Android or iOS, online or traditional shopping, luxury or necessity commodities? Every consumer has different opinions on purchasing products.
So how do consumers make these decisions and what is the reasoning behind them? Read on to find out!
What is consumer behaviour analysis?
Before diving into the deep end of consumer behaviour analysis, it is important to understand its meaning. Consumer behaviour analysis is the study of how people make purchase decisions with regard to a product, service or organisation. Studying consumer behaviour would allow you to answer several questions, such as:
- How consumers feel about alternatives to their preferred brands;
- How consumers choose between the alternatives;
- How consumers behave while shopping;
- How consumer behaviour is swayed by their surrounding environment;
- How marketing campaigns can be improved to more effectively influence customer behaviour.
In order to understand this concept better, let’s take a look at the factors that affect consumer behaviour:
- Psychological: This is considered to be the most important factor that affects consumer behaviour. Traits like perception, motivation, personality, beliefs and attitude are important to decide why a consumer would buy a product.
- Personal: These are characteristics that are applicable to individuals and may not relate to other people in a group. These factors can include age, occupation, financial situation and lifestyle.
- Social: Social characteristics play an important role in consumer behaviour, and it can include family, communities and social interaction. These factors are difficult to assess while preparing marketing plans.
- Geographical: The location of consumers also play a role in how they purchase products. For example, a person living in warmer weather would be less likely to purchase winter clothing compared to someone living in temperate climates.
Analysing consumer behaviour
Analysing consumer behaviour can be a difficult task at times, but it can get easier if you answer the following questions:
- Who purchases your products and services? You should first carry out a market research to understand who your target audience is.
- Who makes the decision to purchase your products and services? You should ascertain who is actually making the decisions to purchase your products or services. For example, an organisation may purchase furniture for its office, but the decision to purchase that particular furniture could have been made by the hired interior designer.
- Who influences the decision to purchase the products? Children are a great example of influencers. Parents may buy a particular toy or game, but the influencer behind these purchases are usually the children. Hence, you might have noticed toy companies advertising their products on cartoon channels.
- How is the purchase decision made? Using the above example of the toy purchase, children go to their parents and ask for the toy. Thus, in this scenario, the influencer sways the decision maker to purchase a product. It is important that marketers should be aware of this process.
- Why does the consumer buy a product? You should attempt to understand the reasoning behind the consumer’s purchase, which will vary from one person to another. For example, parents can purchase toys as gifts for their children, and an organisation can purchase furniture for its office to make it more modern and comfortable.
- Why does a consumer prefer one brand over another? There are many reasons that can influence a consumer to prefer one brand over another. These factors can include quality, quantity, cost and branding of the product.
- Where do customers purchase the product? In today’s time, consumers can purchase products either online or from shops. The manner in which they shop provides an insight into their purchasing behaviour.
- When do consumers buy a product? There are several occasions in which a consumer might want to purchase a product or service. For example, parents may purchase a toy for their child’s birthday, and an organisation can purchase new furniture when it relocates to new premises.
- What is the consumer’s opinion about the product? Do the consumers view the product as expensive, value for money or cheap? What do they think of the product’s quality? The perception of a product plays a big role in generating positive world-of-mouth reviews.
- What is the role of consumers’ lifestyle in their buying behaviour? People who are fond of adventure would buy hiking shoes or travelling backpacks. On the other hand, people who enjoy reading would buy books or electronic devices for reading.
Benefits of studying consumer behaviour
Consumer behaviour has significant bearing on decisions related to public relations and marketing; and studying it provides you with vital information regarding the thought process of consumers. It can also help you understand several factors:
- Attitudes: Consumer attitudes often affect their beliefs regarding specific products. Understanding customer attitudes using consumer behaviour models helps marketers tune their campaigns to strike a chord with the consumers, resulting in a greater market reach.
- Cultures: Constantly evolving cultures impact the designing of marketing campaigns. Studying consumer psychology can help you understand cultural nuances and determine the target market for your product.
- Perceptions: Studying consumer perceptions about your brand might help you uncover negative opinions, which you can then work on to improve your offering.
- Lifestyle: Comprehending consumer lifestyles would allow you to tune your products to meet their specific requirements.
If you are interested in learning more about consumer behaviour analysis, consumer marketing, consumer behaviour theory and marketing psychology, London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) offers a continuing professional development course in Consumer Behaviour Analysis and an online Dual MSc and MA in Strategic Marketing.
This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Luna Campos.
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