Understand Your Consumer Behavior

Why is it that you buy the items you do? How did you decide to go? Where do when and like to shop? Do your buddies shop at different areas or exactly the same places?

Marketing professionals want to know the answers to those questions. They know that when they do have these answers, they will have a better prospect of communication about goods which you and folks like you will want to purchase and producing. That’s exactly what the study of consumer behavior is all about. Consumer behavior considers the many reasons why–personal, situational, psychological, and social–people shop for products, buy and utilize them, and then dispose of them.

Businesses spend billions of dollars annually analyzing what makes consumers”tick.” Google, AOL, and Yahoo! track your Internet routines although you might not like it. The businesses which pay for search
advertisements, or ads that appear on the Web pages that you pull up after doing an internet search, want to find out which type of things you are considering. Doing so enables these companies to deliver you popup ads and coupons you might actually be considering rather than ads and coupons for goods like Depends or Viagra.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in combination with a large retail centre, has tracked consumers in retail organizations to observe where and when they tended to dwell, or stop to look at merchandise. How was it done? By monitoring the consumers’ mobile phones’ position as the telephones transmitted signals. MIT discovered that when people’s”dwell times” improved, sales improved, too.

Researchers have looked at people’s brains by getting them lie and asking them questions about products. What folks say about the goods is subsequently compared to what their brains scans reveal –that’s, what they are really thinking. Scanning people’s brains for marketing purposes may sound nutty. But not when you consider the simple fact is that eight out of ten consumer products fail, even when they are test marketed. Could it be that what folks say about goods and what they think about these are different? Marketing professionals want to find out.

Assessing people’s purchasing habits is not only for companies that are large . Even small businesses and entrepreneurs can study the behaviour of their clients with fantastic success. For example, by figuring out what zip codes their clients are in, a business might decide where to find an extra store. Customer surveys and studies can also help clarify why buyers purchased what their experiences were with a business and what they did. Coupon codes are used by small companies such as restaurants. By way of instance, coupons are a single code. Those sent out through the Internet are given another. When the coupons are redeemed, the restaurants can tell which marketing avenues have the largest effect on their earnings.

Tony Hsieh, the chief executive of the shoe firm Zappos.com, reportedly has thirty thousand followers on Twitter along with his Zappos blog. To find the best users of Twitter, go to http://www.twitterholic.com.

Some companies, including a growing number of startups, are using blogs and social networking Web sites to collect information about their clients at a low price. By way of instance, a company based in New York, Proper Cloth, has a site on the social networking site Facebook. Whenever the business posts a new bulletin or photos of its garments, all its Facebook”fans” automatically receive the info on their Facebook pages. “We want to listen to what our customers have to state,” states Joseph Skerritt, the young MBA graduate who established Proper Cloth. “It is helpful to us and lets our customers feel connected to Suitable Cloth.” Skerritt also writes a blog for the company.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Understand what the phases of the buying process are.
  • Distinguish between low-involvement purchasing choices and high-involvement purchasing choices.

The Client’s Decision-Making Process

You’ve been a consumer with buying power for much longer than you probably realize–because the very first time you were asked which toy or cereal you wanted. Through time, you’ve developed a systematic manner you choose among alternatives, even when you aren’t mindful of it. A process that is similar is followed by other consumers. This process is looked at by the first part of this chapter. The next part examines the situational, emotional, and other factors that influence what, when, and the way folks buy what they do.

Remember, however, that different people, no matter how similar they are, create different purchasing choices. You might be very interested in purchasing a wise Car. However, your best friend may want to buy a Ford 150 truck. This is understood by marketing professionals. They do not have unlimited budgets which allow them to advertise in all types of media to all kinds of individuals, so they attempt to do is figure out tendencies among customers. Doing this helps them achieve the people most likely to buy their products in the most cost effective way possible.

Stages from the Purchasing Procedure

“Stages in the Consumer’s Purchasing Process” outlines the purchasing phases consumers go through. At any given time, you’re probably in some kind of buying stage. You are considering different kinds of things you desire or need to eventually purchase, how you’re going to locate the best ones at the best cost, and also where and how are you going to buy them. Meanwhile, there are other products you’ve purchased that you are assessing. Some might be better than others. Are you going to discard them, and if yes, how? Then what will you buy? Where does the process begin?

Phase 1. Need Recognition

Perhaps you’re likely to back around the nation once you graduate, but you don’t have a particularly good backpack. Into realizing they have a demand for a product Advertisers frequently try to stimulate customers. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Gatorade, Powerade, and other beverage manufacturers locate their machines in gymnasiums so you see them after a long, exhausting workout? How many times have you have heard of a movie and had no curiosity about it–until you saw the trailer? Then, you felt as though had to see it.

Stage 2. Search for Information

Maybe several backpacks have been owned by you and understand exactly what you like and don’t enjoy about them. Or, there could be a brand that you have bought in the past which you want to purchase later on and liked. This is a superb position for the company that owns the newest to be in. Why? You will restrict your search and just buy their brand because it often means.

If what you know about backpacks does not supply you with information, you’re likely going to continue to collect information from various sources. People ask family members friends, and neighbors about their own experiences.

Internet shopping sites such as Amazon.com have become a common source of advice about products. Epinions.com is an example of consumer-generated review website. The site features buying tips product ratings, and price info. Amazon.com also supplies product reviews written by consumers. People prefer”separate” sources like this if they’re looking for product information. But they also consult sources of such advertisements, information, brochures, company Web sites, and salespeople.

Stage 3. Item Assessment

There are dozens and dozens of backpacks. It’s not possible for you to examine all of them. (In actuality, fantastic salespeople and marketing professionals know that providing you with a lot of choices can be so overwhelming, you might not buy anything at all.) As a consequence, you develop what is called criteria that will help you narrow your choices down.

Evaluative criteria are specific features which are important to you like the purchase price of the backpack, the size, the amount of compartments, and colour. Some of these characteristics are more significant than others. For example, the size of the backpack and the price might be more significant to you than the color–unless, say, the colour is hot pink and you hate pink.

Osprey backpacks are famous for their durability. The business has a special design and quality control centre, and Osprey’s salespeople yearly take a”reef testing” excursion to see how well the organization’s products perform.

Marketing professionals wish to convince you that the evaluative criteria you’re currently considering reflect the strengths of their merchandise. For instance, you may not have thought about durability or the burden . But a backpack maker like Osprey might remind you via magazine advertisements, packaging information, and its Web site that you ought to pay attention to such features–features that happen to be key selling points of its own backpacks.

Stage 4. Product Option and Buy

Stage 4 is the stage at. However, in addition to the backpack, you are most likely also making other choices at this stage, such as where and how to buy the back pack and on what terms. The backpack was cheaper but the salesperson there was impolite. Or perhaps you choose to purchase online because you are too busy to go to the mall. Other decisions, especially those related to big ticket items, are created at this time. You might look for a store that will offer you a guarantee or credit if you are purchasing a high-definition television.

Stage 5. Postpurchase Use and Analysis

Now in the process you decide whether the backpack you’ve bought is what it was cracked up to be. Hopefully it is. If it’s not, you are likely to suffer what is called postpurchase dissonance. You don’t, although you want to feel great about your purchase. You purchased something else, begin to wonder whether you should have waited to obtain a better price, or gathered info . Consumers feel. If you do not feel great about what you have bought from them, you might return the merchandise rather than purchase anything from them . Or you might tell everybody.

Companies do things to attempt and prevent buyer’s remorse. For things that are smaller, they might provide a money back guarantee. Or, they might encourage their salespeople. How often have you noticed a salesperson say,”That outfit looks so good on you!” ? For bigger items, employers might provide together a guarantee with instruction booklets, and also a troubleshooting line to call.

Stage 6. Disposal of the Item

There was a time when neither producers nor customers thought much about how products got disposed of. But that is changed. How goods are being disposed is becoming extremely important to customers and society in general. Batteries and computers, which leech chemicals are a problem. Consumers don’t need to hamper the environment if they don’t have to, and companies are becoming more aware of the fact.

Take Crystal Light, for instance, a water-based beverage that is sold in grocery stores. You can buy it. However, many people purchase a concentrated form of it, put it in reusable pitchers or bottles, and add water. Damaging the environment and get rid of plastic jar after plastic jar, This way they don’t have to buy. Windex has done something similar. Instead of purchasing bottles of it all of the time, you may buy a concentrate and put in water. You have probably noticed that most grocery stores today sell cloth bags customers can reuse rather than continually using and discarding of new paper or plastic bags.

Other firms are more worried about conservation than they are about planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is a deliberate effort by businesses obsolete or unusable, following a period of time. By cutting back on the quantity of time between the repeat purchases consumers make of products, the goal is to improve a organization’s sales. When a software developer introduces a new model of merchandise, older versions of it are usually designed to be incompatible with it. For instance, not all of the attributes are the exact same in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007. When opened from the more recent version documents don’t translate properly. Consequently, you will be more prone to upgrade to the newest version so you can open all Word documents you get.

Products that are disposable are another way in which firms have managed to reduce the amount of time between purchases. Disposable lighters are an example. Do you know anyone now who possesses a nondisposable milder? Believe it or not, before the 1960s, barely anyone might have envisioned with a cheap disposable lighter.

Lighters came into vogue in the United States. You most likely don’t have a cool, nondisposable lighter just like these, but you do not need to bother refilling it with lighter fluid either.

Low-Involvement vs High-Involvement Buying Decisions

Consumers don’t always go through all the buying stages when they are considering purchasing product. You have probably thought about several products you want or need but never did much more than that. At other times, you have probably looked at heaps of goods, compared them, and decided not to buy any one of these. You purchase products on impulse and also skip phases 1 through 3. Buying a product with forethought or no preparation is known as impulse buying.

Impulse purchasing brings up a concept called level of engagement –that is, how personally important or interested you’re in consuming a product. By way of instance, you may observe a roll of tape and remember you want one. Or you might find a bag of chips and realize you’re hungry. They are low-involvement products, although these are things you need. Low-involvement products are not necessarily purchased on impulse, though they might be. Low-involvement goods are, however, inexpensive and pose a minimal risk to the purchaser when she makes a mistake by buying them.

Consumers often engage in regular response behavior when they buy low-involvement products–that is, they make automatic buy decisions based on limited information or information they’ve gathered before. By way of example, in the event that you order a Diet Coke at lunch, then you are engaging in response behavior that is routine. You may not even think about other beverage options at lunch since your routine would be to purchase a Diet Coke, and you merely do it. It is not the world’s end.

By comparison, high-involvement products take a high risk to buyers if they neglect, are complicated, or have high price tags. A home A car, and also an insurance policy are examples. These items are not purchased. When purchasing products that are high-involvement buyers don’t engage in response behavior. Instead, customers participate in what is called extended problem solving, in which they spend a lot of time assessing the features of the products, costs, warranties, and so forth.

High-involvement products may cause buyers a great deal of postpurchase dissonance if they are not certain about their buys. Businesses that sell high-involvement products are aware of the postpurchase dissonance may be a problem. Frequently, they try to offer customers a great deal of information for their merchandise, including the reason why they are superior to competing brands and the way they won’t let the consumer down. Salespeople are usually utilized to perform a lot of customer”hand-holding.”

Limited problem drops somewhere in the middle. Consumers engage in limited problem solving although they have some information about a service or good but continue to look for a bit more information. The back pack you’re looking to buy is an example. You are going to spend some time searching for one that’s decent since you don’t want it to fall apart as you’re traveling and ditch all you’ve packed on a trekking trail. You may do a little research online and come to your decision. You could consider the choices available at your favorite retail outlet but not look before making a decision. Or, you could depend on the recommendations of a person you know who’s educated about backpacks. In some way you shorten the process.

Brand names can be quite significant irrespective of the customer’s level of buying engagement. Consider a non – versus high-involvement product–say, purchasing a tube of toothpaste with a new vehicle. You may routinely buy your favorite brand of toothpaste, not thinking much about the buy (engage in routine response behaviour ), but not be inclined to change to a different brand . Having a brand you enjoy saves you”search time” and eliminates the evaluation period since you understand what you are getting.

If it comes to the car, you might engage in extensive problem solving but just be eager to consider a certain brands or manufacturers. For instance, in the 1970s, American-made cars had such a poor reputation for quality, buyers joked that a car that’s”not Jap [Japanese created ] is crap.” American cars’ quality is good now, but you get the picture. A fantastic brand name is going to be extremely valuable to you When it’s a high-involvement product you’re buying. That is why the manufacturers of high-involvement products can’t become complacent about the value of the own brands.