What is consumer behavior?
Consumer behavior refers to the actions taken by consumers in regard to acquiring and using goods and services. This can include everything from the initial search for a product or service, to the decision to make a purchase, to the post-purchase actions taken. The process begins when the customer becomes aware of a need or want for a product and ends with the purchase transaction.
Repeat purchases can also be counted under consumer behavior. Some customers will buy every product you produce while others will only buy one and then disappear.
You can learn about your customers’ behavior and how they interact with your products. The knowledge gained from this can help make future decisions about product creation.
Several factors go into the definition of consumer behavior, including the following:
- How consumers behave individually and in groups
- Why consumer behavior patterns change based on the types of products and services they purchase
- When consumers are most likely to make a purchase
- How a customer feels directly before buying a product
- How that customer feels directly following the purchase
- Which questions or objections contribute to the buying decisions
- The number of touchpoints a customer makes with a brand or product before buying
Why should you study consumer behavior?
Online entrepreneurs don’t always live near their customers. They could potentially sell to people all over the world.
Entrepreneurs cannot always just meet their target audience and get to know them. Research is often necessary.
Benefits of studying consumer behavior
Although it requires significant effort to collect and analyze consumer behavior, it is always advantageous to have more information than to have too little.
- Improved customer satisfaction: The more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor the user experience to their needs. When people feel understood, they’re more likely to make a purchase and become loyal customers.
- Enhanced marketing efforts: Marketing with consumer behavior in mind takes personalization to the next level. People want an individualized experience when it comes to shopping, and analyzing consumer data can help you make your marketing strategy and campaigns way more effective.
- Better use of resources: Marketing isn’t the only place where you can save some time and money on revisiting consumer behavior data. If a lot of your customers are shopping online, an e-commerce element will open up your horizons. If your target market’s income level doesn’t match your prices, take another look at that profit margin. If your consumer base prefers shopping in the morning, simply adjusting your hours of operation could bridge a gap.
- Balanced supply and demand: Collecting data on your customer base also means collecting data on the industry. If you hold onto that historical data, you may start to notice trends.
- More powerful persuasion: Analyzing consumer behavior and utilizing your findings to fine-tune the user experience can convince people to stop searching and purchase your product.
What is consumer behavior in marketing?
Marketing materials are designed to influence the behavior of a target market. The most common goal of marketing materials is to encourage the target market to purchase a product or service. How does someone in your target audience react when they see one of your Facebook posts?
You are already aware that marketing and advertising are essential parts of operating your own business. However, that’s only one side of the coin.
If you want to create marketing materials that are more effective, you should learn about consumer behavior. If you want to be a better copywriter, you should select images that are more appropriate and send messages to your audience that they will appreciate.
This means that your marketing efforts should be based on what you know about how consumers behave. You need to analyze the data deeply to understand how consumer behavior changes depending on the product.
The three factors
What are the factors that influence consumer behavior? There are both internal and external motivators for why we would purchase a product or service.
People who buy your Knowledge Commerce products are influenced by the same factors. To sell more products, you need to identify the customer’s needs and then find a way to fill those needs.
The first one is pretty obvious. The psychological state of a person before, during, and after a purchase largely determines how and what they buy.
Suppose you have just parted ways with your romantic partner. You’re lonely, vulnerable, and a bit depressed.
The supermarket is a likely place to buy comfort food. Even though it might not be good for you, your psyche wants it.
However, let us change the subject from food for a minute and return to our earlier example about the online course for beginner guitar players.
Psychological factors might involve regret. Your target customers may have always wanted to learn music, but they have never gotten around to it. Maybe they just want to be able to play a song at a friend’s wedding or understand music better.
Do you ever feel like you are attracted to a certain brand or product? Perhaps the packaging caught your eye, or maybe you related to the brand’s message.
Some brands donate a portion of their revenue to charity. They are passionate about a certain cause and use their businesses to help promote it.
That’s not the only factor, though. You might feel drawn to brands and personalities that are fun and use humor often. If the seller of a product shares the same political, religious, or moral beliefs as the buyer, the product is more likely to be purchased.
If you want to be a good marketer, it’s important to understand how consumers behave. You’ll learn that your brand is not suitable for everyone. That’s okay. To get your brand message in front of the right people, you’ll need to identify your target audience and figure out where they congregate online. Once you know that, you can start creating content that speaks to their needs and pain points.
It’s hard to admit, but we’re all easily influenced. Peer pressure doesn’t stop when we graduate high school.
Your friend has just purchased an online course on living a clean lifestyle. She is extremely positive about the new things she has learned about diet, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle. She has gained a whole new perspective on these topics.
You’re automatically more likely to buy that course. If someone you trust has said that something is a good idea, you don’t see it as a risky proposition. If you had just encountered the course while surfing the Internet, you might not have given it a second thought.
Other external motivators can be more fleeting. If a product is recommended by a famous celebrity or industry expert, you may be more likely to buy it. All it takes is a headshot and a quote from that influencer for you to click the “buy” button.
The 4 types of consumer behavior
A company can study four types of consumer behavior. People may show one or more of these behaviors, and businesses must gather information to find out which ones are most common among their particular customers.
Complex buying behavior
Complex consumer buying behavior is when a consumer is making a unique purchase. The process of spending a lot of money on something, or buying something you’re not very familiar with. In this scenario, the consumer is spending a lot of time researching in order to make the best decision before they make a purchase. The phase of this buying behavior when the consumer research market or seeks advice from friends, family, and experts is known as the consumer research phase. The consumer uses this chance to think about what they would like from the product so they have the correct information to start having a say. People develop opinions about things over time. Eventually, they start to prefer certain products because they think those products will meet their expectations. In the end, the product that checks most or all of the boxes gets purchased.
Dissonance-reducing buying behavior
When a consumer is willing to spend a lot of time making a purchase decision, they are reducing the dissonance associated with the purchase. They may find it difficult to choose between brands because they cannot see the benefits and differences between them. This is especially common when making a large purchase.
A consumer who is not very knowledgeable about cars might take a while to figure out which car to buy. When choosing a car, people may have some specific criteria in mind, such as four-door, eco-friendly, or comfy seating. However, with so many cars that have these features, making a decision can be very stressful. A main concern for consumers going through this process is the fear of choosing something and then regretting it later on.
Habitual buying behavior
Habitual consumer buying behavior is when the consumer buys the same thing over and over again. The buyer in this instance is already familiar with the product and probably uses it often.
This behavior is common for impulse buys because the customer already understands what they are buying. People usually buy products from brands that they know and are familiar with. However, they are not particularly loyal to any one brand because they know that there are many brands that can provide them with the products they need.
Variety-seeking buying behavior
Different consumer behavior occurs when a customer wants to try something new. The individual is likely stuck in a beauty rut, using the same products for an extended period of time. They now desire to break out of their comfort zone and experiment with new products.
The choice to go in a different direction may not necessarily mean they were unhappy with the experience they had with the previous product. The common purchasing of ice cream or hairspray is typically connected to products that don’t vary much between brands.
Consumer behavior patterns
As companies begin to collect and analyze data on consumer behavior, they should keep an eye out for several different patterns. By noticing patterns, companies can investigate and find out what changes need to be made in order to make more sales.
- Place of purchase: Collecting data on where your target market likes to shop is essential. Do they prefer to shop online? How far will they go to get your product? Do they live in a particular country or state? Wherever they are is where you should be.
- Items purchased: Of course, it’s important to know what a consumer chose to buy! If they purchased your product, what drew them to it? If they chose a competitor, what convinced them it was the better choice?
- Time of purchase: Some people like to shop in the morning, and others like to shop at night. For me, the limit does not exist. But when it comes to your customers, it’s important to note when they want to buy your product.
- Purchase frequency: As important as it is to know why they made a purchase, it may be even more important to know if and why they decided to repurchase. If a consumer decides not to repurchase, conducting surveys to gather constructive feedback is valuable.
- Purchasing method: With all the different methods of shopping these days, it’s become increasingly important for companies to know where their customers prefer to make a purchase. This can help them determine whether to set up an e-commerce website or brick and mortar store.
Stages of consumer behavior
The five main stages a consumer follows as they move through the buying process are awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and purchase. Companies can target potential consumers at every step of the way by understanding these stages.
- Problem: Every purchase begins with the need for something. At this stage, the consumer has determined that they must make a purchase to fulfill a demand.
- Information: The next stage holds the market research portion of consumer behavior. At this point, the consumer begins looking for potential solutions to their problem. They usually have a price point in mind or a store location where they’d like to shop. Collecting information includes reading online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations.
- Solution: Once the research and information phase is over, the consumer homes in on finding the product that solves their problem. This includes comparing different products and looking at expert reviews to differentiate the options even more.
- Purchase: The consumer makes their decision and purchases the product. They have their fingers crossed that the product delivers on its promises.
- Review: At the end of the process, the consumer may use their experience, whether positive or negative, to influence others. The buying process is over for this consumer, but for another, it’s just begun.
Consumer behavior is the key to understanding a lot of information. This text is saying that consumer behavior data can help you understand why people buy things, what your competition is doing well, and how to improve your marketing.