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What is the buying behaviour process?

Updated: Nov 9, 2023


Date of publication: 17/06/2022

The written definition about buying behaviour is the process that leads consumers to acquire your product. In fact, from the moment they discover it to the moment they buy it, we can call it buying behaviour. Also, they may repeat the purchase in some cases. Purchase behaviour includes several data points. For example : time of purchase, duration, frequency, purchase price, and other measures that gauge how consumers perceive the product. Specifically, these measures are grouped into different purchase categories, which in turn indicate how buyers engage in a purchase decision.

Why should you pay attention to buyer behaviour?

Moreover, it is very useful, if not essential, to analyse the buying behaviour of customers. This study of consumer behaviour allows marketers to understand what influences consumers’ decisions and consumption patterns. Therefore, by understanding the factors that lead a customer to buy a product, companies can improve their marketing plans and better meet the needs of prospects.

Apart from that, buying behaviour helps marketers to know how to present their offer, to generate maximum impact on consumers. Hence, it is essential to understand the customer journey to know when and why the customer decides to buy that particular product. As a result, a good understanding of buying behaviour will help a company to tailor its marketing messages to the buying behaviour of consumers, and the type of buyers.

Factors driving buying behaviour

Yet is it essential to note that rational (price, etc) and irrational (feelings, etc) considerations influence buying behaviour. The factors that have an impact on it are :

- Cognitive factors, which include rational considerations such as the value of the product,

- Conative factors, which include buying patterns such as brand loyalty,

- Affective factors, which include irrational considerations such as personal beliefs.

In particular, purchase decisions depend on the immediate needs of the potential consumer and their personal preferences. In addition, it depends on how they are exposed to marketing messages and social influences.

There are four types of consumer buying behaviour :

Firstly, there is complex consumer buying behaviour. This is when customers are in the market to buy an item at a high price. However, an expensive purchase is rarer than a purchase at a usual price. Therefore, consumers are much more involved in the purchase decision, as it represents a larger sum of money.

Secondly, there is the dissonance reduction buying behaviour. This behaviour is common, as products at hand are generally more expensive.

Then, there is the habitual buying behaviour, which has a low implication in the buying decision. This is because it is usually a repeat purchase. So, the product purchased is often used in the daily habits of consumers, e.g. food, etc.

Finally, the variant-seeking purchase behaviour. This is the one with the lowest involvement of customers as they regularly switch brands. This happens due to perceived differences in brands. Therefore, switching from one product to another is profitable, so customers can test different items.

buying behaviour map

But one of the main insights into buying behaviour is the factors that influence it.

  • There are cultural factors, i.e. there are many different cultures and values depending on our upbringing and where we live. Also, it differs in terms of social class, etc.

  • Social factors, more specifically family, membership groups, etc.

  • Personal factors, i.e. everything to do with profession, personality, etc.

  • And psychological factors, such as motivation and beliefs.

In this category, we can include Maslow's pyramid. In particular, this is a pyramidal representation of the hierarchy of needs that interprets the theory of motivation. The latter is based on the observations made in the 1940s by the psychologist Abraham Maslow.

mallow's pyramid


Reference List


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