Consumer Behaviour

Feb 24 • General, Notes • 2882 Views • 20 Comments on Consumer Behaviour

Consumer Behaviour

Marketing, as on present day is all about understanding the consumer’s needs and satisfying them effectively. All success stories emphasize and re-emphasize the fact that effectiveness of any marketing effort lies in the accurate identification of the consumer’s needs and satisfaction through service delivery.

Consumer behaviour is the intersection of marketing studies and human behaviour aimed at this effectiveness of marketing efforts in the society. It is studied to understand the reaction of any consumer towards any product/service. Before proceeding to the details of the consumer behaviour we need to understand very clearly the difference between customers and  consumers. A customer is the person who is in direct contact with the sales personnel and procures the product but a consumer is the one who uses the product. For example, a lady buys a Johnson’s baby soap for her baby. Here the lady is the customer and her baby is the consumer. So, for the success of this marketing effort focusing on the consumer needs is much more important than focusing on the customer’s needs.

The study of consumer behaviour has been derived from psychology, anthropology, political science, sociology, socio-psychology and economics where we come to know about the behaviour of a person in different set ups say as an individual, as a group member, or as a member of an organisation. There is a sequence of activities that is being followed by the consumers while buying any product. They are:

  • Problem Recognition: Perceived different between ideal and actual state of affairs.
  • Search for alternative solutions: Search relevant information about potential solution to the problem from external environment or activate knowledge from the memory.
  • Evaluation of alternative: Evaluate the competing alternative in terms of salient beliefs about relevant consequences and combine this knowledge to make a choice.
  • Purchase: The purchasing decision whether to buy the product or not.
  • Post purchase use and reevaluation of the alternative choice: whether to use the chosen alternative after evaluating it under the light of its performance or to change the product/brand.

The consumer behaviour is that branch of study which evaluates human behaviour in each of these above perspective as:

  • How the customer goes in search of information:

Whether he goes in for external search (through internet and other sources) or an internal search (experienced personnel). 

  • How the consumer goes about purchasing a product:

The behaviour mainly focuses on (5 W & 2 H)

  1. Who will buy the product?
  2. What he will buy?
  3. When he will buy?
  4. From where he will buy?
  5. Why he buys?
  6. How often he buys?
  7. How often he uses the product? 
  • How he evaluates the offer of the marketer:

Compare the product with other brands and evaluate over the judgement of going for the product bought.

  • How the consumer uses the product:

E.g. A person buys a news paper. The purpose may be reading it, spread it and sit on it, social slandered and many more.

  • How he disposes off the product:

The disposal pattern of the consumer such as sell it off to obtain the scrap value, just throw the product’s remaining, using the scrap for some other utility.

Even to be more specific, the marketer studies the consumption analysis which says that why and how people uses any particular product in addition to why and how they buy. In present day the stream of consumer behaviour helps the marketer to be customer-centric which is very much important for the marketer to sustain in the hyper-competitive marketing environment. With the help of consumer behaviour marketers are trying to create the wants for the needs of the customer.

Before going to the influencing factors of an consumer or to say to understand the buying behaviour of an individual customer lets focuses on who decides what product will be available for choice by Consumers and its evolution in Europe and UK.

Channel partner            United States            Europe                   Orientation

Whole seller                   1750-1850                 1560-1760                      _____

Manufacturer                  1850-WW2                1760-WW2              Manufacturing orientation

Retailer                           1970-2000                 1970-2000              Selling oriented

Consumer                        2000+                        2000+                     Customer oriented

The factors which effects the decision making of a consumer are:

Consumer Influence

  • Culture of an individual.
  • Personality.
  • Life-stage.
  • Income.
  • Attitude.
  • Motivation.
  • Feelings.
  • Knowledge.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Family.
  • Values.
  • Available resources.
  • Opinion.
  • Past experience.
  • Peer Group.

Organizational influence

  • Brand.
  • Advertisement.
  • Promotion.
  • Price.
  • Service.
  • Convenience.
  • Packaging.
  • Product’s feature.
  • Word of mouth (WOM).
  • Retail display.
  • Quality.
  • Store ambiance.
  • Loyalty program.
  • Product available.

The above mentioned influential factors results in the the pattern of how a customer obtain product, How he/she consumes the product and how he disposes it. To be more specific Obtainment of the product comprises of:

  • How the customer decides what he want to buy.
  • Alternative products the customer consider buying.
  • Point of purchase.
  • What is the mode of payment (Cash/Card).
  • How the customer procure the product to the door steps.

What is the Pattern of consumption:

  • How the consumer uses the product.
  • Storing pattern of the product (if required).
  • Who is the consumer.
  • How much is being consumed.
  • How much the product meets the expectation of the consumer.

and Disposing pattern:

  • How you get rid of the remaining product.
  • How much you throw away after use.
  • Weather the consumer will resell the items themselves or through the consignment store.
  • How the consumer recycle the product. 

The consumer behaviour is the most important and crucial area to be analysed by the marketers to sustain in the market effectively and efficiently. The marketer should be marketing oriented hence support customization of the product and it also helps in the relationship management hence gaining customer loyalty  Even the retail segment is booming with the permission of F.D.I. by 51%. If the products are made but not been purchased won’t help any organization. The product should match the set of criterion which are desired by the consumers.

“Increasingly, the mass marketing is turning into a mass niches.”

–          Chris Anderson.

–          Author of THE LONG TAIL.

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20 Responses to Consumer Behaviour

  1. Rishu Goel says:

    Consumption and production are two proportional scenario’s,so in this above article we can see that the consumer always have to maintain a pace the producer and vice-versa so that a balance is maintained in the economy…

    • Krishanu Mitra says:

      Well in the present day’s scenario the marketers are marketing oriented were customer is every thing ad hence customized products are so much in use. At almost every high involvement product or service customization is allowed. And regarding pace as such there is nothing because producer will produce what is in demand.

      Thank you for your question.

  2. Er Ketan Joshi says:

    As we all know that if consumer is satisfy with the product then the cost and growth of that product was also increase very rapidly. So,that Consumer Behaviour is the key think to know about any customer and we can say any dealer. That means study consumer behaviour is the key think to know for every product dealer and in this article we can easily notice and aware about consumer behaviour and to know what actually they want by any product.

    • Krishanu Mitra says:

      Thank you for your opinion but let me tell you that a dealer is just a middle man of the supply chain. The ultimate demand is identified by the end users i.e. the people like you and me.

  3. Sneha Sinha says:

    Customer satisfaction plays an important role in marketing. Today there are lot of options and substitute of a product from where a customer/consumer can choose from so marketing the products in a proper and better manner becomes important for the sellers..This can be achieved through proper understanding of consumer behaviour ,their needs ,wants and the price range which they can afford.This article makes for an interesting read and shows that so much effort goes in marketing..

    • Krishanu Mitra says:

      Thank you for your patience reading of the article and sorry to be delay. There are many factors that effects a consumer’s buying decision where you have mentioned only about the price. There are many methods even to compensate the price but people are looking for quality and they are ready to pay for the quality. In marketing it is said – a customer pays and buys a hope not a product so, one thing should be taken care by the marketer i.e. to keep the promise what their product does to the buyers and should not try to fool the customer as they are “GOD”.

  4. Sumit Mukherjee says:

    We all making a mistake to understand about the customer and consumer. Now every product available on the market totally depends on the marketing. Customer is the one who buys the product and consumer is the one who directly uses the product. Now to sell something on market, all the companies must look for the demands of these two. So, what is important to do and what is not, that should be a big question. For them i hope that these article must help them.

  5. Atif Pall says:

    Consumers can be generalized as the source of income to a business running organisation and with that i mean any kind of business ;either a big one or a small one.
    Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society. It blends elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process and that is what this article is all about. Nice piece of information .

  6. Seema Mishra says:

    Consumers are unique in themselves; they have needs and wants which
    are varied and diverse from one another; and they have different consumption patterns
    and consumption behavior.Consumer satisfaction should be the top priority for any seller and selling their products even in this tough competition is the main goal for them.The ultimate aim of the all the producers and sellers is to ensure the customer is satisfied at the end of the day.


    To set up any business,consumer satisfaction is the most important part.When consumer satisfaction comes into account we get to come across another term that is Consumer Behaviour which deals with the various stages that a customer goes through before purchasing products or services for his/her end use.This article is really a good one to understand what customer behaviour actually is.

  8. shreya sarkar says:

    For any product to sell and do good in the market what is needed the most is consumer satisfaction. Gone are the days when people used to think that they will get fair by applying any fairness cream or a so and so product will give their clothes maximum whiteness. People today rely on results. Only advertising product wont help unless it satisfies the customer/consumer. Moreover today we have a wide range of products to choose from. If a certain product doesn’t give us the desired result we can substitute it with another. Therefore a consumer will be satisfied if he gets the desired result within an affordable price range.

  9. aratrika sengupta says:

    How many times throughout the day do people make product decisions? If you stop to think about it, many product decisions are made every day, some without much thought. What should I wear? What should I eat? What am I going to do today? Many product decisions are answered routinely every day and they help move the economy of cities, countries and ultimately the world.
    To define consumer behavior: it is the study of consumers and the processes they use to choose, use (consume), and dispose of products and services. A more in depth definition will also include how that process impacts the world. Consumer behavior incorporates ideas from several sciences including psychology, biology, chemistry and economics.
    It was really exciting to see how the writer here summarized the decorum smoothly.

  10. Saheli Dasgupta says:

    Today is the era of consumerism, where customer satisfaction is the sole motto of any businessman or any company as a whole. this need has arisen ,mainly because of the eradication of a monopoly market and displaying an ocean of choices in front of the consumers who have the liberty to choose between a variety of the same product. Hence to maintain their hold on the market and benefit the most the producers have to attract the consumers and the best possible way to do this besides selling good quality products within an easy budget, is by promising customer satisfaction. And so accordingly they have to market their product taking the best possible care of the need of the customer. And today’s customer is also quite knowledgeable about the market prices and he also sorts out his choices according to his budget, priorities and requirements. Hence to know the behavior of the consumer the producers need to individually understand the requirements of the consumers belonging to all classes of the society.

  11. sibanjan says:

    Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations ….. the processes they use to select, secure, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs ……this article gives us a very helpful information about the consumer behavior…consumer is treated as the king in the present era of marketing policy.. the study of consumer behavior is a combination of psychology , sociology, commerce, anthropology, and political science… this text will be helpful to all as “everyone in the world s a business man”..

  12. barun kumar singh says:

    Everyone says that businessman is the man who decisions actually decides the life cycle of a product. But those people actually are ignorant about the factors that any particular businessman take into consideration while finalizing any decisions. The one and only factor that really matters to the businessman is CONSUMERS AND ITS CONVENIENCE as this is the only thing which decides the profit made by the business . If a businessman has less consumers with more profit , he is not a successful one but if a businessman have more customers with brand priority and with less profit, that is all a brand owner requires to earn in exchange of his investment.

  13. diya mukherjee says:

    consumers are the vital part of today’s market. marketing of goods and materials greatly depends on consumers. consumers have a reat impact on yhe quality and selling of the product. so it is very important for a businessman to understand the different phases and behaviours of consumers. all the products sold are meant only for the consumers.meny factors influence the behaviour of consumers.some of them are past experience, opinion,values,brand, advertisement etc…. this article will help you understand the adversities that influence consumer’s behaviuor.

  14. Amit Kumar says:

    WOOOOHH!! Look at the extent of research the content writer has done for the article..!! Dint know these sort of things that companies put up so much of labor in market analysis. That section- 5W & 2H was awesome.
    Market always trends out TO the customer & FOR the customer rule. Technology is outshining everything. The world is getting small, compact. Market is flooded out with competitors. So customers are getting more and more options and hence, these sort of researches are getting common. Customer’s PURCHASE INTENTION and PURCHASE DECISION are influencing the product launching and production.
    Customers customers & customers everywhere.
    Great read.

  15. ARPIT TARAN says:

    A consumer is an individual or a group, it is the who uses the purchased product & customer is person who buy some product. This is the basic difference between the customer and consumer. Consumer behavior matter a lot for every product. Consumer has specific choice, either it is brand conscious or it can be normal buyer, it totally depends on purchasing power of human. Consumer has lots of choices, so the company generally makes the products which attracts the customer, so that they can consume them. Now buying things is just so easy, so companies are offering many schemes seasonally & customer are purchasing them. If you know the consumer need then you can easily influence them by various aspects. Consumer makes it’s own decision on the basic of wealth, requirements, quality. If you are loyal to consumer then definitely they will come next time to you & refer you to their near ones. Market trend has changed now, people are purchasing online also. If they get good deal according to their wish, then they will surely go for it.

  16. Kriti Das says:

    Consumer is treated as the king in the present era of consumerism.Hence the study of consumption pattern among various class of consumers becomes essential to predict the market trend.Many things are taken into consideration before we decide on to purchase a particular product and it varies from person to person.For example, middle class people go for goods that give them the true value of their money .Rich people on the other hand go for good that reflects their status.Indian economy is an perfect example of oligopoly market.Hence each product decision needs to be done after through market research.Study of consumer patterns becomes all the more necessary because all of us want to invest in the product which will bring back rich dividend.The ultimate aim of the all the producers and sellers is to ensure the customer is satisfied at the end of the day.Consumers are one being hugely benefited by the current competitive environment.They have choices like never before,goods tailored made for the purpose ,that also at affordable cost.

  17. Gourav Kumar says:

    In today’s world, there are lots of choices for any customer to buy and it leads to confusion what to choose?
    So, there comes the need of study of consumer behavior and their decision making factors on which the marketing of a product will be based.
    Consumer satisfaction should be the top priority for any seller and selling their products even in this tough competition is the main goal for them. They have to promote their product according to the consumer which leads to better sales.

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