • The first phenomenon is that customers are more open-minded to trying new brands and products because of the limitation of online channels of certain brands; the second phenomenon
    is that the long time pandemic restrictions make customers who use online channels as substitutes for their offline purchases initially now those customers have learned how to effectively use online channels for their daily lives.

  • [96] Panic buying – in response to an irrational fear of scarcity of products and heightened urgency to procure coveted items – provided a sense of control for consumers during
    the pandemic, notwithstanding a loss of control to the social, professional and health environments around them.

  • Rossiter and Bellman have proposed a classification of consumers based on brand-loyalty/switching behaviour:[132] Brand Loyals Purchase preferred brand on almost every purchase
    occasion Favourable Brand Switchers Exhibit moderate preference for the brand or brands that they buy and can be readily enticed to purchase competing brands Other Brand Switchers Normally purchase a competing brand, possibly because they
    are unaware of our brand or due to a negative experience with our brand New Category Users Those who are unaware of a category but have potential to become new users Marketers are particularly interested in understanding the factors that lead
    to brand-switching.

  • • Habitual/brand loyal: characterised by a consumer’s tendency to follow a routine purchase pattern on each purchase occasion; consumers have favourite brands or stores and
    have formed habits in choosing so the purchase decision does not involve much evaluation or shopping around.

  • In advertising, two different approaches to persuasion are common: (a) thinking ads that require cognitive processing (also known as the central route to persuasion) and,
    (b) feeling ads that are processed at an emotional level (also known as the peripheral route).

  • • Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived to be superior to alternatives • Compatibility: the extent to which an innovation fits in with an individual’s
    values, lifestyles and past experiences • Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived to be easy or difficult to understand and use • Trialability: the extent to which an individual can experiment with the innovation on a limited
    scale prior to adoption • Observability: the degree to which the results of the innovation are visible to other members of the social community Innovations with some or all of these factors are more likely to be adopted quickly.

  • Within consumer behaviour, a particular area of interest is the study of how innovative new products, services, ideas, or technologies spread through groups.

  • [144] Indeed, within the consumer behaviour literature, there is widespread agreement that the role of emotions is an area that is currently under-researched and is in need
    of greater attention, both theoretically and empirically.

  • People will choose sustainable products even though they cost more.

  • In order to explain the increasing pace of adoption, some have pointed to supply-side issues such as reduced barriers to entry and lower costs of innovation,[129][130] while
    others have argued that consumers drive adoption rates because they place a high value on the convenience of new innovations.

  • The line between emotions and mood is difficult to draw and consumer researchers often use the concepts interchangeably.

  • May occur when competing brands are seen as similar or in the case of new brands (or categories) where insufficient time has elapsed for loyalty to become established.

  • • Novelty/fashion-conscious: characterised by a consumer’s tendency to seek out new products or new experiences for the sake of excitement; who gain excitement from seeking
    new things; they like to keep up-to-date with fashions and trends.

  • Neuro-imaging studies suggest that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (brand attributes,
    features, and facts).

  • A global, large sample survey carried out by Nielsen shows that four in 10 shoppers (41%) said that getting a better price would encourage them to switch brands (or service
    provider/retailer), 26% said quality was an incentive to switch, 15% looked for a better service agreement and 8% said that improved features are a switching incentive.

  • [48] [139] Suggestion impulse buying occurs when a consumer sees a product that they have no prior knowledge about, envisions a use for it, and decides that they need it,
    and planned impulse buying happens when a consumer’s purchasing plan changes while shopping.

  • samples, test drives, sale on approval) enabling consumers to develop and understanding of the innovation and how it is used prior to purchase.

  • When switching costs are relatively low, as in the case of many fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), the incidence of brand switching tends to be higher.

  • [138] While pure impulse buying involves a customer experiencing strong desire for a product they didn’t initially plan to buy, reminded impulse buying occurs when a buyer
    remembers a need for a product by seeing it in a store.

  • An example would be a consumer who always purchases petrol from the same outlet on the way to work because there are no other outlets in the vicinity.

  • [97] The purchase of luxury products – where ‘luxury’ is defined as high quality, expensive and non-necessary[98] – is associated with positive emotions, often to compensate
    for negative feelings.

  • Emotions elicited during consumption are proposed to leave affective traces in memory that are available for consumers to access and integrate into their satisfaction assessments.

  • Customer satisfaction[edit] The relationship between affect and customer satisfaction is an area that has received considerable academic attention, especially in the services
    marketing literature.

  • [120] Research studies tend to fall into two broad categories: general diffusion research which is an approach that seeks to understand the general process of diffusion and
    applied diffusion research which consists of studies that describe the diffusion of specific products at particular moments in time or within given social communities.

  • [158] Recognition Programs operate on a quasi-membership basis where the consumer is issued with a card that upon presentation leads to various entitlements such as free upgrades,
    special privileges, or access to products/services that are not normally available to non- members, and that acknowledge the loyal customer’s “VIP” status.

  • The diffusion model developed by Everett Rogers is widely used in consumer marketing because it segments consumers into five groups, based on their rate of new product adoption.

  • They are slower to process information and consequently take longer to make decisions.

  • These goods are called credence products because the consumer’s quality evaluations depend entirely on the trust given to the product manufacturer or service provider.

  • [123] Rogers defines the diffusion of innovation as the process by which that innovation is “communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social

  • Time refers to the rate at which the innovation is picked up by the members of the social system.

  • This occurs because the immediate emotional gain is a strong driver, and one that consumers can readily visualise whereas the more distant goal lacks sufficient strength to
    drive choice.

  • Although switching costs are often monetary, the concept can also refer to psychological costs such as time, effort, and inconvenience incurred as a result of switching.

  • • Advertising and Promotional Messages: pay closer attention to product or brand related promotion including advertising messages • Shopping Around: comparing offers and prices,
    inspecting the merchandise • Buy Known Brand: using a known, reputable brand as an indicator of quality merchandise • Buy from Reputable Store: relying on a reputable retail outlet as an indicator of quality • Product Reviews: reading independent
    reviews in main media (e.g.

  • [121] Collectively these studies suggest a certain regularity in the adoption process; initially few members adopt the innovation but over time successive, overlapping waves
    of people begin to adopt the innovation.

  • [116] Search goods, which include most tangible products, possess tangible characteristics that allow consumers to evaluate quality prior to purchase and consumption.

  • Research consistently shows that people in a positive mood are more likely to evaluate information positively.

  • Difficulties evaluating quality after consumption may arise because the cost of obtaining information is prohibitive, or because the consumer lacks the requisite skills and
    knowledge to undertake such evaluations.

  • Due to their efficiency processing information, those who are in a positive mood are generally quicker to make decisions and easier to please.

  • [93] Due to the environmental trends, people begin to shop online more to avoid physical stores and stay contactless.

  • • Impulsive: characterised by carelessness in making purchase decisions, spur of the moment purchases, and lack of significant concern with expenditure levels or obtaining

  • Research suggests that consumers place higher weightings on immediate affective rewards and punishments, while delayed rewards receive less weighting.

  • Marketing messages may also focus on compatibility and observability.

  • [140] This explains why supermarkets place these types of products at the front of the store or near the checkout where the consumer spends more time and is more likely to
    notice them and therefore more likely to pop them into the shopping basket.

  • In other words, where switching costs are relatively high, high patronage behaviour may be observed despite the absence of a favourable attitude towards the brand.

  • Accordingly, marketing communications may stress the innovation’s relative benefits over other solutions to the consumer’s problem.

  • Information search[edit] Studies have found that people in a positive mood are more efficient at information search activities.

  • Retailers use insights from this type of research to design stores in ways that maximise opportunities for impulse-buying.

  • [143] Yet other researchers note that a detailed understanding of the relationship between affect and consumer behaviour has been hampered by the lack of research in the area.

  • to gain insights into the usefulness of packaging, labelling and general usage • Day-in-the-life studies: extended visits during product usage situations to gain insights
    into norms and consumer expectations • Accompanied purchase or shop-alongs: researcher accompanies a shopper on a purchase expedition to gain insights into consumer responses to merchandising and other sales tactics • Cultural studies: similar
    to traditional ethnography; extended stays with a group or tribe with a view to uncovering the fundamental rules and conventions that govern behaviour • Guerilla ethnography: random observations in public settings to help establish research
    questions or to gain quick insights into specific behaviours • Mystery shopping: observations in the retail context with a view to gaining insights into the customer’s service experience • Multiple methodologies: combining ethnographic research
    methods with conventional research techniques with a view to triangulating results Trendspotters such as Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve make extensive use of ethnographic research to spot emergent trends.

  • The role of aesthetics and visual fluency in relation to consumer choice[edit] Consumers decide whether or not they like a product within 90 seconds of viewing it for the
    first time.

  • This finding also suggests that even small differences in advertising copy can lead to improved outcomes.

  • [183] Although imagery reigns supreme in product design, it is important to note that type is processed just as easily as pictorial information when the consumer is already
    familiar with the product.

  • Different types of ethnographic research are used in marketing including;[185] • Observed product usage: observing regular product usage at home or work, to gain insights
    into how products are opened, prepared, consumed, stored, disposed etc.

  • Environmental impact[edit] An aspect of Individual action on climate change is consumer behaviour that affects how much and what kinds of materials are used to produce goods
    and food, how much material is recycled or composted, how much ends up as pollution, how much ends up in landfills, where goods are produced, how far they travel, and the carbon footprint of manufacturing, transportation, and disposal.

  • the decoy), the online and print option seemed like better value and a significant number of people switched to that option.

  • [181] Typographic elements[edit] Although studies have shown that of pictorial imagery is easier for consumers to process and understand,[180] the choice of typography remains
    an indispensable element of product design.

  • Studies in processing fluency and consumer behaviour have revealed that “that people prefer visual displays that are easier to process and understand.

  • Ethnographic research, also called participant observation, attempts to study consumer behaviour in natural settings rather than in artificial environment such as labs.

  • [176] Composition[edit] Composition is another visual tool that has the ability to affect information processing and influence in consumer perceptions.

  • One 2017 study found no impact of green marketing on consumer behaviour in Bangladesh.

  • In addition, researchers often turn to separate disciplines for insights with potential to inform the study of consumer behaviour.

  • [175] Therefore, a product intended to be perceived as “high quality” with a predominately orange and brown palette would lack visual fluency and would likely fail to elicit
    a positive response with consumers.

  • The findings suggest that while consumers appreciate being given some choice, the process of making a selection is painful and can lead to choice fatigue.

  • However, this can be advantageous if the consumer is already in the market for an item that is known to be inexpensive, in which case the use of yellow, orange, or brown would
    be appropriate.

  • [184] Research methods used To gain insights into consumer behaviour, researchers uses the standard battery of market research methods such as surveys, depth interviews, and
    focus groups.

  • Images with higher levels of visual fluency perceived as being more familiar, likeable, and friendly and are therefore more likely to be chosen by consumers.

  • Studies have shown that consumers in western countries will associate products that are right aligned or placed on the right side of a display to be higher quality.

  • “[173] Visually fluent products draw upon consumer’s pre-existing associations with their design elements, leading to a sense of familiarity and understanding with the product
    at hand.

  • However, marketers use ethnographic research to study the consumer in terms of cultural trends, lifestyle factors, attitudes and the way that social context influences product
    selection, consumption, and usage.

  • Consumers were exposed to variants in the advertising copy execution: “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?”

  • Pictorial imagery is also easier to process and gains consumer’s attention faster.

  • Consumer neuroscience (also known as neuromarketing) refers to the commercial use of neuroscience when applied to the investigation of marketing problems and consumer research.


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