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									Customer Buying Behaviour




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Summary of Article

Customers make purchases in order to satisfy needs. The wealth of products and services produced in a
country make our economy strong. All the behaviour of human beings during the purchase may be
termed as “buyer behaviour”.. In this article there is a view about birth of buying ideas, what is buyer
behaviour, How consumer buy, why consumer buy, types, Decision process, Motives, conclusion.


Consumer is the king and it is the consumer determines what a business is, therefore a sound marketing
programme start with a careful analysis of the habits, attitudes, motives and needs of consumers. In
particular a marketer should find answer to the following questions:

What are the products they buy?

Why they buy them?

How they buy them?

When they buy them?

Where they buy them?

How often they buy them?


Mr. A owns scooter. The scooter is causing dissatisfaction because of some defects or troubles in it. He
decides to replace it with another scooter. He anticipates the idea of a trouble free and dependable
scooter. He decides not to buy a scooter of the same make, because of dissatisfaction and lack of
confidence. Thus a thought seed about a new scooter is born in him, the moment he thinks,” I must
replace the scooter “the buying ideas come up. With the thought in his mind, he thinks of the benefits.
And this leads to further thinking: what sort of a scooter will give the benefits, he wants. The benefits
make the desire. He may buy any one of many makes of scooter, which can give the desired benefits. He
makes enquiries and observes through talking to his friends. He reads advertisement about the new
scooters. He chooses one with all the possible advantages and which is wholly dependable. Mr. A is a
prospective customer to a dealer.


        The wealth of products and services produced in a country make our economy strong. Almost all
the products, which are available to buyers, have a number of alternative suppliers: substitute products
are available to consumers, who make decision to buy products. Therefore a seller most of his time,
seeks buyers and tries to please them. In order to be successful, a seller is concerned with.

  * Who is the customer?

  * What do consumers buy?

  * When do consumers buy?

  * How do consumers buy?

  * From where do consumers buy?

  * Why do consumers buy?

A buyer makes a purchase of a particular product or a particular brand and this can be termed “product
buying motives” and the reason behind the purchase from a particular seller is “patronage motives”

  When a person gets his pay packet, and if he is educated ,sits down along with his wife and prepares a
family budget, by appropriating the amount to different needs. It may happen that after a trip to the
market, they might have purchased some items, which are not in the budget, and thus there arises a
deviation from the budgeted items and expenditure. All the behaviour of human beings during the
purchase may be termed as “buyer behaviour”.


1. Need/Want/Desire is Recognized

In the first step the consumer has determined that for some reason he/she is not satisfied (i.e.,
consumer’s perceived actual condition) and wants to improve his/her situation (i.e., consumer’s
perceived desired condition). For instance, internal triggers, such as hunger or thirst, may tell the
consumer that food or drink is needed. External factors can also trigger consumer’s needs. Marketers
are particularly good at this through advertising, in-store displays and even the intentional use of scent
(e.g., perfume counters).

2. Search for Information

Assuming consumers are motivated to satisfy his or her need, they will next undertake a search for
information on possible solutions. The sources used to acquire this information may be as simple as
remembering information from past experience (i.e., memory) or the consumer may expend
considerable effort to locate information from outside sources (e.g., Internet search, talk with others,
etc.). How much effort the consumer directs toward searching depends on such factors as: the
importance of satisfying the need, familiarity with available solutions, and the amount of time available
to search.

3. Evaluate Options

Consumers’ search efforts may result in a set of options from which a choice can be made. It should be
noted that there may be two levels to this stage. At level one the consumer may create a set of possible
solutions to their needs (i.e., product types) while at level two the consumer may be evaluating
particular products (i.e., brands) within each solution. For example, a consumer who needs to replace a
television has multiple solutions to choose from such as plasma, LCD and CRT television.

4. Purchase

In many cases the solution chosen by the consumer is the same as the product whose evaluation is the
highest. However, this may change when it is actually time to make the purchase. The “intended”
purchase may be altered at the time of purchase for many reasons such as: the product is out-of-stock, a
competitor offers an incentive at the point-of-purchase (e.g., store salesperson mentions a competitor’s
offer), the customer lacks the necessary funds (e.g., credit card not working), or members of the
consumer’s reference group take a negative view of the purchase (e.g., friend is critical of purchase).

5. After-Purchase Evaluation

Once the consumer has made the purchase they are faced with an evaluation of the decision. If the
product performs below the consumer’s expectation then he/she will re-evaluate satisfaction with the
decision, which at its extreme may result in the consumer returning the product while in less extreme
situations the consumer will retain the purchased item but may take a negative view of the product.
Such evaluations are more likely to occur in cases of expensive or highly important purchases. To help
ease the concerns consumers have with their purchase evaluation, marketers need to be receptive and
even encourage consumer contact. Customer service centers and follow-up market research are useful
tools in helping to address purchasers’ concerns.

Why Consumers Buy:

         Customers make purchases in order to satisfy needs. Some of these needs are basic and must
be filled by everyone on the planet (e.g., food, shelter) while others are not required for basic survival
and vary depending on the person. It probably makes more sense to classify needs that are not a
necessity as wants or desires. In fact, in many countries where the standard of living is very high, a large
portion of the population’s income is spent on wants and desires rather than on basic needs.

   For example, in planning for a family vacation the mother may make the hotel reservations but others
in the family may have input on the hotel choice. Similarly, a father may purchase snacks at the grocery
store but his young child may be the one who selected it from the store shelf. So understanding
consumer purchase behavior involves not only understanding how decisions are made but also
understanding the dynamics that influence purchases.


       Consumers are faced with purchase decisions nearly every day. But not all decisions are treated
the same. Some decisions are more complex than others and thus require more effort by the consumer.
Other decisions are fairly routine and require little effort. In general, consumers face four types of
purchase decisions:
  * Minor New Purchase – these purchases represent something new to a consumer but in the
customer’s mind is not a very important purchase in terms of need, money or other reason (e.g., status
within a group).

  * Minor Re-Purchase – these are the most routine of all purchases and often the consumer returns to
purchase the same product without giving much thought to other product options (i.e., consumer is
brand loyalty).

  * Major New Purchase – these purchases are the most difficult of all purchases because the product
being purchased is important to the consumer but the consumer has little or no previous experience
making these decisions. The consumer’s lack of confidence in making this type of decision often (but
not always) requires the consumer to engage in an extensive decision-making process..

  * Major Re-Purchase - these purchase decisions are also important to the consumer but the
consumer feels confident in making these decisions since they have previous experience purchasing the

For marketers it is important to understand how consumers treat the purchase decisions they face. If a
company is targeting customers who feel a purchase decision is difficult (i.e., Major New Purchase), their
marketing strategy may vary greatly from a company targeting customers who view the purchase
decision as routine. In fact, the same company may face both situations at the same time; for some the
product is new, while other customers see the purchase as routine. The implication of buying behavior
for marketers is that different buying situations require different marketing efforts

Consumer Buying Decision Process:

 “Nothing is more difficult and therefore, more precious, than to be able to decide is quoted to be the
words of Napoleon. This is amply true in the case of consumer too. It is for this reason that the
marketers are bound to have a full knowledge of the consumer – buying decision process.

  However it should be remembered that the actual act of purchasing is only one stage in the process
and the process is initiated at the several stages prior to the actual purchase. Secondly even though we
find that purchase is one of the final links in the chain of process, not all decision processes lead to
purchase. The individual consumer may terminate the process during any stage. Finally not all consumer
decisions always include all stages. Persons engaged in extensive decision making usually employ all
stages of this decision process. Where as those engaged in limited decisions making and routine
response behaviour may omit some stages. The consumer decision process is composed of two parts,
the process itself and the factors affecting the process.


       A survey conducted by the marketing team of shoppers stop Ltd. Reveals the psychography of
the modern shopper.

Accordingly the survey classifies customers in to the four segments namely

  * Convenience Shoppers

  * Value Shoppers

  * Image Shoppers
  * Experience Shoppers

Convenience shoppers for instance, are people who consume relatively less amount of time while
shopping. Also they look out for the width and depth of the range they purchase and conduct their
annual shopping at one shot.

Value Shoppers always hunt for value for money; Prefer quality reassurance and benchmark offerings
among other related attributes.

Image Shoppers are fashion- conscious and look out for the latest trends and labels.

On the other hand , Experience Shoppers are attentive and prefer personalized services look out for the
right ambience, prefer giving personal advice on clothing at the time of purchase , and prefer not to buy
at one sold.


     It was during 1960’s that a number of theories to explain the consumer‘s decision process started
appearing. The three leading theorists were Howard-sheth , Engel Kollat-Blackwell and Nicosia. Since
then a considerable research on the marketing implications of the process has been developed and
tested the applications of many elements of marketing.

     Many of the marketing strategies and tactics will have to be developed in relation to consumer
attitudes. Marketing strategies, if effectively used, will go a long way in initiating and developing
consumer attitudes in favour of the products.


1. Fear : To overcome theft, you may purchase a burglar alarm (out of fear)

2. Desire for money : Purchasing when the price falls down.

3. Vanity : Getting costly items to be admired by others

4. Pride : Possessing luxurious items for high position in the society

5. Love and affection : When you purchase toys, dresses for your sister, it is out of affections.

6. Sex and romance : Spending much on dresses, ornaments etc.

7. Fashion : Imitation motives: Old people dress like young ones.

8. Possession : This refers to collection of stamps, coins etc.

9. Health and Physical : Purchasing health foods, vitamins etc.

 Well being

10. Comfort and : Purchasing equipments like refrigerator, pressure cookers, mixy convenience etc.


1. Disposal personal income:
  The economists made attempts to establish a relationship between income and spending. Disposal
personal income represents potential purchasing power that a buyer has. The change in income has a
direct relation on buying habits.

2. Size of family income:

  The size of family and size of family income affect the spending and saving patterns. Generally large
family spend more and short family spend less, in comparison.

3. Income expectations:

  The expected income to receive in future has a direct relation with the buying behaviour. The
expectation of higher or lower income has a direct effect on spending plans.

4. Propensity to consume and to save:

  This goes to the habit of spending or saving with the disposal income of buyers. If the buyers give
importance to present needs, then they dispose of their income. And buyers spend less if they give
importance to future needs.

5. Liquidity of Fund:

  The present buying plans are influenced greatly by liquidity of assets i.e., cash and assets readily
convertible into cash, eg bonds, bank balances etc.,

6. Consumer Credit:

 “Buy now and pay later” plays its role effectively in the rapid growth of markets for car, scooter, radio,
furniture and the like.

Economic model suggests behavioural hypothsis:

  * Lower the price of the product, higher the sales.

  * Lower the price of substitute products, lower the sales of this product

  * Higher the real income, higher the sales of the product.

  * Higher the promotional expenses, higher the sales.

Internal influences of buyers:

  * psychographics (lifestyle),

  * personality, motivation, knowledge,

  * attitudes,

  * beliefs, and

  * feelings.

  * demographics,
         consumer behaviour concern with consumer need consumer actions in the direction of
satisfying needs leads to his behaviour behaviour of every individuals depend on thinking process.


  * culture,

  * sub-culture,

  * Locality,

  * royalty,

  * ethnicity,

  * family,

  * social class,

  * reference groups,

  * lifestyle, and

  * market mix factors.


Competing for the consumer is a never-ending challenge. This is due principally to the uniqueness and
competitiveness of each individual market, for they are all different and all require different
approaches". Knowledge of the buying motives of consumers is essential for a marketer. The changes in
the market are brought by the consumers.

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