What is the meaning of consumer behavior?

Consumer behavior studies how people make decisions regarding products or services, whether goods and services for themselves or others.

Understanding consumer behavior in marketing allowed companies to gain increased market share by anticipating the change of the consumers’ wants.  

Recent case studies show that consumers were changing their diet habits which dramatically increased the demand for gluten-free goods (GF).

These companies monitored the changing tastes of consumers and designed GF foods to fill the void in the market.

Unfortunately, many companies did not measure consumer behavior and were left behind when they released gluten-free products. 

This example shows how vital consumer behavior can be for a marketing strategy. The consumers’ decision-making process includes understanding their needs, behavior towards the product or service, and how they use it.

Why is consumer behavior important?

When doing market research, marketers should understand consumer purchasing habits and find buyer trends. Various factors sometimes influence consumer behavior.

Marketers can quickly identify those products that are necessary and those obsolete. Consumer purchasing patterns are based on buyer trends. A market leader can decide how to display their products to the consumer.

Knowing what customers buy is one of the fastest ways to reach and engage customers and convert them to buying from you. Understanding consumers’ shopping habits is essential to marketing success.

What influences consumer behavior? 

What can affect consumer behavior are the emotional, social, and psychological factors. Each person will react to an advertising message based on its opinions and attitudes.

Social factors may contain a person’s family, social interaction, work or school communities, or the people the person associates with, including family income. Psychological factors may include fear or regret.

women looking at shoes

The way we make purchases depends mainly on what you think we feel before, during, and after that particular purchase. Many factors affect consumer behavior, but the five most frequent are:

Marketing campaigns

A well-thought-out marketing campaign can get the attention of your target audience. The most effective marketing campaigns are those that include a combination of advertising, public relations, digital and direct marketing.

When it comes to marketing, the “5 P’s” include a product, price, place, promotion, and packaging. This helps companies get their name out there and get their product into a customer’s hands. 

Economic conditions

For costly products, especially houses or cars, economic conditions are key. In an attractive economic environment, consumers become more confident about what their purchase involves.

For expensive consumer purchases, the decision-making process lasts longer, and the decision-maker can be influenced to some extent by personal factors in one or the other. Decide on the deciding party.

Personal preferences

Consumer behavior can also be influenced by personal factors such as likes, dislikes, priorities, morals, and values. In industries such as fashion or food, personal opinion is particularly influential.

Of course, advertising influences behavior, but the fact is customers are much affected, if not more, by their preferences. Unless you eat a vegan diet, you probably never eat that kind of thing.

Group influence

Our family-members family friends, immediate family, neighbors, and acquaintances may make or have a huge influence on decisions. In many instances, the choice to have foods eaten fast and homemade may be considered a necessary alternative.

people in shop

Education levels and social factors influence consumer behavior, such as education levels and peer pressure.

Types of buyers

There are several types of buyers characterized by consumer behavior types. Here are some of them:

Spenders

Spenders have more cash in them when compared to athletes. It is worth thinking about the psychology of spendthrift.

Spenders spend their money by acquiring a coupon or advertising which pops up in their Facebook accounts. Get in touch with this consumer at every sale funnel at every level. 

Tightwads

Tightwads are extremely reluctant to spend money and look for very high value when purchasing. So make your product as appealing as possible. Defend all objections and give everyone a deal they won’t be able to refuse a good product.

They often can afford the product, but they won’t spend money recklessly. They can do well for themselves and give their money up when they want or need something badly. 

Unconflicted

The unconflicted buyer is often the most difficult to anticipate. Unconflicted buyers’ decisions depend on their mindset, their desire for the product, and timing. You need to do consumer research to reach these buyers.

Unconflicted buyers don’t make decisions by looking for cash or using the available resources of other buyers. Instead, they are more influenced emotionally and psychologically.

Consumer behavior patterns

For consumer behavior analysis, it’s important to learn customers’ patterns of purchasing. Customers’ habits are developed as tendencies toward actions and become gradually spontaneous while patterns show a predictable mental scheme. Consumer behavior patterns are collective and give marketers unique characteristics of customer groups. 

Method of purchase

A customer can walk into the store and buy immediately or buy through the web. The choice of purchase is also likely to cause increased spending. The way the customer chooses the product reflects a lot about him and his type of customer.

Get an understanding of their behavior patterns to help you identify new opportunities to sell customers, which in return will increase profits.

This can be fixed manually by installing a software package from Shopify or WooCommerce and using it, you might discover patterns of purchase.

Place of purchase

Place of purchase determines if the customer is loyal. For brick and mortar businesses, the location must be considered. When choosing the same place – for example, their local supermarket – customers have the same price comparison, the choice of their favorite branded products.

women looking at shoes

However, most of the time, customers will divide their buying into more than one store. When customers have the ability and availability to buy the same products in different stores, especially for a lower price, they won’t be permanently loyal.

Knowing customer behavioral patterns and preferences will help to pinpoint store areas and help your marketing strategy.

Items purchased

The analysis of the shopping cart will allow marketers to get an overview of consumers’ needs. Necessary items can be purchased in bulk, while luxury items are likely to be bought less often.

The total amount of each purchased item will be affected by its viability, the purchasing ability of the buyer, the unit of sale, the cost number of consumers destined for the purchase of the item, etc. 

Time and frequency of purchase

Customers shop according to their feasibility and expect service even in the oddest hours. For e-commerce sites, this issue is much less serious. However, they must be alert to customer service needs 24/7.

It is the responsibility of the shop to comply with these demands by identification of a purchase pattern and matching customer service to the time and frequency of purchasing. Obviously, seasonal differences and geographic differences should be taken into account.

Sources of consumer behavior data

The targeted audience for each business is different, and there is no one reliable source of data. There are strategies and tools for tracking and interpreting consumer behavior.

These tools are extremely easy to use and simple to put in place, meaning no specialized skills are required. Apart from those tools, you can also use other techniques such as tracking and understanding consumer behavior to gain insight into your target groups.

Customer reviews

68% of consumers read reviews before purchasing products. Customer reviews may be helpful for others but may also be informative for businesses.

As soon as you are reading reviews of your own product or those of your competition, that will enable you to find out which of your customer’s needs they should meet.

A good idea may be looking into competitors’ reviews and checking the evaluations of competitors. Also, responding to reviews can have a positive impact. If you write a solution to a problem, you can convince more people to convert. 

Surveys

You can ask any audience you want or list all the questions and see what connects the dots that connect the answer. The best survey is generally short, so don’t turn it back with 10 pages of questions. Don’t use information you don’t need because you will waste your and your customers’ time.

Consider offering incentives for participation such as free updates or offers for one of your products. That way, you can get more responses. Also, as an effect, you may receive more questions related to your products which relate to specific product lines. 

Social media

Lastly, don’t forget about social media. Social listening refers to the practice of paying attention any time someone mentions your brand on social media. You’ll want to track these conversations and participate when appropriate.

Also, it is connected to the social proof theory we covered in the dedicated article.

When researching your target audience, try searching for information about your niche or industry on social media sites.

Conclusion

Consumer behavior in marketing can give you the leverage you need to reach customers. Consumer behavior impacts all buying decisions, which is why it’s important for marketers to consider.

In order to accurately market products, marketers need to observe their audience and gather data about them. Those who use the power of consumer behavior information get far ahead of competitors in reaching potential customers.

Author

Experienced psychologist and T-shaped marketer with a deep love for content marketing and conversion copywriting. Privately a big fan of travel, coffee, and jazz!

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