Have you ever been in a supermarket to buy certain goods but ended up with impulse buying?
For example you was expecting to go the mall and bought shampoo but unfortunately you bought foods and clothes instead.
If yes, please do not panic because this is a scenario that happened all the time with people. We are participating in a consumer buying decision process that allows us to make a decision on what we are buying. It is called Customer behaviors (Mason, 2010).
What is Customer behavior? Why it is important?
It is a study how people make decision on what they buy.
For years marketers and organizations have been investigating the purchase decision processes and they have come up with strategies to attract consumer’s attention.
So Why is it important?
We could imagine that customer is like the lifeblood of any organizations. An insight understanding about the customer behavior would allow organizations to produce more useful and attractive products. It would also help firms to predict how their potential customer will respond to the latest product.
Some question might be simple like this:
- What type of customers would like to buy it?
- Why they want to buy it?
- How often they gonna buy it?
How can we influence the customer behaviors?
There are four factors can influence Customer behaviors, namely: Psychological, Personal, Social and Cultural.
Let take a look to see how these factors affect Customer behavior in an Automobile industry.
It would be useless if a car salesman introduces a brand new Camry to you and told you “This is a best car you can get, because it is realizable and saving energy”.
In fact, they will ask you several question to determine how much money are you willing to pay for a car, how often you use it and any particular features that you want in that car. They would also allow you to touch the car, have a drive test and enjoy the car facilities. This is where Psychological influence your behaviors, it motivates you with good feelings, changing your perception, belief and attitude (Perreau, n.d.) .This factor will drive you to develop a purchasing behavior. It is changing the making decision process of the customer and the way they thinking about the products (Iacobucci, 2014).
Personal factor also should be taken into account that influences customer behavior.
Car manufactures and car salesman might want to consider the lifestyle and the age of the customer before giving advises to the customer. For example, if we are selling cars for a 70-year-old customer and a 25-year-old customer, there is high a possibility that a 70-year-old customer would opt for a sedan with user-friendly and reliable car whereas the 25-year-old customer would rather have a sport car with strong engine. From this point of view, we could see that the customer’s characteristics influence their decisions as well as the buying behaviors. (Perreau, n.d.)
Figure 2: Gale Toyota Official Team (2014)
How about social and cultural? How can these factors influence Customer behaviors?
Apparently, when people are buying a car they are divided into 2 types. The first type is who considered it as a mean of transportation and the other type would consider it as a status of wealth, a status of success. This is where Social roles and status factor come in and affect the customer behaviors. If you are running a business, driving a luxury car would reflect your social status and it is a symbol to show that your business is running well, whereas driving a small car would create an illusion that your are less serious in your business or your business is not operating well. That is a reason why automobile manufactures are trying to create an image that link their car to the customer’s social status in order to boost the sales.
So, What could we do as a marketer to influence customer behaviors?
From my perspective, the on way to influence the customer behaviors is through research, do some research on your potential customers. Had you ever watched “The Wolf of Wall street”? There was a scene that Jordan Belfort was asking people to sell him a pen. People was starting describe a pen as a useful tool, and describe its function but it is not the case. The only way to do it is by asking customers questions, understanding their personal’s characteristics, knowing what they are looking for and what are they social status, cultural. Affecting them with optimistic feelings so they can end up with purchasing decision.
Figure 4: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street – Sell me this pen’, (Shouaipo 2014)
Published by: Huy Dao
Student ID: 215231405
WordPress Username: HuyDao
Chris madden, Impulse buying cartoon, retrieved 1 August 2016 <http://www.chrismadden.co.uk/cartoon-gallery/impulse-buyer-cartoon/>.
Gale Toyota Official Team 2014, Gale Toyota Official Blog, retrieved 30 July 2016, <http://www.galetoyota.com/blog/2015-toyota-camry-vs-2015-mazda-6/>
Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, Mason, Ohio : South-Western ; Andover : Cengage Learning [distributor], , retrieved 1 August 2016, DEAKIN UNIV LIBRARY’s Catalog, EBSCOhost.
Mason, WH 2010, ‘Consumer Behavior’, Reference for Business, Retrieved 1 August 2016, <http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Comp-De/Consumer-Behavior.html>.
McPheat, Sean n.d., Linked in, Retrieved 1 August 2016, <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140808081847-27246208–sell-me-this-pen-so-how-exactly-should-you-respond>.
Perreau, F n.d., ‘The 4 factors influencing customer behavior’, The customer factor, Retrieved 1 August 2016, <http://theconsumerfactor.com/en/4-factors-influencing-consumer-behavior/> .
Shouaipo, 2014, The Wolf of Wall Street – Sell me this pen, You Tube, retrieved 30 July 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCfntaYBeqs>.