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Consumers want it all

research report on consumer buying behaviour

Consumers have been through the wringer—but they’ve been resilient. They’ve found creative ways to adapt to extreme circumstances, using technology to navigate uncertainty in new ways. And they expect brands to do the same.

Consumers no longer see online and offline shopping as distinct experiences—they expect everything to be connected all the time. Shopping must be fast and efficient some of the time, rich and experiential other times, and always easy and intuitive. What’s more, consumers expect companies to cater to their needs and live up to their social and environmental responsibility claims.

Purpose-driven consumers, who choose products and brands based on how well they align to their values, now represent the largest segment (44%) of consumers.

Retailers and brands must align their offerings and capabilities with these new consumer expectations that have emerged from the crucible of COVID. But what changes are mission critical? To get a clearer picture of the demands redefining consumer behavior, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), in association with the National Retail Federation (NRF), conducted a global survey of more than 19,000 respondents across 28 countries in September 2021.

We found that, after spending much of the past two years in a virtual-first world, consumers now see digital tools as a necessary part of the shopping experience. They expect stores to be digitally enabled and for brands and retailers to support hybrid shopping journeys, which blend physical and digital channels. This is especially true for Gen Z, which uses hybrid shopping more than any other generation.

Hybrid shopping is the primary buying method for 27% of consumers and 36% of Gen Z—more than any other generation.

The pandemic also shifted consumer views on sustainability. Today, consumers across age groups are looking for brands and retailers to help them shop more sustainably. In fact, purpose-driven consumers—those who prioritize brands that align with their values and lifestyles—now make up the largest consumer segment across all product categories.

Consumers control the shopping experience

In 2022, brands and retailers have the opportunity to build more profitable relationships with customers—but first they must prove their worth. Today’s consumers are digitally confident and purpose-driven. They’re informed and focused on finding brands that align with their values. They’re demanding more across the board, and companies will have to raise the bar to pass muster.

Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) consumers rely on stores as part of their primary buying method.

But that’s a tall order. As supply chain disruption and talent shortages put pressure on the retail and consumer sectors, companies must become even more creative and efficient. In response, more than half of retail (58%) and consumer products (55%) executives are focused on building agility to adapt faster to changes in demand.

In this environment, retailers and brands need to lead with purpose—and use technology as a differentiator—to enable customers to build their own shopping journeys. They must also help consumers live their values through the products they buy, including how they’re sourced, manufactured, and delivered. That starts with understanding what customers really want.

Tech-enabled touchpoints: Digital tools have become an integral part of the in-store experience.

Tech-enabled touchpoints: Digital tools have become an integral part of the in-store experience.

In 2022, retailers and brands must shift their sustainability strategies and cater their shopping experiences to meet evolving consumer demands. Download the report to learn what consumers across age groups really want—and how your company can gain a competitive edge.

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Originally published 13 January 2022

Meet the 2020 consumers driving change

To better understand how consumer’s activities and brand sentiments are evolving, we conducted a global study of 18,980 consumers in 28 countries.

Resetting the rules for consumer companies

Executives are embracing new priorities to gain a post-COVID competitive advantage.

The last call for sustainability

Clear, bold, and measurable sustainability initiatives can help your company differentiate its brand, deliver on customer demands, and grow to build a better world.

Beyond the hype

The metaverse opportunity is now. Learn how experiences that span the physical-digital divide can deliver tangible business results.

2022 holiday shopping and travel report: Recalibrating celebrations in uncertain times - Chinese

The 2022 IBV holiday consumer report found that shopping and travel budgets are both up this year. But prices are rising, as well.

The 2022 holiday shopping and travel report

Some consumers plan to spend big this holiday season. Find out what they’re looking for.

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Consumer Behavior Statistics You Should Know in 2022 [New Data]

Martina Bretous

Updated: March 28, 2022

Published: March 21, 2022

The factors that influence consumers' purchasing decisions have changed greatly over the years. 

consumer behavior statistics

For instance, the pandemic has shifted the shopping experience exclusively online for many. In recent years, there has also been a push for more transparent and sustainable practices in brands. But what else is there? Well, that’s what we’re covering here.

In this article, you’ll learn some interesting statistics regarding consumer behavior that you should know in 2022 and what that means for your marketing strategy.

1. Consumers buy more online.

According to a 2022 GWI Commerce Report , there has been a 36% increase in the number of Americans doing most of their household or grocery shopping online .

During the 2021 holiday season, 46% of consumers shopped exclusively online according to a Jungle Scout report .

Why? The top reasons are lower prices, low-cost shipping, and convenience.

Back in 2020, NRF’s Winter 2020 Consumer View reported that 83% of shoppers say convenience while shopping is more important compared to five years ago. That was before the pandemic, so that percentage has likely increased.

online shopping statistic: A stackla report found that 67% of consumers say their online purchasing has increased since the start of the pandemic

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This shift has forced some brick-and-mortar stores to consider how to implement an ecommerce strategy, whether it’s launching their own online stores or partnering with third-party platforms.

There’s also a bigger need for a robust online presence. While this was always recommended for brands, nowadays, it’s vital for their long-term growth.

2. Reviews and user-generated content are more influential than ever.

Today, it seems like everyone is talking about influencer marketing.

When we surveyed over 1,000 global marketers in 2021, 61% of B2C marketers said they planned to increase their investment in influencer marketing, compared to only 44% in UGC.

However, some studies suggest that the opposite strategy may be more effective.

consumer behavior statistic from 2021 Stackla report

According to a 2021 Stackla report , UGC is 8.7 times more impactful than influencer content and 6.6 times more than branded content.

In fact, when it comes to sourcing gift ideas on social media, the Jungle Scout revealed that 56% of consumers are influenced by posts shared by friends and family – more than branded content and ads.

From a marketing perspective, this is a signal to brands that consumers want to hear more from other buyers. Consider implementing this into your social strategy by sharing customer reviews and promoting UGC through giveaways and other promotional tactics.

While it’s a great brand discovery tool, it also works well to reel in consumers at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

3. Consumers seek personalization.

According to the Stackla report , 70 percent of consumers say it’s important for brands to offer a personalized experience – up from 67 percent in 2019.

HubSpot Blog Research from 2021 revealed that 53% of marketers leverage message personalization in their email marketing strategy. Of that percentage, 72% say it’s been one of the most effective tactics, more than subscriber segmentation, email automation, and dynamic content.

However, there are many more ways to personalize a user’s experience beyond personalization tokens – from product recommendations and usage recaps (think Spotify’s annual "UnWrapped" campaign ) to smart content and 360 customer views.

With so many channels to reach audiences, marketers have a wealth of options when it comes to personalization. It’s just a matter of narrowing down the ones that offer the best ROI.

4. Gen Z leads the charge in social buying.

In May 2021, eMarketer found that Gen Zers are more likely to engage in social commerce than older generations.

Their report revealed that roughly 56% of consumers between 18 and 24 years old and 47.5% of 14- to 17-year olds have made at least one purchase on a social platform.

These figures are considerably higher than other generations, with only a third of consumers between 45 to 65 years of age making at least one purchase on social media in the year.

Which platforms is Gen Z mostly on? TikTok and Instagram.

A 2022 GWI Gen Z report found that 46% of Gen Zers use TikTok to find information about products and brands while 69% use Instagram.

This is likely because Instagram has slowly transitioned to an ecommerce platform with advanced shopping tools while TikTok has kept its focus as a short-form video platform.

So, what are Gen Z buyers looking for ? On social media, the GWI report found that most are looking for content that’s:

As for their purchasing journey, the number one way Gen Z discovers and researches products is through vlogs (video blogs), according to the GWI report. Once they’ve made a purchase, they become most loyal to brands that offer access to exclusive content or services.

So, if your target audience includes Gen Z, your social media presence will be more important than ever.

5. Brands can benefit from an omnichannel approach.

consumer behavior statistic from emarketer

What this data suggests is that a single-channel strategy is not enough to attract and retain consumers.

Their attention is being pulled in many different directions and if your brand isn’t present, you may quickly be forgotten.

Now, this isn’t to say that every brand should be utilizing every single channel out there. Because after all, not every channel will offer a positive return on investment. What we are suggesting is consistently leveraging a mix of one to three channels while staying updated on how your audience is responding.

Some channels may work well during specific stages in the buyer’s journey and some may work only for a time. Listening to your data is the best way to know which channels are worth your time and effort.

6. Shoppers expect BNPL options.

Buy-now-pay-later is a payment service that allows customers to spread out their purchase payments into interest-free installments.

The topic started rising in popularity around mid-year in 2020 but peaked in September 2021, according to Google Trends .

In 2020, Paypal launched its own payment installment plan and during the 2021 Black Friday, they had a nearly 400% increase in BNPL transactions year-over-year.

Although one CNBC report found that only 7% of shoppers planned to use BNPL this past holiday season, experts expect that figure to double or triple in 2022.

It’s particularly popular with Gen Z – a population that is only now starting to join the workforce. The 2022 GWI report found that one in five Gen Z shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region used a BNPL service in the last month.

Payment is often not something marketers think about when advertising a brand’s products and/or services. However, this data suggests it may be helpful to highlight this as it’s becoming a stronger purchasing consideration for consumers.

7. There’s more demand for sustainable brands.

In 2019, the Harvard Business Review reported that sustainable products are five times more successful in average sales growth compared to brands that aren’t marketed as such. Today, that trend continues to grow.

consumer behavior statistic from 2021 global sustainability study

A Global Sustainability Study 2021 report found that one third of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products.

In fact, 61% of Gen Z say they pay more for eco-friendly products than those that aren’t, according to the GWI report . Specifically, online shoppers are looking for:

Many brands may offer one or more of these but fail to advertise them. However, this is what can help set you apart from the competition, as sustainability becomes a growing purchasing factor for consumers.

Now that you know what’s influencing consumer behavior, you can begin to craft a marketing strategy that appeals to your audience’s most pressing needs.

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The Consumer Buying Behavior Report 2020 – An Overview

Consumer Behavior

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The year 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years for the retail sector with COVID-19 wreaking havoc across the globe. Even before the pandemic hit us, the retail sector was wading through choppy waters with U.S. President Trump imposing tariffs on international goods, potential recession looming over us, and Millennials and Gen Z increasingly shifting buying preferences to eCommerce and socially conscious shopping. With so much to withstand and more, retailers and brands are desperate to understand online consumer behavior and grasp the changing purchase sentiments and rapidly evolving buying habits of the online customer.

Intelligence Node conducted a series of surveys in the past 9 months to gauge online consumer behavior and shopper sentiments in the U.S. market during pivotal events and occurrences to better understand and cater to the evolving consumer expectations.  We have addressed the consumer survey results through a series of graphs with their in-depth analysis, quick facts and key takeaways for every section, interesting statistics emphasizing the consumer buying patterns, and expert predictions for 2020.

Key Consumer Insights from the Report

research report on consumer buying behaviour

Intelligence Node’s Consumer Buying Behavior Report takes the reader on a journey of a shopper while navigating the shift in eCommerce, holiday season 2019, a potential global recession, the growing counterfeit market, tariffs, the pandemic, and the rise of a new ‘woke’ customer. From understanding the socially conscious customer to the first-time online buyer, this report explores all the aspects of today’s shoppers to help prepare retailers and brands thrive in these uncertain times.

For a more extensive experience, The Consumer Buying Behavior Report comprises expert predictions stitched together after a thorough scrutiny of the current retail economy along with the survey analysis.

A Peek at Expert Predictions 2020

For a more extensive experience, The Consumer Buying Behavior Report comprises expert predictions for the remaining half of the year 2020. Here is a peek at the predictions stitched together after a thorough scrutiny of the current retail economy along with the survey analysis:

In summary, the retail industry is going through a wave of transformation and will never be the same. Unprecedented external factors have contributed to this turn of events and have carved a sure-shot path for a data-driven, digital-first, unified future of retail. Retailers and brands need to embrace this change, understand the consumer expectations, and ride this transformative wave to win in the age of Amazon. They need to unify compelling online and in-store experiences and weave them throughout the consumer buying journey to reel in consumers at every stage and win market share. 

To get deeper insights into the consumer buying sentiment across the buying journey, download the full Consumer Buying Behavior Report  here .

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'A Study on Factors Influencing on Buying Behaviour of Customers'

Research journal 2015- Institute of Science, Poona College of Computer Sciences ISSN2394-1774 Issue II

10 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2016

Sudarshan Pawar

JSPM's Jayawant Institute of Management Studies

Sunil Naranje

Janata mahavidyalaya.

Date Written: July 15, 2016

In Present Marketing Scenario, the Study of Consumer Behavior has become essential. Consumers are the kings of markets. Without consumers no business organization can run. All the activities of the business concerns end with consumers and consumer satisfaction. Customer behavior study is based on consumer buying behavior, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer. Consumer buying behaviour has become an integral part of strategic market planning. In order to develop a framework for the study consumer behaviour it is helpful to begin by considering the factors which impacts on consumer buying behaviour as well as the evolution of the field of consumer research and the different paradigms of thought that have influenced the discipline. As described in this article, a set of dimensions can be identified in the literature, which can be used to characterize and differentiate, the various perspectives on consumer research. The objective of the research endeavour is to achieve a better understanding of consumer behaviour with the factors influence consumer buying processes. This article aims to identify different streams of thought that could guide future consumer research. This research paper mainly focuses on Automobile (Four wheeler) Customers and their buying behaviour in pune city. Descriptive type research design used in the study. Sample size is 265 Customers who own a car. Convenience sampling technique is used in the research. Data is collected through structured questionnaire. Data is analysed through using Excel and various statistical tools. Findings are derived from the data analysis and required suggestions are given.

Keywords: Consumer Buying Behaviour, Traditional Perspectives, Rational Perspectives, Cognitive, Traits

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

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International Conference on Theory and Applications of Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing

ICAFS 2022: 15th International Conference on Applications of Fuzzy Systems, Soft Computing and Artificial Intelligence Tools – ICAFS-2022 pp 211–217 Cite as

Z-Preferences in Consumer Buying Behavior

Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS,volume 610)

In recent years one of the main topics in the marketing environment advancing consumer behavior and their decision making process. The research paper focuses on the analysis of variables influence on consumers’ buying behavior and their decision in marketing. Marketing is the process which begins with the consumers’ needs, desires, demands and ends with consumer purchasing decision making. Professional marketing managers attempt to clarify consumers and their feedback, therefore they analyze the main features of their behavior.

As the process customer buying behavior comes from identifying needs, collecting information, ranking alternatives and realizing the decision making process. All these steps taken by consumer before making a purchase start the formation of the buyer's desire to make a purchase. Research papers are related to consumer behavior. Marketers initiate to affect to each marketing decisions by providing information which may form the consumer evaluation. The research paper is dedicated to clarifying the various variables of customer purchasing behavior, which are analyzed by using Z numbers. Decision making process and customer behavior are usually subordinated to uncertainties associated with influences of different determinants. In research paper, the Z-number theory is applying to regulate ambiguous situations in investigating the consumer buying behavior. This paper is useful for marketers to analyze and understand the customers’ interests. Research can also help support their marketing tactics and strategy for clarifying different criteria in buying process.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution .

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Dovlatova, K.J. (2023). Z-Preferences in Consumer Buying Behavior. In: Aliev, R.A., Kacprzyk, J., Pedrycz, W., Jamshidi, M., Babanli, M.B., Sadikoglu, F. (eds) 15th International Conference on Applications of Fuzzy Systems, Soft Computing and Artificial Intelligence Tools – ICAFS-2022. ICAFS 2022. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 610. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25252-5_31

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Opinion article, factors affecting impulse buying behavior of consumers.

research report on consumer buying behaviour

In recent years, the study of consumer behavior has been marked by significant changes, mainly in decision-making process and consequently in the influences of purchase intention ( Stankevich, 2017 ).

The markets are different and characterized by an increased competition, as well a constant innovation in products and services available and a greater number of companies in the same market. In this scenario it is essential to know the consumer well ( Varadarajan, 2020 ). It is through the analysis of the factors that have a direct impact on consumer behavior that it is possible to innovate and meet their expectations. This research is essential for marketers to be able to improve their campaigns and reach the target audience more effectively ( Ding et al., 2020 ).

Consumer behavior refers to the activities directly involved in obtaining products /services, so it includes the decision-making processes that precede and succeed these actions. Thus, it appears that the advertising message can cause a certain psychological influence that motivates individuals to desire and, consequently, buy a certain product/service ( Wertenbroch et al., 2020 ).

Studies developed by Meena (2018) show that from a young age one begins to have a preference for one product/service over another, as we are confronted with various commercial stimuli that shape our choices. The sales promotion has become one of the most powerful tools to change the perception of buyers and has a significant impact on their purchase decision ( Khan et al., 2019 ). Advertising has a great capacity to influence and persuade, and even the most innocuous, can cause changes in behavior that affect the consumer's purchase intention. Falebita et al. (2020) consider this influence predominantly positive, as shown by about 84.0% of the total number of articles reviewed in the study developed by these authors.

Kumar et al. (2020) add that psychological factors have a strong implication in the purchase decision, as we easily find people who, after having purchased a product/ service, wonder about the reason why they did it. It is essential to understand the mental triggers behind the purchase decision process, which is why consumer psychology is related to marketing strategies ( Ding et al., 2020 ). It is not uncommon for the two areas to use the same models to explain consumer behavior and the reasons that trigger impulse purchases. Consumers are attracted by advertising and the messages it conveys, which is reflected in their behavior and purchase intentions ( Varadarajan, 2020 ).

Impulse buying has been studied from several perspectives, namely: (i) rational processes; (ii) emotional resources; (iii) the cognitive currents arising from the theory of social judgment; (iv) persuasive communication; (v) and the effects of advertising on consumer behavior ( Malter et al., 2020 ).

The causes of impulsive behavior are triggered by an irresistible force to buy and an inability to evaluate its consequences. Despite being aware of the negative effects of buying, there is an enormous desire to immediately satisfy your most pressing needs ( Meena, 2018 ).

The importance of impulse buying in consumer behavior has been studied since the 1940's, since it represents between 40.0 and 80.0% of all purchases. This type of purchase obeys non-rational reasons that are characterized by the sudden appearance and the (in) satisfaction between the act of buying and the results obtained ( Reisch and Zhao, 2017 ). Aragoncillo and Orús (2018) also refer that a considerable percentage of sales comes from purchases that are not planned and do not correspond to the intended products before entering the store.

According to Burton et al. (2018) , impulse purchases occur when there is a sudden and strong emotional desire, which arises from a reactive behavior that is characterized by low cognitive control. This tendency to buy spontaneously and without reflection can be explained by the immediate gratification it provides to the buyer ( Pradhan et al., 2018 ).

Impulsive shopping in addition to having an emotional content can be triggered by several factors, including: the store environment, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and the emotional state of the consumer at that time ( Gogoi and Shillong, 2020 ). We believe that impulse purchases can be stimulated by an unexpected need, by a visual stimulus, a promotional campaign and/or by the decrease of the cognitive capacity to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of that purchase.

The buying experience increasingly depends on the interaction between the person and the point of sale environment, but it is not just the atmosphere that stimulates the impulsive behavior of the consumer. The sensory and psychological factors associated with the type of products, the knowledge about them and brand loyalty, often end up overlapping the importance attributed to the physical environment ( Platania et al., 2016 ).

The impulse buying causes an emotional lack of control generated by the conflict between the immediate reward and the negative consequences that the purchase can originate, which can trigger compulsive behaviors that can become chronic and pathological ( Pandya and Pandya, 2020 ).

Sohn and Ko (2021) , argue that although all impulse purchases can be considered as unplanned, not all unplanned purchases can be considered impulsive. Unplanned purchases can occur, simply because the consumer needs to purchase a product, but for whatever reason has not been placed on the shopping list in advance. This suggests that unplanned purchases are not necessarily accompanied by the urgent desire that generally characterizes impulse purchases.

The impulse purchases arise from sensory experiences (e.g., store atmosphere, product layout), so purchases made in physical stores tend to be more impulsive than purchases made online. This type of shopping results from the stimulation of the five senses and the internet does not have this capacity, so that online shopping can be less encouraging of impulse purchases than shopping in physical stores ( Moreira et al., 2017 ).

Researches developed by Aragoncillo and Orús (2018) reveal that 40.0% of consumers spend more money than planned, in physical stores compared to 25.0% in online purchases. This situation can be explained by the fact that consumers must wait for the product to be delivered when they buy online and this time interval may make impulse purchases unfeasible.

Following the logic of Platania et al. (2017) we consider that impulse buying takes socially accepted behavior to the extreme, which makes it difficult to distinguish between normal consumption and pathological consumption. As such, we believe that compulsive buying behavior does not depend only on a single variable, but rather on a combination of sociodemographic, emotional, sensory, genetic, psychological, social, and cultural factors. Personality traits also have an important role in impulse buying. Impulsive buyers have low levels of self-esteem, high levels of anxiety, depression and negative mood and a strong tendency to develop obsessive-compulsive disorders. However, it appears that the degree of uncertainty derived from the pandemic that hit the world and the consequent economic crisis, seems to have changed people's behavior toward a more planned and informed consumption ( Sheth, 2020 ).

Author Contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Keywords: consumer behavior, purchase intention, impulse purchase, emotional influences, marketing strategies

Citation: Rodrigues RI, Lopes P and Varela M (2021) Factors Affecting Impulse Buying Behavior of Consumers. Front. Psychol. 12:697080. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.697080

Received: 19 April 2021; Accepted: 10 May 2021; Published: 02 June 2021.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2021 Rodrigues, Lopes and Varela. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Rosa Isabel Rodrigues, rosa.rodrigues@isg.pt

Understanding and shaping consumer behavior in the next normal

Months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, the COVID-19 crisis continues to upend Americans’ lives and livelihoods. The pandemic has disrupted nearly every routine in day-to-day life. The extent and duration of mandated lockdowns and business closures have forced people to give up even some of their most deeply ingrained habits—whether spending an hour at the gym after dropping the kids off at school, going to a coffee shop for a midday break, or enjoying Saturday night at the movies.

About the authors

This article, a collaboration between McKinsey and the Yale Center for Customer Insights, was written by Tamara Charm, Ravi Dhar, Stacey Haas , Jennie Liu, Nathan Novemsky, and Warren Teichner .

Such disruptions in daily experiences present a rare moment. In ordinary times, consumers tend to stick stubbornly to their habits, resulting in very slow adoption (if any) of beneficial innovations  that require behavior change. Now, the COVID-19 crisis has caused consumers everywhere to change their behaviors —rapidly and in large numbers. In the United States, for example, 75 percent of consumers have tried a new store, brand, or different way of shopping  during the pandemic. Even though the impetus for that behavior change may be specific to the pandemic and transient, consumer companies would do well to find ways to meet consumers where they are today and satisfy their needs in the postcrisis period.

Behavioral science tells us that identifying consumers’ new beliefs, habits, and “peak moments” is central to driving behavioral change. Five actions can help companies influence consumer behavior for the longer term:

Reinforce positive new beliefs

According to behavioral science, the set of beliefs that a consumer holds about the world is a key influencer of consumer behavior. Beliefs are psychological—so deeply rooted that they prevent consumers from logically evaluating alternatives and thus perpetuate existing habits and routines. Companies that attempt to motivate behavioral change by ignoring or challenging consumers’ beliefs are fighting an uphill battle.

The COVID-19 crisis, however, has forced many consumers to change their behaviors, and their new experiences have caused them to change their beliefs about a wide range of everyday activities, from grocery shopping to exercising to socializing. When consumers are surprised and delighted by new experiences, even long-held beliefs can change, making consumers more willing to repeat the behavior, even when the trigger (in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic) is no longer present. In other words, this is a unique moment in time during which companies can reinforce and shape behavioral shifts to position their products and brands better for the next normal.

When consumers are surprised and delighted by new experiences, even long-held beliefs can change, making consumers more willing to repeat the behavior.

For example, approximately 15 percent of US consumers tried grocery delivery for the first time during the COVID-19 crisis. Among those first timers, more than 80 percent say they were satisfied with the ease and safety of the experience; 70 percent even found it enjoyable. And 40 percent intend to continue getting their groceries delivered after the crisis, suggesting that they’ve jettisoned any previously held beliefs about grocery delivery being unreliable or inconvenient; instead, they’ve been surprised and delighted by the benefits of delivery.

Most Popular Insights

Another example of changing beliefs involves at-home exercise. The US online fitness market has seen approximately 50 percent growth in its consumer base since February 2020; the market for digital home-exercise machines has grown by 20 percent. It’s likely that many people who tried those fitness activities for the first time during the pandemic believed that at-home exercise couldn’t meet their exercise needs. That belief has clearly changed for many of these consumers: 55 percent who tried online fitness programs and 65 percent who tried digital exercise machines say they will continue to use them, even after fitness centers and gyms reopen. To reinforce the new belief that online fitness can be motivating and enjoyable, NordicTrack, in a recent TV ad titled “Face Off,” shows that online workouts can foster the same friendly competition and connection that people look for when they go to the gym or attend in-person exercise classes.

An effective way to reinforce a new belief is to focus on peak moments—specific parts of the consumer decision journey that have disproportionate impact and that consumers tend to remember most. Peak moments often include first-time experiences with a product or service, touchpoints at the end of a consumer journey (such as the checkout process in a store), and other moments of intense consumer reaction.

Some companies have focused on enhancing the consumer’s first-time experience. Plant-based-meat  manufacturer Beyond Meat, for instance, was already benefiting from delays in meat production in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis: its sales more than doubled between the first and second quarters of 2020. In collaboration with local restaurants  and catering companies, the company has been delivering free, professionally prepared food to hospitals and other community centers. By giving away Beyond Burgers prepared by professional chefs, Beyond Meat is creating positive first experiences with its product at a time when consumers are more open to trial.

As the consumer journey has changed, so have the peak moments, and it’s crucial for companies to identify and optimize them. For example, a peak moment in a grocery store might be the discovery of an exciting new product on the shelf. In the online-grocery journey, however, a peak moment might instead be on-time delivery or the “unboxing” of the order (the experience of taking the delivered items out of the packaging). Grocers could consider including a handwritten thank-you note or some other surprise, such as a free sample, to reinforce consumers’ positive connections with the experience.

Highly emotional occasions can spark intense consumer reactions and therefore present an opportunity for companies to create peak moments associated with their products or brands. For example, when graduations shifted from formal, large-scale ceremonies to at-home, family celebrations, Krispy Kreme offered each 2020 graduate a dozen specially decorated doughnuts for free. With that promotion, the company connected its brand with an emotional event that may not have been a key occasion for doughnuts prior to the pandemic.

Shape emerging habits with new products

Companies can nudge consumers toward new habits through product innovation. For instance, the COVID-19 crisis has spurred consumers to become more health oriented  and increase their intake of vitamins and minerals. Unilever reported a sales spike in beverages that contain zinc and vitamin C, such as Lipton Immune Support tea. The company is therefore rolling out such products globally. It’s also aligning its innovation priorities with consumers’ emerging health-and-wellness concerns.

Similarly, packaged-food companies can encourage the habit of cooking at home. Spice manufacturer McCormick’s sales in China have sustained double-digit increases compared with 2019, even as the Chinese economy has reopened  and people go back to their workplaces. The same pattern could play out in other countries. Kraft Heinz’s innovation agenda for its international markets now prioritizes products that make home cooking pleasurable, fast, and easy—products such as sauces, dressings, and side dishes. These will be targeted at “light” and “medium” users of Kraft Heinz products.

Sustain new habits, using contextual cues

Habits can form when a consumer begins to associate a certain behavior with a particular context; eventually, that behavior can become automatic. To help turn behaviors into habits, companies should identify the contextual cues that drive the behaviors. A contextual cue can be a particular task, time of day, or object placement. For example, more consumers are keeping hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes near entryways for easy access and as a reminder to keep hands and surfaces clean. Product packaging and marketing that reinforces the put-it-by-the-door behavior can help consumers sustain the habit.

Some companies may need to identify—and create—new contextual cues. Before the COVID-19 crisis, a contextual cue for chewing-gum consumption was anticipation of a social interaction—for instance, before going to a club, while commuting to work, and after smoking. As social occasions have waned during the pandemic, a chewing-gum manufacturer must look for new contextual cues, focusing largely on solo or small-group activities, such as gaming and crafting. Gum manufacturers could consider designing packaging, flavors, and communications that reinforce those new associations.

Align messages to consumer mindsets

People across the country have felt an intensified mix of anxiety, anger, and fear because of recent events, making marketing a tricky terrain to navigate. The heightened emotions and increased polarization of the past few months could drive lasting changes in consumers’ behavior and shape their long-term preferences. Companies should therefore ensure that all their brand communications are attuned to consumer sentiment. The quality of a company’s communication  and its ability to strike the right tone will increasingly become a competitive advantage.

McKinsey’s consumer-sentiment surveys  show that consumers are paying closer attention to how companies treat their employees  during this crisis—and taking note of companies that demonstrate care and concern for people. That has implications for how brands connect with consumers and what types of messages will resonate. Hair-care brand Olaplex, for example, became one of the most mentioned hair-care brands on social media when it started an affiliate program: the company donated a portion of its proceeds from product sales to customers’ local hairstylists, helping them stay afloat during salon closures.

That said, consumers will see through—and reject—messages and actions that are performative and that seek to commercialize social issues. A brand’s communications must align with its purpose ; otherwise, the messages won’t ring true. Testing marketing messages among a diverse group of consumers, in the context in which those messages will appear, could help prevent costly missteps.

Analyze consumer beliefs and behaviors at a granular level

Consumer beliefs, habits, occasions, and emotional-need states will continue to evolve rapidly over the next year or two as the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine. For consumer companies to stay abreast of those changes, monitoring product sales alone won’t be sufficient. Companies must also conduct primary consumer-insights work, with a focus on identifying changed behaviors and associated changed beliefs and motivators to get a comprehensive picture of the changing consumer decision journey.

Qualitative, exploratory research will have a particular role to play as a precursor to (and, in some cases, a substitute for) quantitative research. Digital data-gathering and monitoring techniques—such as mobile diaries, social-media “listening,” and artificial-intelligence-driven message boards—will be vital tools to help companies understand emerging behaviors and contextual cues. When structured well, those insights generate new thinking within an organization that can be validated through larger-scale surveys and in-market testing. Companies can then refine their product offerings and marketing messages accordingly.

In addition, granular analyses of footfall data and omnichannel sales will unearth telling details, such as which geographic regions are seeing in-person commerce rebound first and which products consumers are buying (such as smaller pack sizes to avoid sharing, activewear versus office wear, and so on). Whereas in the past, companies might have fielded high-level usage and attitude surveys and brand trackers a few times a year, it’s especially important now for companies to keep a closer eye on the evolution of consumer behavior on a weekly or monthly basis.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed people’s routines at unprecedented speed—and some of those changes will outlast the pandemic. Even in states and cities that have reopened, consumers remain cautious about resuming all of their precrisis activities. We’ve seen differences in consumer behavior across geographic markets and demographic groups, and those differences will only widen during the recovery phase, given that the health, economic, and social impact of COVID-19 isn’t uniform. Companies that develop a nuanced understanding of the changed beliefs, peak moments, and habits of their target consumer bases—and adjust their product offerings, customer experiences, and marketing communications accordingly—will be best positioned to thrive in the next normal.

About the author(s)

Tamara Charm is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Boston office; Ravi Dhar is director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management; Stacey Haas is a partner in McKinsey’s Detroit office; Jennie Liu is executive director of the Yale Center for Customer Insights; Nathan Novemsky is a marketing professor at the Yale School of Management; and Warren Teichner is a senior partner in McKinsey’s New Jersey office.

This article was edited by Monica Toriello, an executive editor in the New York office.

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Last Updated 17 Aug 2022

Consumer Buying Behavior and Decision Making Process Research Paper

Consumer behavior is one of the major dynamics in the felid of business today. All organizations aim to achieving customer attention and satisfaction. This can only be achieved through the understanding of consumer choice model and purchasing behavior which provides a deep insight into consumer’s minds regarding their purchase decisions. Hence, there are mainly four categories of purchasing behavior which are the variety seeking buying behavior, habitual buying behavior, dissonance reducing buying behavior, and complex buying behavior.

Moreover, to fully understand consumer buying behavior, marketers must emphasis and learn about the influences that lead to their decision making. There exist many external and internal factors that influence their purchase behavior, and once marketers can identify these factors, they can easily target the right customers for their products. Consumer Decision Making: Consumer behavior as a study has been originated in the 1960s (Olshavsky, and Grandois 1979).

Most theories explained that consumers make rational decisions to achieve satisfaction from the purchases they make.

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Hence, these traditional views and models have been successful since the beginning till the current time period with variations according to the economical and social environment. Consumer buying behavior and decision making process is very complicated and requires effective analysis to achieve successful results (Olshavsky, and Grandois 1979).

The importance of consumer behaviour is linked towards the success of an organization through its marketing strategies. Consumer behaviour is the process where emotional factors as well as mental factors are involved during customers purchasing decisions for goods and services (Richarme 2001).

Moreover, the behaviour of consumers is the purchasing behaviour of individuals such as who buy goods and services for their personal uses. (Kotler 2007). In order to understand, consumer behaviour to achieve success, it requires great understanding towards the customer’s decision making and buying process.

Categories/Types of Consumer Buying Decision Behaviour:

There are mainly four categories of purchasing behaviour of consumers that we will analyse to understand the consumer’s decisions more in depth.

Firstly, Complex buying Behaviour is when there is high involvement in the purchase and has significant difference between different brands (Kotler 2007). This can occur when a product or service is highly expensive. Here, the consumer will firstly increase his knowledge about the product by collecting information and then deciding about the purchase decision. Organizations must provide vast knowledge and information to such high involvement of customers and understand that they will conduct evaluation before purchase so it requires time (Kotler 2007).

Products in this category can be new technology and innovations in products such as Computers and branded items.

Secondly, the Dissonance Reducing Buying Behaviour occurs when there is high involvement of the consumer but less difference between brands (Kotler 2007). This can occur when there are expensive products to purchase but there are less price differences or quality differences between them. The example for this type can be carpets, as we know that carpets show elegance and premium quality, but there are fewer differences between the available carpets in the market.

Thirdly, Habitual Buying Behaviour is when there is low involvement of consumer and some important differences in the brands (Kotler 2007). Here, all daily routine items cam be included such as salt, bread, milk etc. Here, the process of consumer decision making is very simple, where consumer does not search for information and evaluation of the product before purchasing (Kotler 2007). Lastly, Variety Seeking Buying Behaviour occurs when there is low involvement of consumer but significant differences between brands (Kotler 2007).

Here, consumers try out different products due to wide range of variety and it does not reflect their dissatisfaction. For an example, purchasing cookies and biscuits of different brands with wide variety to try out is a variety seeking buying behaviour.

The Roles of Consumers in the Decision Making Process:

This is mainly the steps involved in the decision making process of a consumer. It starts from the initiator who is a consumer who starts thinking about buying a product or serve. Then, influencer is a person who influences and persuades the consumer to purchase the product(Lukovitz 2009).

Then ultimately, the consumer decide to buy and become a decider. Fourth role is of a buyer who eventually buys the product for his personal use. And lastly, the user is a consumer who actually consumes the product in marketing, different roles of consumers are identified so that they can develop effective marketing strategies to increase their products demand and sales (Kotler 2007).

Key Factors Influencing Consumer Choice:

It includes three main characteristics which are social-class, main culture, and sub-culture. Culture shows the main reasons for a person’s choices.

Culture includes the behavior of individuals through values, wants, perceptions and traditions learned by the society and family. Subgroup is defined as a small part of culture where people have similar and commonly shared values. Then, the social class a constant and fixed sub sets of a society where we have divisions of several classes mainly based upon commonly shared values and behaviors. It can be measured through the variables of a person’s income, education, and status in the society.

Every society has social class structure based on several characteristics like membership groups, reference groups, family and the roles.

Social class is integration of many factors that include education, income, occupation and wealth of people. Marketers are interested in social classes as people belonging to some specific class or group have similar characteristics of buying behavior and hence they can target that class only (Cohen, Pham &Andrade 2008). Moreover, family members influence buying behavior of consumers. Family plays a vital role in the development of a person from child hood to adulthood. Hence, all family members make purchases and their buying behavior is very important to determine a common pattern o buying.

Also, women do most of the shopping for their home and hence developing marketing strategies that target women lead to successful results. Lastly, roles and status influence a consumer buying behavior. a person belongs to many groups like organizations where they work (Kotler 2007). Therefore, a corporate woman who works at a company will purchase according to her status and for example, she will be influenced by clothes that are professional and decent rather than casual and funky. Personal: These are one of the most important factors influencing the decision of a consumer.

These include variables such as occupation, economic condition lifestyle, stand of life, personality and age (Kotler, 2007). As for the age factor, a person belonging in teenage will have different choices and his purchasing behavior will differ from a person in his late 50s. Therefore, marketers gather information regarding personal factors and may target people in same age group or same lifestyle(Wind, Rao & Green 1991).


A person buying behavior is influenced by mainly four factors which are perception, learning, beliefs, attitudes and motivation (Kotler 2007).

Motivation towards doing something with will power plays an important role to influence a person in his purchasing decisions. For example, a person motivated to lose weight will have different needs and will decide to purchase diet books, exercise machines and pills. This is a psychological influence towards purchasing a product. Moreover, positive attitude and beliefs also influence consumer’s decisions. Views about Consumer Choice Decisions: There exist mainly four views regarding the behaviour and decision making process of consumers.

To understand the consumer behaviour and purchase patterns, it is necessary for organizations to have deep and thorough understanding regarding the known theories and views. Therefore, the following are significant views about consumer choice process(Cohen,Pham &Andrade 2008).

Economical Perspective: Here, the consumers face imperfect competition and always make decisions based on rationality on assumptions that there are several substitutes and alternatives. These consumers make decisions after conducting evaluation of each alternative and then choosing the most appropriate one.

Passive Perspective: This is the opposite of economical view and shows consumers making irrational decisions based on impulse buying of goods and services. Here, the consumers are greatly influenced by the marketing strategies and advertising of marketers and make purchases by getting attracted to them (Wind, Rao & Green 1991).

Emotional Perspective: This is about consumers’ emotions and perceptions regarding a good or service. He will purchase according to his emotional aspect and personality. For example, if a consumer likes blue colour, he will purchase pen in blue colour regardless of any other influence (Hise, Ryans & Spijker 1975). Cognitive Perspective:

This is about consumers who are logical, rational and thinker. Here the consumer searches for the goods and services that can give him satisfaction. In this view, consumers’ behaviour is regarded as where they will seek information and make decisions based on their thinking and logical reasoning.

Marketing Implications Analysis:

There lie many problems and implications when marketers find out different behaviors of consumers regarding their choice and purchases (Richarme 2001). As we know, every individual is unique and different from one another, so the achievement of accurate results regarding their behavior is very difficult.

Although, similar groups of people based on different factors provide better results as people belonging to some group or culture have similar characteristics (Kotler 2007). Therefore, companies target these similar interest groups after studying their buying behavior regarding goods and services. Still, this marketing process faces implications. As the product itself can have some characteristics that are not liked by consumers or it is not a good as compared to other brands available. This can be one major implication for the company.

Moreover, pricing decisions for the company are one of the most crucial decisions. Sometimes, a product with low price is considered cheap and low quality product and its sales decline; this is negative attitude and perception that hinders the company to achieve demand and success (Boze & Patton 1995). Also, packaging a product needs to be given importance because a quality product can become unsuccessful due to its unattractive packaging. This leads to consumer getting dissatisfied and switch to substitutes. And lastly, promotion of a product provides the basic key towards a product’s success.

This is because an effective promotion which mainly include advertising tool that informs, influences and persuades consumers to buy the product. But sometimes, even the best ads cannot be successful because consumer behavior is unpredictable and requires great efforts for marketers to continuously understand this buying behavior. Also, to understand the contemporary consumer behavior, it requires more deep understanding as today the consumers are well ware of all information and they cannot be fooled (Cohen, Pham &Andrade 2008).

Therefore, the marketers need to develop and extend these consumer behavior purchase views and models in order to achieve better outcomes. This is one of the major implications of facing risks and failures due to lack of advanced researches for the felid consumer behavior and their appropriate applications. Another implication is that there have been theories and researches for consumer buying behavior but not for the consumption pattern (Olshavsky, and Grandois 1979). This is also very critical to understand to be a successful organization.

Consumption pattern will prove better and clear understanding towards consumer satisfaction and hence lead to grater demand for goods and services (Olshavsky, and Grandois 1979). Consumer decision making process provide a general idea regarding their purchasing behavior but their includes more intricate details that can influence their decisions such as the involvement of people, time and incidents arising whereas this model leads to over generalization, which becomes a critical implication in marketing (Sarkar 2008).

As with every theory, there are many problems and implications that need to be identified and finally overcame by vast researches and time spent upon hem. Similarly, the consumer behavior and decision making is also being improved as today, there is a major importance of people in every field as they are they key factors towards success of any organization, whether it is the employees or the consumers both are considered high important for the organization’s success. Marketers are very interested in how consumers come to make these decisions (Boze & Patton 1995).

Every organizations aims at achieving success and profitable results, and hence this can be achieved by effective planning regarding the product or service. Therefore, customers play the most important role in a product’s success and they are the main target of organizations. Marketers study and gather information regarding the consumers’ purchases and behaviors to identify what they buy, in what quantities and from where (Kotler 2007). All these questions can be derived by studying g consumer decision making and purchase behavior.

Once this behavior is examined, a company can decide about their marketing strategies starting from market research till the placement of final goods and services in the market. Marketers study the stimulus response consumer behavior model to find out the marketing stimuli that influence customers’ purchases (Kotler 2007). These include mainly four Ps of marketing which are product, place, price and promotion. Moreover, other factors such as economical, technological, cultural and political play a major role in determining the consumers’ choices regarding the products and services.

Marketers are highly interested to analyze and understand these factors of consumer choice in order to gain a larger market share and demand for their product by attracting large number of customers (Sarkar 2008). Marketers aim to find out how these stimuli affect consumer responses and behavior when they make purchases. Once, these stimuli are identified, then the company can develop marketing strategies according to support their product with the characteristics of consumer expectations (Kotler 2007).

Customer satisfaction is the key towards an organizations’ success and profitable relationships with consumers (Kotler 2007). Moreover, marketers want to study the overall behavior of consumers regarding purchases because they want to help consumers. For example, if a consumer wants to buy a product but due to negative attitude and perception he doesn’t, then the marketers can develop strategies which influence the buyer and change his attitude and persuade him to try the new product.


The consumer behavior plays a major role in the determination of a company’s success. Hence, in today’s highly competitive world, all organizations give major emphasis upon the study of consumer behavior regarding purchases of goods and services. This way many significant patterns can be derived which show how consumers get influenced and persuade to purchase a significant product or service. There are many external factors that influence customer’ purchasing decisions such as the culture and society and internal factors like attitudes and perceptions of consumers.

Therefore, identifying these factors can provide marketers with a basis to start their marketing strategies and target those consumers that fit in their strategy and who can be attracted towards the purchase of that good or service. Moreover, to understand this consumer behavior model, there are four perspectives on consumer behavior which are emotional, economical, cognitive and passive views. These greatly help marketers in understand this buying behavior of consumers to achieve their organizational goals and ultimately success in terms of profits.

Marketers want to gather information and understanding about this consumer choice behavior in order to make effective marketing strategies where all the four Ps of marketing are integrated with effectiveness of achieving consumer demand. Therefore, it is easy to read and gather information about this behavior, but in practical application, it becomes a difficult and crucial part for the organization. Consumer choice models require great efforts and research to fully understand consumer behavior so that products and services can be produced keeping in mind their consumers and their behavior.


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Theory in consumer behavior: A Hoyer, W. D. ,1984. An Examination of Consumer Decision- Making For A Common Repeat Purchase Product.

Journal of Consumer Research, Vol no. 11, issue 3, pp 822-829 Hoyer, WD. ,1984. An Examination of Consumer Decision- Making for a Common Repeat Purchase Product. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol no. 11 issue 3, pp 822-829 Kleine, R. ,2002.

Symbolic Consumer Behavior Research Centre, Gentle eye imagery. Available from http://www. gentleye. com/research/cb/symblcb. html

Kotler, P. ,2007. Principles of Marketing. Consumer Markets and Consumer Buying Behavior. Wiley. Lukovitz, K. ,2009.

Economy Makes Consumer Behavior Erratic. Journal of Consumer Behavior. Marketing Daily. pp. 1-2 Olshavsky, R. W. &Grandois D. H. ,1979.

Consumer decision making- fact or fiction. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. no. 6, issue 2 ,pp93-100 Raju, P. S. ,1995.

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research report on consumer buying behaviour

Consumer Behavior

Advertising, Consumerism, Materialism, Marketing

Reviewed by Psychology Today Staff

Consumer behavior—or how people buy and use goods and services—is a rich field of psychological research, particularly for companies trying to sell products to as many potential customers as possible. Since what people buy—and why they buy it—impacts many different facets of their lives, research into consumer behavior ties together several key psychological issues. These include communication (How do different people respond to advertising and marketing?), identity (Do our purchases reveal our personality ?), social status, decision-making , and mental and physical health.

Why Consumer Behavior Matters

The psychology of buying and spending, how advertising and marketing work, how to appeal to consumers.

research report on consumer buying behaviour

Corporations, political campaigns, and nonprofit organizations all consult findings about consumer behavior to determine how best to market products, candidates, or issues. In some cases, they accomplish this by manipulating people's fears, their least-healthy habits, or their worst tendencies. And consumers themselves can be their own worst enemy, making rash purchasing decisions based on anxiety , faulty logic, or a fleeting desire for social status. But consumers aren’t powerless: Learning more about the different strategies companies employ, as well as the explanations for people's often confusing purchasing decisions, can help individuals more consciously decide what, why, and whether to buy.

Why do marketers study consumer behavior?

In developed countries, people spend only a portion of their money on things they need to survive, and the rest on non-essentials. Purchasing decisions based on want, rather than need, aren’t always rational ; instead, they are influenced by personality , emotion, and trends. To keep up, marketers continuously investigate how individuals and groups make buying choices and respond to marketing techniques.

How do politicians use marketing research in campaigns?

Political marketing is, in many ways, similar to product marketing: it plays on emotions and people’s desire for compelling stories , rather than pure rationality, and aims to condense complex issues into short, memorable soundbites. Smart politicians use marketing research to tailor their messages, connect with voters who share their values, and counter their opponents’ narrative.

Why are people drawn to fads?

Humans are social animals. We rely on a group to survive and are evolutionarily driven to follow the crowd . To learn what is “correct,” we look to other people—a heuristic known as the principle of social proof . Fads are born because a product’s popularity is assumed to signal value, which further bolsters its popularity.

How is consumer behavior affected by natural disasters?

Natural or man-made disasters can trigger panic buying or hoarding behaviors, either before the disaster or after it has passed, usually of products deemed necessary for survival. In the weeks and months after a disaster, some evidence suggests that “hedonic purchases”—such as alcohol or unhealthy foods —rise as victims of the disaster attempt to cope.

How does consumer behavior change during a recession?

After large-scale recessions, such as the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, consumers typically become more frugal and sensitive to price. These changes become permanent for some consumers, especially for those who were particularly hard-hit; for others, behaviors revert back to baseline once the economy has stabilized and any personal financial challenges have been overcome.

Will the COVID-19 pandemic change consumer behavior?

It already has. Consumers are buying less , shifting more purchasing online, and spending less on travel and in-person events. Whether those changes will endure, though, is unclear. Some experts predict that most people will revert back to old habits post-COVID; a small few, it’s predicted, will become more frugal and less materialistic in the long term.


Much of what people purchase—like food, shelter, or medical care—is necessary for their health and security. But what compels someone to buy things that aren’t necessary, like the latest iPhone or an impractical pair of high-heeled shoes? The study of why people make such purchases—which are often irrational—is closely related to the field of behavioral economics , which examines why people deviate from the most rational choice available.

Behavioral economists, marketing professionals, and psychologists have concluded that extraneous purchases may be driven by a need to display one’s social status, or in response to an emotion like sadness or boredom . In other instances, retailers may successfully manipulate the desire for a “good deal” by making an unneeded item seem especially affordable or portraying it as being in limited supply.

Learning how to recognize common manipulation tactics may help individuals and families save money—and stress —in the long term.

Why does buying things feel good?

Many human behaviors are driven by reward. Purchasing a new gadget or item of clothing triggers a surge of dopamine , which creates pleasurable feelings. Though the glow of a new purchase may not last long, the desire to once again be rewarded with a burst of dopamine drives us to buy more .

Does buying more things make you happy in the long run?

It depends. Some research suggests that experiential purchases like vacations bring more happiness than material goods, in both the short- and long-term . However, this rule may not apply universally. For lower-income people, spending on material goods that meet basic needs is often more conducive to happiness, especially if the items remain useful over time.

Why do I buy things I don’t need?

Consumers are often irrational. Instead of only buying things they need, they also buy unnecessary items—often because the purchase makes them feel good, soothes negative emotions, or boosts social status. A consumer may also buy something that has been framed by a marketer as especially attractive; “buy one get one free” offers, for instance, are hard to resist and encourage people to buy things they don’t need.

Why do I buy things that are bad for me?

Certain buying impulses can ultimately be harmful , but they often serve a psychological purpose. Purchasing unhealthy foods or excessive alcohol, for instance, can temporarily offer comfort from painful emotions; buying a new pair of designer jeans might break the bank, but can also help the purchaser prominently display their social status.

How can I stop buying things that are bad for me?

Dissonant buying impulses—or purchases that conflict with one’s resources, needs, and goals —can be difficult to manage, especially when they’re driven by negative emotions. Learning emotional regulation skills —such as naming any negative feelings, redirecting attention to productive activities, or practicing mindfulness —or creating physical “barriers” (such as freezing credit cards so they can’t be used impulsively) can help.

How does anxiety affect what we buy?

Anxiety is known to spur impulsive purchases —in part because buying things offers a sense of control and can be used to self-soothe. Anxiety can also lead someone to prioritize products that promote safety or a sense of security—such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or canned goods.

What causes panic buying?

In a word, panic. Anxiety and fear make the world appear frightening and senseless; stocking up on certain items like toilet paper is one way to restore a feeling of control. Panic buying is also driven in part by herd mentality; if people see that others are hoarding hand sanitizer, they assume they should too.

What motivates impulse purchases?

Impulse buying may be motivated by negative emotions, as purchasing something often temporarily boosts mood. It may also be driven by personality—the naturally more impulsive or less conscientious may be driven to more frequently purchase items on a whim. Marketing strategies, like advertising products as “limited time offers,” can increase the tendency to impulse buy.


Two vast, interrelated industries—advertising and marketing—are dedicated to introducing people to products and convincing them to make purchases.

Since the public’s desires tend to change over time, however, what works in one product’s campaign won’t necessarily work in another’s. To adapt messages for a fickle audience, advertisers employ focus groups, market research, and psychological studies to better understand what compels people to commit to purchases or become loyal to brands.

Everyone has heard the advertising maxim “sex sells,” for instance—but exactly what, when, and why sex can be used to successfully market a product is the subject of much debate among ad makers and behavioral researchers. Recently, some evidence has suggested that pitches to the perceived “lowest common denominator” may actually inspire consumer backlash.

How does marketing influence what we buy?

Marketers regularly use psychology to convince consumers to buy. Some common strategies include classical conditioning —training consumers to associate a product with certain cues through repeated exposure—creating a scarcity mindset (suggesting that a product only exists in limited quantities), or employing the principle of social proof to imply that everyone is buying a product—so you should, too.

Do marketers take advantage of how the human brain works?

Marketers often exploit cognitive shortcuts , known as heuristics, to convince consumers to make purchases. One example of this is the anchoring bias , or the brain’s tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information it learns. A savvy marketer may say, for instance, that a car costs $20,000, then quickly offer to take $1,000 off. Since the consumer “anchored” on to the initial $20,000 price tag, a $1,000 discount seems substantial and the consumer may leap at the offer. But if the car was truly worth $15,000, it would still be overpriced, even with the supposed discount factored in. 

Why do some ads succeed while others fail?

Renowned marketing researcher Robert Cialdini found that advertisements are perceived very differently depending on consumers’ state of mind. Fearful consumers, for instance, are more likely to respond negatively to ads that promote standing out from the crowd. However, consumers in a positive state of mind respond well to ads encouraging uniqueness; thus, timing and context are often critical to an ad’s success.

Why are “limited time offers” so appealing?

Limited time offers trigger a sense of urgency and force consumers to make quick decisions. A product only being available “for a limited time” (either at all or at a lower price) creates a sense of scarcity. Scarcity—whether real or manufactured—increases a product’s perceived value, heightening the chance of an impulsive purchase.

Why are so many ads sexual?

Because the majority of humans desire and seek out sex, sexual stimuli naturally capture attention; thus, marketers often make use of attractive models or erotic imagery simply to make consumers take notice. Being “primed” with erotic content can change behavior, too; research has found that sexual priming can lead consumers to make riskier financial choices.

Do sexual ads really work?

The effectiveness of sex in advertising likely depends on several factors, including gender and context. Women appear to respond more negatively to sexual ads than men, research finds. When the product is unrelated to sex, using erotic imagery in ads can trigger dissonance and trigger negative feelings about the brand.

research report on consumer buying behaviour

In a crowded marketplace, anyone hoping to sell a product or service will need to stand out. To succeed at this, marketers often turn to psychological research to identify and target their most likely consumers, grab their attention, and convince them that a product will fill a specific need or otherwise better their life. Aiming to inform and persuade consumers—rather than manipulate them—is widely considered to be the most ethical approach, and is likely to help build brand loyalty more than cheap marketing tricks.

How can I persuade people to buy my product?

Both the message and the messenger matter for  persuasion . Marketing researcher Robert Cialdini has found that first impressions matter greatly—a company (or individual) that appears trustworthy and warm is more likely to gain their audience’s trust. Cialdini also coined the term  “pre-suasion”  to argue that marketers must grab consumers’ attention  before  making an appeal—by offering free samples, for instance, or couching a product pitch in an amusing commercial. 

How can I make my marketing campaign more effective?

Turning to psychology can help. Appealing to consumers’ emotions and desire for connection with others are often powerful marketing strategies, as long as they’re not interpreted by consumers as manipulative. Introducing novelty, too, can be effective—research shows that consumers respond to surprising ads, humorous ads, or even “experiential” ads (such as parties or events designed to promote a product). Repeating an ad enough times so that a consumer remembers it—but not so much that they become frustrated—is also a critical part of any effective ad campaign.

How can I introduce a new product or idea?

Humans are creatures of habit and slow to adapt to change. To spread a new message or idea,  advertisers  have learned that simplicity is key; overcomplicated appeals can be frustrating or confusing for consumers. Summarizing the benefits of a new product, service, or political campaign in pithy, memorable phrases or images—and then repeating the message as often as possible—is more likely to grab consumers' attention and convince them to take a chance on a new object or idea.

How can marketers sell products ethically?

Customers trust businesses that are honest with them, sharing accurate information about everything from the benefits of using their products to how they run their business.  Other guidelines for ethical marketing  include clearly distinguishing ads from other types of content (news, entertainment, etc.), prioritizing the interests of children or other vulnerable groups (by not marketing unhealthy products to children, for example), avoiding negative stereotypes, and respecting consumers’  intelligence  and privacy.

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Consumer Buyer Behaviour Definition

Consumer Buyer Behaviour Definition

Buyer behaviour has been defined as “a process, which through inputs and their use though process and actions leads to satisfaction of needs and wants” (Enis, 1974, p.228). Consumer buying behaviour has numerous factors as a part of it which are believed to have some level of effect on the purchasing decisions of the customers.

Alternatively, consumer buying behaviour “refers to the buying behaviour of final consumers, both individuals and households, who buy goods and services for personal consumption” (Kumar, 2010, p.218). From marketers’ point of view issues specific aspects of consumer behaviour that need to be studied include the reasons behind consumers making purchases, specific factors influencing the patterns of consumer purchases, analysis of changing factors within the society and others.

Example of previous research used to define consumer behaviour

Moreover, the following popular definitions have been proposed for the term of consumer buyer behaviour:

Although the definitions given above are various, they all lead to common view that consumer buying behaviour is a process of selecting, purchasing and disposing of goods and services according to the needs and wants of the consumers. However, there is a general consensus among the researchers and academics that this process is subject to continual change over time as the purchase characteristics of the customers change due to their physical and psychological needs.

In the mean time, Kotler and Keller (2011) highlight the importance of understanding consumer buying behaviour and the ways how the customers choose their products and services can be extremely important for manufacturers as well as service providers as this provides them with competitive advantage over its competitors in several aspects. For example, they may use the knowledge obtained through studying the consumer buying behaviour to set their strategies towards offering the right products and services to the right audience of customers reflecting their needs and wants effectively.

Another valuable argument is provided by Egen (2007) on the importance of understanding the consumer behaviour. According to the author, better awareness of consumer buying behaviour is a positive contribution to the country’s economic state. The author further argues that the quality of goods and products are exceptionally good in countries where buying behaviour of consumers is well understood. This in turn increased the competitiveness of the products and services in international market increasing the export potential of the country. Meanwhile, high quality of domestic products and services lead to sophisticated domestic customers’ base (Blackwell et al, 2006).

In addition to efforts of better understanding the consumers’ buying behaviour, companies also engage in advertising and promotion activities to influence the consumers’ purchasing decision. However, when they are engaging in such types of activities, they need to consider other external factors such as the overall economic conditions of the country, politics, technology and ethnic culture all of which are beyond the control of both the company and consumer Lancaster et al (2002).

To sum up all the arguments stated above, it is clear that better understanding the consumer buying behaviour through studying and identifying their needs leads to huge long term benefits to the businesses. However, as stated by Kotler et al (2005) it is essential to mention that despite the great efforts to learn and understand the buying behaviour of consumers, it is very difficult to identify the exact reasons why a consumer purchases and prefers one product or service over another one. This is because consumers sometimes make purchasing decisions based on their emotional beliefs which they even themselves are not well aware of.

Blackwell, R., Miniard, P. and Engel, J. (2006) “Consumer behavior”, Mason: Thompson

Egan, J. (2007) “Marketing Communications”, London: Cengage Learning

Enis, B.M. (1974) “Marketing Principles: The Management Process”

Gabbott, M. and Hogg, G. (1998).  “Consumers and services”, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Kotler, P. and Keller, K. (2011) “Marketing Management”(14 th edition), London: Pearson Education

Kumar, P. (2010) “Marketing of Hospitality & Tourism Services” Tata McGraw-Hill Education

Schiffman, L., Hansen H. and Kanuk L. (2007) “Consumer Behaviour: A European Outlook”, London: Pearson Education

Solomon, M. (1995) “Consumer Behaviour” (3 rd edition), New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Stallworth, P. (2008) “Consumer behaviour and marketing strategic”, online, pp.9.


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    This research paper mainly focuses on Automobile (Four wheeler) Customers and their buying behaviour in pune city. Descriptive type research design used in the study. Sample size is 265 Customers who own a car. Convenience sampling technique is used in the research. Data is collected through structured questionnaire.

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