Factors Affecting Consumer Behaviour

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WHAT IS CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR?

Consumer behaviour refers to the buyer’s decision-making process. It involves the study of all the factors that have an effect on consumers’ or buyers’ decisions. These factors are classified as follows:

  • Psychological Factors
  • Social Factors
  • Cultural Factors
  • Personal Factors

Psychological Factors

It is the major determinant of consumer behaviour, you will be amazed how much role does your subconscious mind play in deciding what to buy. There are four psychological factors that influence buyers’ behaviour:

1. Motivation:

This factor talks about what drives a consumer to buy a product in general. He/she may not know about any brand available in the market but they have a requirement of a product that could fulfil their social, basic or security needs.

On that requirement consumers will search online or visit a store, so make sure the right information is available which could make the purchase easier for the customer. Once a consumer uses your product then other factors play role in buying the product again.

2. Perception:

It is as it sounds. What an individual has a perception about a particular product or service. For someone a brand supplies the best service and whereas for others the same brand could be one of the best brands available in the market but not the preference. It helps businesses to create a need for the product in customer’s life. The way we reach out to our customers makes them form a perception of us. 

Different people might purchase similar products but from different brands due to differences in perception.

3. Learning:

This factor comes through experiences of the product that an individual has bought. A buyer comes to know about the services or the product only after he/she has used it, and now they have an experience about it. An experience could be good or bad, it would entirely depend on the quality of your product or service.

A consumer will choose to use your product/service only if he/she was satisfied with the quality.

4. Beliefs & Attitude:

This factor plays a very important role in influencing the buying decision of any customer. Every individual consumer creates some image about every product they see online or in-store. It is also because every brand has an image attached to them or their products and that is what is known as Brand Image.

A consumer may not buy your product if he/she believes it is not worth it, inspite of product being really good. Attitude also known as a belief system controls all the other factors.

Social Factors

We are social beings and we are surrounded by people who in some way influence our buying behaviour. Human beings have tendency to imitate other humans beings to be social and accepted in the society. The social surrounding factors around us which affect our buying behaviours fall under this category.

Some of the social factors are:

1. Family

When we were kids our parents have taken to store for shopping or else we have seen products used at our homes. As we all know something which is recommended or used by someone you trust you will have trust on that product as well.

Hence, Family or close group plays a significant role in shaping the person’s buying behaviour of a person.

2. Reference groups

A group of individuals with similar interests or preference. They tend to stay in connect to help other people, the individual may not be close to people or know them personally, but they have some trust and which can affect buying behaviour of an individual.

Best example for this are Online communities & Facebook groups, in which people with similar interest are connected to each other and they communicate in some manner which gradually builds trust and that can be used to influence in buying products.

Influencer marketing is also a part of this factor. But there are things you need to consider before starting with Influencer marketing.

3. Roles & Status

A buying behaviour also depends on the role an individual holds in the society. If a person is at a high position and people he/she meets or spends time with, then the buying behaviour of that individual will be influenced largely by his status.

A spending and buying behaviour of a company’s owner & staff or an employee of the will be different.

Cultural Factors

People who belong to a community who associate themselves with a set of values and ideologies. Behaviour of an individual is highly influenced by the culture relating to that community. Some cultural factors are:

1. Culture

These set of factors may have a strong influence on consumer buying behaviour.  It may include the needs, wants, values, perception or preferences, which are acquired by a person from the community they are part of.

2. Subculture

There exist some subcultures, within a big cultural group. They may or may not have same set of values and beliefs. These may consists of people from different caste and backgrounds and it itself can be considered as a customer segment.

3. Social Class

Social class is present in every culture across the globe. Usually the social class is determined by the income, also there are other factors such as education, residence or occupation. Social class is important as it lets you segment your consumer and their buying behaviour based on the their spending power.

Personal Factors

The factors which would influence the buying behaviour of an individual but not influenced by any external factor. Personal factors may vary from person to person.

Some of the personal factors are:

1. Age

Age plays an important role in understanding the consumer buying behaviour, the need of products and choices may differ based on age of the buyer.

2. Income

We all can agree to a fact that higher purchasing power is possible only with higher income of a consumer. A consumer has more opportunity to buy products of their choices. Whereas middle-income and below income groups buy products to fulfill their basic needs.

3. Occupation

Income may or not be associated with this factor but in this the behaviour is more related to the occupation of an individual. A person would buy clothes or gadgets or any accessories according to her/his profession.

4. Lifestyle

Lifestyle is associated with how a person wants to be seen in the society. It may again depend on income and the requirements of an individual, low income earning person may buy high end products at the same time high income earning individual may or may not buy expensive products or just buy required products.

Why understanding consumer behaviour is important?

The goal to study customer behaviour is to improve the conversion and retention rate of customers. The conversion rate is increased in several ways like improving product quality, by-product promotion, or better customer experience.

Exactly what to do in order to improve customer conversion and retention rate? That could be found out by customer behaviour analysis. 

This analysis might also bring a complete shift in the marketing strategy. The ultimate goal is to serve customers’ needs and wants. That is why companies are investing huge budgets in data analysis. 

Conduct a customer behaviour analysis

  1. Break your customers into segments.
  2. Identify selling points for each segment.
  3. Collect data on customer behaviour and preferences.
  4. Compare the data and insights
  5. Make required changes.
  6. Analize the result.
  7. Repeat the process. 

USEFUL TOOLS FOR CUSTOMER ANALYSIS

  1. Woopra ( Woopra: Customer Journey & Product Analytics Software Tool
  2. Brand 24 ( Brand24 – Media Monitoring Tool )
  3. Hotjar ( Hotjar: Website Heatmaps & Behavior Analytics Tools )

Customer experience is evolving with technical innovations. Traditional product development is still useful, but the industry is ready to involve technology in the process. With technology, the whole process becomes customer-oriented and does not stay limited to mere guesses by businesses.

In fact, nowadays, this synergy of the traditional and contemporary methods is used for faster processes with efficiency. 

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