Factors that determine what, when and how to buy

Marketing gurus all over the globe are overwhelmed by the intriguing process of consumer decision making while buying. A person while decoding what to buy is influenced by scores of factors and understanding these clearly help marketing campaigners to devise suitable strategies.

Economic factor:

When it comes to the actual act of buying anything, economics has a definitive role in it. At the end of the day, you will not buy a product whose price is beyond your capacity to pay. The disposable income of a customer increases his or her purchasing power and that in turn leads to a purchase. Without a purchasing power a personal demand cannot be fulfilled.

A prospective buyer will never fully detach himself from cost-benefit analysis (which always goes on back of his mind while making a buying decision). The price comparison and evaluating pros and cons (here product reviews play a significant role) help the buyer to select a right product.

Since cost is so important, the role of saving opportunities (discount deals, coupons, holiday shopping offers etc.) play very motivating role in deciding to buy. The impact of saving factor on buying decision can be gauged from the fact that estimated number of e-coupons redeemed worldwide has increased from 16 billion in 2014 to 31 billion in 2019.

Psychological factors:

Psychological factors are very important in determining personal preferences. The psychological factors like motivation, perception and beliefs etc, determine what a person will buy.

Motivation is a primary factor that influences somebody to buy certain products. The whole marketing business revolves around motivating people to buy particular products and billions of dollars are allocated by businesses to motivate people. For example, videos with emotional appeal are now considered as the best tools of marketing. Colors also create emotional connection and brands know it. A brand can’t tell its entire story through its logo or store-front. How brands use color schemes in their websites, in-store design, logo and advertisements do a great job in enhancing brand association and awareness.

Perception is a very strong influencer in deciding what to buy. People tend to buy a product which they perceive as high in quality and best in fashion or trending. The brand image is based on perception and today’s marketing gurus use great web content to create a good image of their brands. Let’s deliberate a little about how to get more customers attracted towards brand:

How brands attract customers?

The brands attract customers through building a better brand image and improving it constantly. Here is what they do to achieve this purpose.

  • Communicate brand value: The brand values id determined by quality, customer satisfaction, excellent after sales service and customer care etc. These attributes must be communicated to customers and other audience by every means. Through employees, websites, brand ambassadors etc. The aspect of good customer service needs to be taken most seriously. Customers will not trust a brand which do not satisfy their queries in time. 88% of online customers are less likely to buy from companies that leave their social media complaints unanswered.
  • Be smartly consistent: Keep in touch with customers on a consistent basis and share events and happenings, new launches and promotions. Celebrate your successes with customers offering discounts. Participate in their happy events by sending congratulations on their birthdays. This way your branch will develop a strong bonding with them.
  • Know your audience: If you focus on audience persona demographics your chances of devising right strategy for different segments will be more beneficial.
Online shopping buying habits
Photo: Bruce Mars, Pexels.

Social Factors:

Man is a social animal and lives in society. The human beings interact with other fellows and are influenced by reference groups (Friends, family or workplace colleagues etc.) The social groups which human being belongs to affect their purchasing decision. According to Hubspot, 57% of American consumers trust their friends and family the most when they discover a new product or company. People tend to buy what their friends recommend them on the basis of their experiences. In other words, buying a particular brand laptop or cell phone.

The common societal trends that become very popular also have a profound impact on consumer’s purchasing behavior. A very good example of this phenomenon is preference of fast food over home cooked food especially in youth.

The consumer buying decision is also influenced by his or her social situation. You might be a frequent visitor of fast food restaurants like Domino and McDonald, but on a date you would prefer visiting some upscale Restaurant.

Personal Factors:

Your personal attributes also contribute to what and how you make your buying decisions. I will explain the importance of personal factors with three parameters .i.e. gender, age and life style.

Gender: This is the most important among all the personal factors. Man and woman are psychologically different. Women generally tend to show more apprehensions, warmth and sensitivity and that reflects in their shopping behavior as well. A study titled “The impact of gender on consumer purchasing behavior” published in IOSR Journal of Business and Management in 2017, describes the implications of different gender attributes on shopping behavior as follows:

  • Women prefer very fine distinctions. Men prefer to see big picture as they think Macro way.
  • Women want more interactions where as men want quick answers. This is described in the study in following statement:
  • Women are gatherers while men are hunters.
  • Men usually do not wait for deals but buy on immediate needs. The women on other hand feel pride on their ability to get the best product at the best price.

Age: The needs of people change as they grow. From toys in childhood to clothing and fashion in teen age the priorities change in life. The buying influencers for different age groups also differ. According to BRP Consulting, the consumers aged 38 and up (called traditional consumers) are more price-driven than digital consumers (those aged 18-37). Age does not influence our buying decisions only, it influences the marketer’s strategies as well. They target products for millennials, middle aged and elderly quite differently.

Life-style: Your life style also determines your shopping behavior. Based on which income group one is in, the shopping behavior changes. While a low income group person will buy more on the basis of utility, the aspects of design, special features and styling will be of more importance in people enjoying high income group’s life style.
Before winding up it will be highly desirable to have a look on some interesting statistics about consumer behavior:

Some Interesting Stats about Consumer behavior:

  • 89% of consumers say they will stop transacting with a business after experiencing a poor customer service
  • 63% of consumers say that good images are more important than product descriptions
  • Best price is the most important attribute in deciding where to buy as 36% consumers consider it the most valid reason
  • 98% of Americans shop online. 58% of those who don’t, say that shipping costs stop them from online purchases
  • 84% of all American shoppers have made impulse purchases
  • When asked what type of content they want from brands and business, 54% replied “videos”
  • 61.8% of teens (Age 14-17) will be digital shoppers
Evelyn Johnson
Evelyn Johnson
A writer by day and a reader by night, Evelyn is a blogger and content marketer from Australia. She started her career as a junior writer in an Ad agency but with the passage of time her passion from food and travel grew so much that she started writing her own articles and blogs and get them posted on major Australian websites.
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