Introduction to customer behavior
Imagine a situation: A house wife and a college going boy goes to the super market to buy Grocery for the month. Housewife buys the following goods: 5 kgs flour packet, 2 lits oil, Cornflakes, Pulses, Dish wash/Detergents. While the college going boys buys the following goods, Ready-to-eat products, Cans of Cold Drinks/juices, Junks item like: chips, chocolates, Easy to cook mixes. Let us understand how both the consumer different in their behavior of buying.
Definition of customer behavior
Consumer behavior is the behavior that a consumer displays in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs.
Types of consuming entity
Consuming entity can be divided into two: personal computer and organizational consumer. Where personal consumer buys the product or service for his/her own use, they buy for household use; they also may buy for gifting purpose. And where organizational customer buys product or service for to run the organization and these organizations could be profit/non-profit business, government agent, institutes etc.
Dynamics of Consumer
Dynamics of customer also depends on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral.
Hierarchy of Need
Every consumer goes to buy a product when they are in need. This is explained in they theory proposed by Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of need’
According to Maslow there are five levels of needs. Maslow theory is defined as that the lower needs must be met before an individual can strive to meet the higher needs
Physiological level is the base level which includes hunger, thirst, sex, safety level includes security and protection, social level includes belonging, love, Esteem level includes recognition and achievement and self-Actualization includes fulfillment.
These needs are necessary for life; unmet, these needs lead to death. Those needs are food, water, oxygen, sleep, sensory needs, motor needs.
The need to be free from anxiety and fear, they need to be secure in the environment, and they need for order and routine.
Human beings are social in nature. Without a society they can’t survive, it means people have to mingle each other, gather each other etc.
Feeling important and worthwhile includes respect, approval, and appreciation and also engages in activities that bring achievement, success, and recognition.
Self-realization; obtaining our full potential; becoming confident, eager to express our beliefs, and willing to reach out to others to help them are the needs included in self-actualization.
What Influences Consumer Behavior?
Generally there are three factors which influences customer behaviour and they are cultural factors, social factors and personal factors.
Where culture is the social behavior of the person. The fundamental determinant of a person’s needs and behaviors acquired through socialization processes with family and other key institutions.
Social factors include the perceptions of inferior or superior position. Upper middles, Middle class, Working class. The reference groups are family, friends, Groups.
And Personal factors are the self-concept that includes all the factors like: Age, Life cycle stage, Occupation, Lifestyle, Values, Personality, and Wealth.