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What is Consumer Behaviour in Marketing? Patterns, Types and Segmentation

Whether buying a dress or getting a new car, modern consumers always conduct detailed research on several product characteristics and compare the prices online. Diverse pointers (including both simple and complex patterns) keep marketers wondering the secret behind the immense popularity of select brands. Hence, studying and understanding consumer behaviour in marketing is a key ingredient for an effective brand marketing plan.

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Consumer behaviour studies different patterns of customer impressions, interactions, and feedback for any product to understand their needs better. To continue being the leading choice for customers, businesses must actively learn about their needs and pain points. Knowing your customer’s requirements and problems would help you better serve the target audience and personalise your product/services to cater to their demands.

Thanks to advanced technology and data, understanding consumer behaviour has become simple and transparent. While studying consumer behaviour is the go-to mantra for marketers and brands, let’s see how customer behaviour influences modern marketing.

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What is Consumer Behaviour?

Consumer behaviour refers to the study of individuals, groups, or organisations’ buying or shopping patterns. These activities are not concluded on a whim – it involves detailed research and analysis to help marketers identify the factors leading to a purchase, the intent behind searches, etc. 

While studying consumer behaviour, marketers must run detailed assessments of the target users’ psychology, motivations, behaviour, and buying patterns. 

Importance of Assessing Consumer Behaviour

When leading brands analyse consumer behaviour, they segment their audience by age, gender, location, and other factors like seasons or festivals. The data obtained through this analysis allows marketers to align their product development ideas, marketing campaigns, brand outreach, and other critical business decisions. Such meticulously planned strategies enable companies to modify and improve their products/services and marketing campaigns for increased customer-brand engagement. Most importantly, marketers can customise their ads and marketing approaches to best suit the different buyer personas.

Factors Affecting Consumer Behaviour

Personal factors can affect consumer behaviour, including psychological, social, economic, personal, and cultural factors. These factors are not under a marketer’s control, but a few factors under the marketer’s control that can influence consumer behaviour include marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and competitive pricing. 

Assessing consumer behaviour and modifying marketing techniques can turn tables for any business, irrespective of its size. 

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Types of Consumer Behaviour

While buying habits differ from individual to individual, consumers often follow similar behavioural patterns while searching for and purchasing specific goods, especially durable items. 

The four main consumer behaviour types are – 

Variety-seeking buying behaviour

Several features of newly launched or previously unused products often compel consumers to buy them, typically known as variety-seeking behaviour. Essentially, customers exhibit this behaviour when trying new products or variants out of curiosity. The buying behaviour does not mean they did not like the previous variant – it simply conveys a need to experiment with varieties. 

Habitual buying behaviour

Habitual buying behaviour might resonate with brand loyalty, but they are different. Habitual buying behaviour occurs when customers have little to no involvement in the selection process of a product as they simply pick what they require or usually use rather than relying on specific features, such as a pack of juice for breakfast. 

Complex buying behaviour

Complex buying consumer behaviour is observed with expensive purchases that demand a careful analysis of one’s budget, the product’s features, benefits, and pricing. For example, buying a car or a house involves complex buying behaviour.

Dissonance-reducing buying behaviour

Dissonance-reducing buying behaviour leads consumers to encounter confusion among products and in-depth involvement in the buying process to pick out the best match. This buying behaviour often leads consumers to doubt their choice. 

Patterns in Consumer Behaviour

Patterns in consumer behaviour refer to common buying trends among customers. So, while the trends are similar, customers might depict unique buying habits. 

The most prominently observed buying patterns include – 

Shopping location

Shopping locations switch for consumers with product availability and accessibility. Marketers can study customer behaviour by geographic location and identify the best location to target maximum customers (matching the company’s buyer personas). Accordingly, they can extend their services in the relevant key locations.

Product availability

Marketers can observe the product availability in stores and online and analyse shopping carts to understand a product/service’s demand among consumers. Availability is also subject to the pricing allotted to different products, which might help marketers understand what price range is fitting for various customer segments. 

Buying method

The buying method is a significant consumer behaviour pattern that relies mainly on consumers’ convenience. Knowing customers’ preferred buying methods enables marketers to identify meaningful ways and create enriching customer experiences to encourage buyers to purchase from them repeatedly. 

Purchase frequency

Marketers or shopping outlets must follow a customer’s purchase frequency of a product to analyse its popularity. Accordingly, they can restock it and create attractive marketing strategies to attract customers to the target products. 

Segmentation of Consumer Behaviour

Segmentation of consumer behaviour refers to analysing the different features consumers seek in their products to make repetitive purchases. 

Usage Status

The frequency at which a customer interacts with a brand provides information about their brand loyalty, helping marketers target them through better customisation. Consumers are further segmented into three sections: light, medium, or heavy product users.

Benefits Sought

Primary benefits a consumer seeks in the product segments them following the unique value they desire out of a product. These factors can provide in-depth insight into the most appreciated factors and those that don’t work. 

Customer Loyalty

Assessing consumer behaviour can help marketers understand consumers’ interest and interaction frequency with the brand. Depending on the frequent and infrequent engagements, brands can improve or modify their service to suit the demand. 

Customer Journey

Segmentation of customers following the customer journey of buying a product allows marketers to evaluate their strongest and weakest links. A customer’s journey might end with a successful purchase or return from the last stage due to an inconvenience. Knowing which stage fumbles a customer will allow marketers to improve their backend and personalisation measures, inevitably enhancing the overall experience and strengthening the conversion process.

Timing-Based

Timing-based purchases allow marketers to assess the market demand and extend products or services based on the relevant timings for maximum engagement. For example, customer interaction during holiday seasons for a particular product informs a marketer that they should stock more of that product in the next holiday season. 

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Conclusion

Just like a customer makes a well-informed decision before buying a product, make sure to run a detailed analysis of consumer behaviour to identify the improvement areas in your product development, marketing, and customer experience areas and devise the right strategies for better engagement. Factors influencing consumer behaviour are also essential to decode and redeem optimum results from strategies. 

What are a few factors influencing consumer behaviour?

There are five different factors influencing consumer behaviour, which include: 1. Psychological factors, 2. Cultural Factors, 3. Social Factors, 4. Economic Factors, 5. Cultural Factors. These factors play a crucial role in defining and modifying customers' buying behaviour.

How to change consumer behaviour?

Understanding the vital points of consumer behaviour and the various motivations backing a purchase allows brands to improve their offerings. Marketers can target these points and create content aligning with the same beliefs to draw more audience and sales.

What is consumer motivation?

Consumer motivation refers to the internal drive to buy a product or service to fulfil rational or irrational motives. It can be either a requirement or simply an impulsive desire to fulfil demands. Still, this motivation is an internal state of any consumer that can lead them to buy things entirely out of their everyday purchase scope.

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