What are the factors influencing buyers behaviour?
Ans. The study of consumer behaviour indicates how individuals, groups, and organisations select, buy, use of dispose goods, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy their needs and desires.
I. Marketing Factors
Each element of the market mix – product, pricing, promotion and place (distribution) – has the potential to affect the buying process at various stages.
Product: The uniqueness of the product, the physical appearance and packaging can influence buying decision of a consumer.
Pricing: Pricing strategy does affect buying behaviour of consumers. Marketers must consider the price sensitivity of the target customers while fixing prices.
Promotion: The various elements of promotion such as advertising, publicity, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion affect buying behaviour of consumers. Marketers select the promotion mix after considering the nature of customers.
Place: The channels of distribution, and the place of distribution affects buying behaviour of consumers. Marketers make an attempt to select the right channel and distribute the products at the right place.
II. Personal Factors :
The personal factors of a consumer may affect the buying decisions. The personal factors include:
Age Factor: The age factor greatly influences the buying behaviour. For instance, teenagers may prefer trendy clothes, whereas, office- executives may prefer sober and formal clothing.
Gender: The consumer behaviour varies across gender. For instance, girls may prefer certain feminine colours such as pink, purple, peach, whereas, boys may go for blue, black, brown, and so on.
Education: Highly educated persons may spend on books, personal care products, and so on. But a person with low or no education may spend less on personal grooming products, general reading books, and so on.
Income Level: Normally, higher the income level, higher is the level of spending and vice-versa. But this may not be always the case in developing countries, especially in the rural areas.
Status’ in the Society: Persons enjoying higher status in the society do spend a good amount of money on luxury items such as luxury cars, luxury watches, premium brands of clothing, jewellery, perfumes, etc.
Other Personal Factors: The other personal factors such as personality, lifestyle, family size, etc., influence consumer behaviour.
Ill. Psychological Factors :
A person’s buying behaviour is influenced by psychological factors such as follows:
Learning: It refers to changes in individual behaviour that are caused by information and experience. For example, when a customer buys a new brand of perfume, and is satisfied by its use, then he/she is more likely to buy the same brand the next time. Through learning, people acquire beliefs and attitudes, which in turn influence the buying behaviour.
Attitude: It is a tendency to respond in a given manner to a particular situation or object or idea. Consumers may develop a positive, or negative or neutral attitude towards certain product or brands, which in turn would affect his/her buying behaviour.
Motives: A motive is the inner drive that motivates a person to act or behave in a certain manner. The marketer must identify the buying motives of the target customers and influence them to act positively towards the marketed products. Some of the buying motives include:
- Pride and possession
- Love and affection
- Comfort and convenience
- Sex and romance, etc.
Perception: It is the impression, which one forms about a certain situation or object. A motivated person is ready to act. But the way or the manner in which he acts is influenced by his/her perception of the situation. For instance, a student may perceive examinations as an important event, and therefore, he/she would make every possible effort including purchase of new stationery like pens, whereas, another student may be casual about the examinations, and therefore, would not make extra efforts.
Beliefs: A belief is a descriptive thought, which a person holds about certain things. It may be based on knowledge, opinion, faith, trust and confidence. People may hold certain beliefs of certain brands/products. Beliefs develop brand images, which in turn can affect buying behaviour.
IV. Situational Influences :
Major situational influences include the physical surroundings, social surroundings, time, the nature of the task, and monetary moods and conditions.
Physical Surroundings: The physical surroundings at the place of purchase affects buying behaviour. For instance, when a customer is shopping in a store, the features that affects buying behaviour would include the location of the store, the decor, the layout of the store, the noise level, the way merchandise is displayed, and so on.
Social Surroundings: The social surroundings of a situation involve the other people with the customer that can influence buying decision at the point of purchase. For instance, a bargain hunter shopping with an impatient friend may do quick purchases, and may not haggle over the price, so as to please the impatient friend.
Time Factor: Customers may make different decisions based on when they purchase – the hour of the day, the day of the week, or the season of the year. For instance, a consumer who has received a pay cheque on a particular day may shop more items, than at the end of the month when he is short of funds.
Task: A customer may make a different buying decision depending upon the task to be performed by the product. For instance, if the product is meant as a gift rather than for personal use, then the customer may buy a different brand/product depending upon to whom the gift is purchased.
Momentary Conditions: The moods and condition of the customer at the time of purchase may also affect the buying decision. A customer who is very happy would make a different buying decision, as compared to when he is not in a happy mood
V. Social Factors:
The social factors such as reference groups, family, and social and status affect the buying behaviour:
Reference Groups: A reference group is a small group of people such as colleagues at work place, club members, friends circle, neighbours, family members, and so on. Reference groups influence its members as follows:
- They influence members’ values and attitudes.
- They expose members to new behaviours and lifestyles.
- They create pressure to choose certain products or brands.
Family: The family is the main reference group that may influence the consumer behaviour. Nowadays, children are well informed about goods and services through media or friend circles, and other sources. Therefore, they influence considerably in buying decisions both FMCG products and durables.
Roles and Status: A person performs certain roles in a particular group such as family, club, organisation, and so on. For instance, a person may perform the role of senior executive in a firm and another person may perform the role of a junior executive. The senior executive may enjoy higher status in the organisation, as compared to junior executive. People may purchase the products that conform to their roles and status, especially in the case of branded clothes, luxury watches, luxury cars, and so on.
VI. Cultural Factors :
Culture includes race and religion, tradition, caste, moral values, etc. Culture also include sub-cultures such sub-caste, religious Sects, language, etc.
Culture: It influences consumer behaviour to a great extent. Cultural values and elements are passed from one generation to another through family, educational institutions, religious bodies, social environment, etc. Cultural diversity influences food habits, clothing, customs and traditions, etc. For instance, consuming alcohol and meat in certain religious communities is not restricted, but in certain communities, consumption of alcohol and meat is prohibited.
Sub-Culture: Each culture consists of smaller sub-cultures that provide specific identity to its members. Subcultures include sub-caste, religious sects (Roman Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Protestant Christians, etc), geographic regions (South Indians, North Indians), language (Marathi, Malyali, Gujarathi) etc. The behaviour of people belong to various sub-cultures is different. Therefore, marketers may adopt multicultural marketing approach, i.e., designing and marketing goods and services that cater to the tastes and preferences of consumers belonging to different sub-cultures.