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Consumer behaviour entails "all activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional, mental and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities. Consumer behaviour is concerned with: Consumer responses may be: As a field of study, consumer behaviour is an applied social science. Consumer behaviour analysis is the "use of behaviour principles, usually gained experimentally, to interpret human economic consumption.

Understanding purchasing and consumption behaviour is a key challenge for marketers. Consumer behaviour, in its broadest sense, is concerned with understanding both how purchase decisions are made and how products or services are consumed or experienced.

Consumers are active decision-makers. They decide what to purchase, often based on their disposable income or budget. They may change their preferences related to their budget and a range of other factors. Some purchase decisions involve long, detailed processes that include extensive information search to select between competing alternatives.

Some purchase decisions are made by groups such as families, households or businesses while others are made by individuals. When a purchase decision is made by a small group, such as a household, different members of the group may become involved at different stages of the decision process and may perform different roles.

For example, one person may suggest the purchase category, another may search for product-related information while yet another may physically go to the store, buy the product and transport it home. It is customary to think about the types of decision roles; such as:. For most purchase decisions, each of the decision roles must be performed, but not always by the same individual.

The importance of children as influencers in a wide range of purchase contexts should never be underestimated and the phenomenon is known as pester power. To understand the mental processes used in purchasing decisions, some authors employ the concept of the " black box "; a figurative term used to describe the cognitive and affective processes used by a consumer during a purchase decision.

The decision model situates the black box in a broader environment which shows the interaction of external and internal stimuli e. The decision model assumes that purchase decisions do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they occur in real time and are affected by other stimuli, including external environmental stimuli and the consumer's momentary situation.

The elements of the model include: In addition, the buyer's black box includes buyer characteristics and the decision process, which influence the buyer's responses. The black box model considers the buyer's response as a result of a conscious, rational decision process, in which it is assumed that the buyer has recognized a problem, and seeks to solve it through a commercial purchase.

In practice some purchase decisions, such as those made routinely or habitually, are not driven by a strong sense of problem-solving.

High involvement products are those that carry higher levels of risk and are often expensive, infrequent purchases. The consumer buying process is usually depicted as consisting of 5 distinct stages: The purchase decision begins with the problem recognition stage which occurs when the consumer identifies a need, typically defined as the difference between the consumer's current state and their desired state.

The strength of the need drives the entire decision process. Information search describes the phase where consumers scan both their internal memory and external sources for information about products or brands that will potentially satisfy their need. The aim of the information search is to identify a list of options that represent realistic purchase options.

Throughout the entire process, the consumer engages in a series of mental evaluations of alternatives , searching for the best value. Towards the end of the evaluation stage, consumers form a purchase intention, which may or may not translate into an actual product purchase. The stages of the decision process normally occur in a fixed sequence. The first stage of the purchase decision process begins with problem recognition also known as category need or need arousal.

This is when the consumer identifies a need, typically defined as the difference between the consumer's current state and their desired or ideal state.

A simpler way of thinking about problem recognition is that it is where the consumer decides that he or she is 'in the market' for a product or service to satisfy some need or want. The strength of the underlying need drives the entire decision process. Theorists identify three broad classes of problem-solving situation relevant for the purchase decision: Consumers become aware of a problem in a variety of ways including: During the information search and evaluation stages, the consumer works through processes designed to arrive at a number of brands or products that represent viable purchase alternatives.

Typically consumers first carry out an internal search ; that is a scan of memory for suitable brands. The evoked set is a term used to describe the set of brands that a consumer can elicit from memory and is typically a very small set of some 3- 5 alternatives.

The fact that a consumer is aware of a brand does not necessarily mean that it is being considered as a potential purchase.

For instance, the consumer may be aware of certain brands, but not favourably disposed towards them known as the inept set. Such brands will typically be excluded from further evaluation as purchase options. For other brands, the consumer may have indifferent feelings the inert set.

Traditionally, one of the main roles of advertising and promotion was to increase the likelihood that a brand name was included in the consumer's evoked set. In practice, the consideration set has assumed greater importance in the purchase decision process because consumers are no longer totally reliant on memory.

The implication for marketers is that relevant brand information should be disseminated as widely as possible and included on any forum where consumers are likely to search for product or brand information, whether traditional media or digital media channels.

Thus, marketers require a rich understanding of the typical consumer's touchpoints. Consumer evaluation can be viewed as a distinct stage. Alternatively, evaluation may occur continuously throughout the entire decision process.

Consumers evaluate alternatives in terms of the functional also called utilitarian and psycho-social also called the value-expressive or the symbolic benefits offered. Brand image or brand personality is an important psycho-social attribute. Consumers can have both positive and negative beliefs about a given brand.

Consumers who are less knowledgeble about a category tend to evaluate a brand based on its functional characteristics. However, when consumers become more knowledgeable, functional attributes diminish and consumers process more abstract information about the brand, notably the self-related aspects. The marketing organization needs a deep understanding of the benefits most valued by consumers and therefore which attributes are most important in terms of the consumer's purchase decision.

During the evaluation of alternatives, the consumer ranks or assesses the relative merits of different options available. No universal evaluation process is used by consumers across all-buying situations. Thus the relevant evaluation attributes vary according to across different types of consumers and purchase contexts.

For example, attributes important for evaluating a restaurant would include food quality, price, location, atmosphere, quality of service and menu selection. Consumers, depending on their geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics, will decide which attributes are important to them.

Potential patrons seeking a hedonic dining experience may be willing to travel further distances to patronise a fine-dining venue compared to those wanting a quick meal at a more utilitarian eatery. After evaluating the different product attributes, the consumer ranks each attribute or benefit from highly important to least important. Once the alternatives have been evaluated, the consumer firms up their resolve to proceed through to the actual purchase.

Purchase intentions are a strong, yet imperfect predictor of sales. Sometimes purchase intentions simply do not translate into an actual purchase and this can signal a marketing problem.

The extent to which purchase intentions result in actual sales is known as the sales conversion rate. Organizations use a variety of techniques to improve conversion rates. The provision of easy credit or payment terms may encourage purchase. Sales promotions such as the opportunity to receive a premium or enter a competition may provide an incentive to buy now rather than defer purchases for a later date.

Advertising messages with a strong call-to-action are yet another device used to convert customers. Other types of calls-to-action might provide consumers with strong reasons for purchasing immediately such an offer that is only available for a limited time e. The key to a powerful call-to-action is to provide consumers with compelling reasons to purchase promptly rather than defer purchase decisions.

As consumers approach the actual purchase decision, they are more likely to rely on personal sources of information. Methods used might include: Following purchase and after experiencing the product or service, the consumer enters the final stage, namely post-purchase evaluation. The consumer's purchase and post-purchase activities have the potential to provide important feedback to marketers. The post purchase stage is where the consumer examines and compares product features, such as price, functionality, and quality with their expectations.

This is also known as "post-purchase intention". Consumer actions, in this instance, could involve requesting a refund, making a complaint, deciding not to purchase the same brand or from the same company in the future or even spreading negative product reviews to friends or acquaintances, possibly via social media.

After acquisition, consumption or disposition, consumers may feel some uncertainty in regards to the decision made, generating in some cases regret. Post-decision dissonance also known as cognitive dissonance is the term used to describe feelings of anxiety that occur in the post purchase stage; and refers to the consumer's uneasy feelings or concerns as to whether or not the correct decision was made at purchase.

This type of anxiety can affect consumers' subsequent behaviour and may have implications for repeat patronage and customer loyalty. Consumers use a number of strategies to reduce post purchase dissonance.

A typical strategy is to look to peers or significant others for validation of the purchase choice. Marketing communications can also be used to remind consumers that they made a wise choice by purchasing Brand X. When consumers make unfavorable comparisons between the chosen option and the options forgone, they may feel post-decision regret or buyer's remorse. Consumers can also feel short-term regret when they avoid making a purchase decision, however this regret can dissipate over time.

This refers to the formation of hypotheses about the products or a service through prior experience or word of mouth communications. There are four stages that consumers go through in the hypothesis testing: Hypothesis generation, exposure of evidence, encoding of evidence and integration of evidence.

Internal influences refer to both personal and interpersonal factors. Social theory suggests that individuals have both a personal identity and a social identity. Personal identity consists of unique personal characteristics such as skills and capabilities, interests and hobbies. Social identity consists of the individual's perception of the central groups to which an individual belongs and may refer to an age group, a lifestyle group, religious group, educational group or some other reference group.

Social psychologists have established that the need to belong is one of the fundamental human needs. Demographic factors include income level, psychographics lifestyles , age, occupation and socio-economic status. Personality factors include knowledge, attitudes, personal values, beliefs , emotions and feelings.

Psychological factors include an individual's motivation , attitudes , personal values and beliefs. Other factors that may affect the purchase decision include the environment and the consumer's prior experience with the category or brand. Social identity factors include culture, sub-culture and reference groups. The consumer's underlying motivation drives consumer action, including information search and the purchase decision.

The consumer's attitude to a brand or brand preference is described as a link between the brand and a purchase motivation. One approach to understanding motivations, was developed by Abraham Maslow. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is based on five levels of needs, organized accordingly to the level of importance. Maslow's five needs are: Physiological needs and safety needs are the so-called lower order needs.

Consumers typically use most of their resources time, energy and finances attempting to satisfy these lower order needs before the higher order needs of belonging, esteem and self-actualization become meaningful.

Part of any marketing program requires an understanding of which motives drive given product choices. Marketing communications can illustrate how a product or brand fulfills these needs. Another approach proposes eight purchase motivations, five negative motives and three positive motives, which energise purchase decisions as illustrated in the table below.

In the marketing literature, the consumer's motivation to search for information and engage in the purchase decision process is sometimes known as involvement. On the other hand, a purchase decision is classified as high involvement when psycho-social risks are perceived to be relatively high. Part of marketing strategy is to ascertain how consumers gain knowledge and use information from external sources.

The perception process is where individuals receive, organize and interpret information in order to attribute some meaning. Perception involves three distinct processes: Sensation is also part of the perception process, and it is linked direct with responses from the senses creating some reaction towards the brand name, advertising and packaging.

The process of perception is uniquely individual and may depend on a combination of internal and external factors such as experiences, expectations, needs and the momentary set. When exposed to a stimulus, consumers may respond in entirely different ways due to individual perceptual processes.

Selective exposure occurs when consumers decide whether to be exposed to information inputs. Selective attention occurs when consumers focus on some messages to the exclusion of others. Selective comprehension is where the consumer interprets information in a manner that is consistent with their own beliefs. Selective retention occurs when consumers remember some information while rapidly forgetting other information. The way that consumers combine information inputs to arrive at a purchase decision is known as integration.

Marketers are interested in consumer perceptions of brands, packaging, product formulations, labeling and pricing. Of special interest is the threshold of perception also known as the just noticeable difference in a stimulus.

For example, how much should a marketer lower a price before consumers recognize it as a bargain? Accordingly, white packaging would be an inappropriate color choice for food labels on products to be marketed in Asia. The consumer's prior experience with the category, product or brand can have a major bearing on purchase decision-making.

Experienced consumers also called experts are more sophisticated consumers; they tend to be more skillful information searchers, canvass a broader range of information sources and use complex heuristics to evaluate purchase options. The data gathered may be objective, such as statistics about purchasing habits, or subjective, such as consumer opinions about products or issues. Research firms may use a variety of methods to gather information and construct a complete profile of consumer behavior.

Surveys and questionnaires differ in the amount of information they can solicit. A survey is usually fairly short and general. Questionnaires tend to be longer and ask for more detailed information.

A survey may consist of a brief telephone call or a few questions in an online poll. Surveys and questionnaires may collect objective data, such as asking how many times a consumer purchased or used an item, but more often they solicit opinions about issues, products or services.

Researchers usually have no way to verify if those being surveyed or questioned are answering honestly. Focus groups collect information from a group of people. Focus group participants meet in small groups with a facilitator who is trained to solicit opinions and reactions.

Focus group participants might watch a commercial and give their opinions about its effectiveness, or they might share opinions about several similar products. Interviews are similar to focus groups, but the facilitator works with consumers one on one to gauge their response to a product or idea.

Alongwith discounts, perceived quality also plays a major role because consumers sometimes start making some assumptions regarding the quality of the product offered. In this case, some other factors like expectations and past experience must be taken into consideration. This study was basically done to provide a conceptual framework in order to develop brand strategy and to study brand equity. This paper provides a comprehensive idea of how marketers can create value for a brand.

Marketers may agree that they should take a broad and long term view of marketing decisions for a brand, but in what way may not be obvious. To study the effect of different factors which affects the Consumer Behavior towards smartphones in India. What are the effects of Culture, Social status and marketing activities have on purchasing behavior in Indian market?

How does attitude and perceptions affect consumer behavior towards smartphone in India? What are the effects of cost and featuers of smartphones while purchasing it? What is the efect of the brand on the consumer while purchasing a smartphone?

First part of the research will consist of literature reviews in which various researches that have been done before in this area will be considered. Doing a literature review will help in analyzing and pointing out that among a lot of factors that are involved while purchasing smartphones what are the factors which are most significant. After that Secondary data collection will be done in which some surveys which have been conducted earlier regarding the same topic will looked upon.

Syndicate resources of secondary data include surveys which may be periodic surveys, panel surveys, shared surveys or maybe psychographics and lifestyles related will be able to provide a good insight. First of all we need to divide the Customers of Smartphones into diferent segments. The segments will be based on earlier use of any smartphone, based on use patterns people who are extensive Internet users, people who mainly use their phone for calling purpose only and people acording to whom price is one the major criteria low-segment, mid-segment and high segment.

Customers who do not possess a Phone ii. Customers who possess a Feature Phone not a Smartphone iii. Customers who use Internet extensively iv. Customers who mainly use phones mainly for calling purpose v. Customers who have earlier purchased low segment smartphones and are price sensitive. From these interviews, customer perceptions and their implicit interests can be tapped. The atmosphere should be very informal so that the participants freely express their opinions and the insights obtained could be tested on a larger scale in the questionnaire.

Some observation studies can also be done to gauge the interests of people while identifying with products. During these Interviews the effectiveness of Brand will also be checked as Brand forms a very important part during decision making process.

A Questionnaire need to be prepared which can take information from the respondents in an appropriate, simple and cost-effective manner. The type of questions in a questionnaire can be divided into three parts: The Questionnaire can be send via-emal or can be uploaded on a facebook page in order to cover as much as possible.

This can also be filled using representatives near digital shops like Reliance Digital, MobileStore,etc. You will prefer a Smartphone of Local manufacturer, a Multi national firm or it does not matter? Select the degree of influence these factors have in your purchasing decision of a Smartphone[Rate between ].

The purpose of depth interviews would be to uncover hidden preferences of the consumers so that they can be tapped. Also as they last longer, the time consuming parts such as conjoint analysis data collection can also be done in this type of primary data collection method.

Smartphones have changed the way we live, communicate and connect with people around us. With just a touch we can surf through internet, we can stay up to date about news all over the world, we can check weather news, we can reach anyplace using GPS, we can book hotels and flights, we can order online any commodity whenever required using just a Smartphone. Various Social networking websites can be accessed using Smartphones, you can also check reviews of several eating places like using zomato.

This case study basically looks into the factors that play major role during the purchasing process of a Smartphone. As the Smartphone market in India shrank for the first time in October-December quarter of , firms need to rethink their strategies and how to expand their market and hold onto the existing market. World Journal Of Social Sciences, 2 5: Journal of Business Administration, 5 Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity.

Journal of Marketing, 57 January , User acceptance of information technology: An empirical model for brand loyalty measurement.

Focus Groups and Interviews

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Consumer buying behaviour “refers to the buying behaviour of final consumers, both individuals and households, who buy goods and services for personal.

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Market Research and Consumer Behavior from IE Business School. Your marketing quest begins here! The first course in this specialization lays the neccessary groundwork for an overall successful marketing strategy. It is separated into two.

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The comprehensive literature review of consumer behavior research undertaken in this article could advance the discipline of consumer behavior research by elucidating the evolution of consumer behavior literature in the studied period. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (10th ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Education. Google Scholar. This kind of consumer behavior research is expensive and time-consuming and may be intrusive. Differences Between a Consumer Buying and a Business Buying .

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Consumer buyer behaviour is considered to be an inseparable part of marketing and Kotler and Keller () state that consumer buying behaviour is the study of the ways of buying and disposing of goods, services, ideas or experiences by the individuals, groups and organizations in order to satisfy. 10 Ways to Convert More Customers Using Psychology. Businesses often have many customers buying their products—or at least too many to get to know each personally. consumer behavior research shows that there are three groups of buyers who can be characterized by the “pain” they experience when purchasing something.