Consumer behaviororconsumer buying behaviorare all the aspects that affect consumers’ search, selection, and purchase of products. We can use the term for the purchases of services too. Consumer behavior also includes the post-purchase stage. Consumer behavior is an area of research within the business field of ‘marketing.’
A consumer is a person, organization, or economic entity thatbuys a good or service and does not sell it on. In other words, they‘consume’it.
To understand consumer behavior, companies need to know why customers bought something and what pushed them to buy. They also need to know what trends are developing in society.
An example of a new trend developing in society is children’s influence on their parents’ purchases. Kids today are major factors in the purchase of expensive products. In fact, many parents today will not purchase a car if their children do not like it. This was not the case forty years ago.
When attempting to buy something, our consumer behavior consists of a process.
First, we need torecognize a problem. In this stage, we aim to satisfy a need or want. For example, let’s suppose we need to iron our clothes.
Second, wecarry out research. During this step, we actively look for ways to satisfy our need. For example, we can iron clothes traditionally, use a vapor iron, or take them to the dry cleaners.
Third, weevaluate alternatives. Based on the information we have gathered, we decide which choice best meets our need or want.
For example, we may decide that taking the clothes to the dry cleaners helps them last longer. However, buying an iron might be a better choice if we want to save money over the long-term.
Fourth, this is thepurchasingstage. This is when we decide to buy the best option to meet that need or want.
Lastly, there is thepost-purchase evaluationstage. In this stage, we evaluate our purchase. In other words, we determine whether the purchase was worth it. Did it satisfy our need? Did the product or service bring satisfaction after we used it?
For example, we decided to get the iron, because we can iron whatever we like whenever we like. We do not have to wait days. Therefore, the purchase brought satisfaction.