When trying to discover what makes a successful business, it’s fairly obvious that customers are the driving force behind any company’s success. Regardless of the industry you’re in, your customer base, or lack thereof, is the strongest indicator if your business has what it takes to go the distance or if you’re destined to be an afterthought.
Given the importance of both attracting and retaining customers, one of your primary marketing focus areas needs to be the study of one metric: consumer behavior. Understanding your target customer base and the behaviors that drive them is essential to meeting their demands and growing your bottom line. However, consumer behavior isn’t a concept that can be neatly categorized as simply fulfilling a customer’s desires and expectations. There are many factors that must be studied before a full analysis of consumer behavior can be utilized for both your business and your customers.
As such, the following article explores consumer behavior, patterns to look for, their significance, and the factors that can influence them.
Table of Contents
Defining Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior is the study of how consumers select, consume, and stop using products and services. The process of studying these actions includes the observation and recording of customers’ thoughts, emotions, and actions taken during the customer journey.
In the eCommerce realm, the study of consumer behavior examines how consumers select items, their purchasing patterns, why they avoid particular products, and how they engage with a product or service; therefore, this area of study goes beyond simply considering what consumers want and don’t want.
Key Aspects in the Investigation of Consumer Behavior
As previously mentioned above, consumer behavior consists of more than just the analysis of the emotions sparked and the actions taken during the customer journey. There are several factors need to be studied regarding the effects on consumer behavior:
- Purchasing patterns, including locations, frequency, and devices used;
- Purchasing trends and background factors that affect whether or not consumers make purchases;
- Consumer perceptions of alternative products or services, sometimes referred to as dupes;
- Preferred methods of shopping. This includes big-box stores versus mom-and-pop shops, in-store versus online, or both, etc;
- How consumers search for companies;
- Consumers’ reasoning behind selecting certain options over others;
- How consumers are affected by their surroundings, including their friends, the media culture, and other members of the target market;
- How marketing campaigns affect or have an impact on consumer behavior.
The Importance of Examining Consumer Behavior
Examining consumer behavior is an extremely important endeavor as it paints a clear portrait of the people who make up your customer base, enabling businesses to market and engage with consumers. By better understanding consumer behaviors, brands can adjust and improve their marketing strategies, offers, promotions, customer services, and more. Although the study of consumer behavior can be a lengthy process, the bottom line in conducting this research is that it ensures the possibility for brands to influence consumers more effectively.
Additionally, by studying consumer behavior, marketing teams can promote their products more persuasively and with greater impact. Exposing consumers to marketing and advertising messages encourages them to make purchases regularly and increases the frequency they interact with a brand. In this way, interacting with a business, whether through viewing its content or browsing its offers, imprints in a consumer’s mind. This methodology is extremely important in creating brand awareness.
In conclusion, the study of consumer behavior enables companies to better understand their clientele so they can adjust marketing strategies to acquire long-term clients.
Consumer Behavior Patterns
It is crucial to recognize the patterns shaping consumer behavior. Buying habits should not be mistaken for buying patterns due to the fact they refer to tendencies that can be read as spontaneous and not patterns showing predictable display predictable outcomes.
Here are several consumer behavior patterns
- Items purchased – Shopping carts are an excellent source of business, as they show what and how much a consumer purchases. A typical pattern is that shoppers buy necessities more frequently and in larger quantities, while they purchase luxury goods less frequently and in smaller quantities.
- Place of purchase – Even with the availability of goods at just a single site, consumers often browse multiple websites to compare prices, product features, and reviews before making a purchase. Consumers are more likely to buy products from multiple sites when they are not limited to a single site. As such, it is important to examine purchase patterns, because this metric reveals consumers’ preferences and gives insight into the sites their clients visit.
- Method of purchase – The method by which a customer makes a purchase reveals the type of customer they are. This metric can be deduced due to the fact that there are numerous ways to make purchases, each of which is connected to a different customer journey. Businesses that mine this type of data regarding behavior patterns can better identify solutions to encourage frequent and repeat purchases.
- Frequency and timing of purchase – consumers make purchases at various intervals and rates. Businesses can better serve their customers by understanding the timing and frequency of their purchases. Studying these factors help companies to adapt to seasonal changes, as well as regional and international time differences.
Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior
There are a myriad of factors that influence consumer behavior. As such, businesses should become familiar with these consumer behavior variables as they all can have an impact on consumer behavior and behavior patterns.
Businesses can comprehend and decipher client behavior more clearly when they examine the behavior in light of these factors:
- State of the economy
- Marketing campaigns
- Personality traits
- Personal preferences
- Social trends
- Website design
- Product selection
- Customer reviews
- Shipping and delivery
- Customer service
The Importance of Market Research in Understanding Consumer Behavior
By conducting market research, businesses can achieve a better understanding of the key aspects of their consumers’ behavior. This understanding helps the business improve its marketing strategies and campaigns.
There are many different types of research that fall within the overall confines of marketing research, including both primary and secondary research, as well as quantitative and qualitative studies. To better understand the consumers’ behaviors, all businesses should consult primary sources, namely polls or surveys.
Polls or surveys help researchers determine where their target market is in relation to all the variables and patterns of consumer behavior. Additionally, they allow brands to ask specific questions on all patterns, including buying habits, locations of purchases, frequency, etc.
Conclusion: Improving Business Goals and Scaling by Understanding Your Target Market
As this article has worked to demonstrate, market research, particularly survey research, is extremely important for companies to better understand how their consumers shop, which behavior patterns they follow, and how to use this information to their advantage.
Selecting the right online platform is the most important aspect of marketing research as not all market research platforms are created equal. Intellivy is an all-in-one marketplace simulation tool that helps you to craft informative polls and get answers from a database with over 320,000 real shoppers in the U.S. In addition to receiving data-driven human insights, you’ll also get help optimizing your listings and tips on improving product design. With Intellivy, you’ll have the ability to skyrocket your sales and reach your business goals in no time!
Discover all the benefits offered by our platform, and how it can help you. Start your 7-day free trial now!