Consumer Behavior - Significance

Consumer behavior covers a broad variety of consumers based on diversity in age, sex, culture, taste, preference, educational level, income level, etc. Consumer behavior can be defined as “the decision process and physical activity engaged in evaluating, acquiring, using or disposing of goods and services.”

With all of the diversity to the surplus of goods and services offered to us, and the freedom of choices, one may speculate how individual marketers actually reach us with their highly definite marketing messages. Understanding consumer behavior helps in identifying whom to target, how to target, when to reach them, and what message is to be given to them to reach the target audience to buy the product.

The following illustration shows the determinants of consumer behavior.

Determinants of Consumer Behavior

The study of Consumer Behavior helps in understanding how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources like time, money, and effort while purchasing goods and services. It is a subject that explains the basic questions that a normal consumer faces − what to buy, why to buy, when to buy, where to buy from, how often to buy, and how they use it.

Study of Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is a complex and multidimensional process that reflects the totality of consumer decisions with respect to acquisition, consumption, and disposal of goods and services.

Dimensions of Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is multidimensional in nature and it is influenced by the following subjects −

  • Psychology is a discipline that deals with the study of mind and behavior. It helps in understanding individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. Psychology plays a vital role in understanding how consumers behave while making a purchase.

  • Sociology is the study of groups. When individuals form groups, their actions are sometimes relatively different from the actions of those individuals when they are operating individually.

  • Social Psychology is a combination of sociology and psychology. It explains how an individual operates in a group. Group dynamics play an important role in purchasing decisions. Opinions of peers, reference groups, their families and opinion leaders influence individuals in their behavior.

  • Cultural Anthropology is the study of human beings in society. It explores the development of central beliefs, values and customs that individuals inherit from their parents, which influence their purchasing patterns.