6 Questions To Ask To Understand Consumer Behavior

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To properly understand marketing, it is inevitable that one must thoroughly study consumer behavior. There are many applications to study consumer practices such as their pre-purchasing habits, preferences, the psychology behind a purchase, etc. For large organizations, small businesses, or even individuals in business – consumer behavior is a helpful tool to assist in motivating consumers to become YOUR customers. By studying the habits of your target market, you can tailor your products to their needs and generate the desire to purchase the product from you. 

What Do We Need To Know About Consumer Behavior?

The 5 W’s and a How – these are the basic questions when collecting any type of information. The study of consumer behavior attempts to answer these 6 questions about the behaviors of consumers regarding a purchase. 

  1. Why are they purchasing products?
    Ask yourself what motivates a consumer to buy a product such as yours. They might feel the effects of societal or cultural peer pressure. Perhaps it is a part of their lifestyle or a choice they have to make motivated by some ideology. There are many reasons to buy a product, and understanding the reason can help you market to the consumer more effectively.

  2. Where do they seek to purchase these products from?
    It is beneficial to know where consumers go when they are in need of a product. For example, consumers typically go to a pharmacy when in search of medication. Marketing your product in the right space is a logical choice.

  3. What influences their decision to purchase?
    Deciding on a purchase is a complex process. A number of factors can impact this process, and marketers need to pay close attention to them. The ability to change these factors, or use them to your advantage, can greatly change the outcome of your marketing strategy.

  4. Who do they buy from?
    The character or personality of the business, brand , can be a deciding factor for which business they choose to buy from. 

5. When is the purchase due?
   Purchases are either made once in a lifetime, or at regular intervals. Generally, a pattern can be observed for the timing       consumers choose to purchase a product. Usually, this pattern is dependent on external factors that can either be controlled or    followed.

6. How do they purchase a product?
The process that consumers go through – from the moment they discover the need for a product, to seeking it, to finally  deciding to buy it, is complicated. Learning the methods in which they decide to consume a product can help businesses influence those decisions.

How To Use Consumer Behavior Studies

When marketing a product, keep in mind any factors that you can change to affect consumer behavior. Remember, you are trying to cater to their needs, to create a desire for your product. 

Let us say you are selling umbrellas. Based on your study of consumer behavior, you realize:

  • they purchase bigger umbrellas
  • more people search for umbrellas outdoors
  • heavy rain is a motivating factor
  • cheaper vendors get more traffic
  • purchases are made during the rainy season (winter)
  • they decide to buy them in a hurry

Typically, this results in vendors selling cheap, big umbrellas; during winter, on busy streets, during rush hour when it’s raining. 

The basic model that people use to market a product can be further tweaked for better results. By changing the idea that umbrellas are needed only for the rain – advertising them as sun shields; you change many factors that were keeping you confined. Market your umbrellas as high quality, for both the sun and the rain, and market the portability of a smaller umbrella. In this way, you can raise the price, sell more units, and sell all year-round.

Using basic knowledge of consumer behavior, marketers can influence the decision process to increase revenue and drive sales up. 

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