Consumer behavior is the decisions and actions that affect the purchasing behavior of a consumer. What drives motivates consumer to choose a particular product with respect to others. So discussing factors affecting consumer behavior in online shopping is need of time. That is often analyzed and studied by marketers.
Due to various factors consumer react to different marketing product differently. They react different significantly on the same products. These factors not affect equally to all buyers. Except have varying effect on their behaviors.
Factors that affect on consumer behavior classified as 4 main categories.
1. Cultural Factors affecting consumer behavior:
Factor have major impact on consumer behavior are cultural factors. Cultural factors includes broad culture, sub-culture, and culture of social classes.
a. Broad culture:
Culture broadly defined as: The way of living, doing, and worshiping. Culture determine our total pattern of life. Every culture has its values, customs, traditions, and beliefs, which determine needs, preference, and overall behavior. Every member is bound to follow cultural values to which he belongs.
Culture reflect in following ways:
- Family life/social system
- Role of women
- Woman education
- Approach to work and leisure
- Approach to life
- Ethics in economic dealings
- Residence pattern
- Geographic factor
- Impact of other cultures, and so on
Marketer must be aware of the relevant cultural aspects. Marketing program should be designed accordingly.
b. Sub culture:
Each subculture provides more specific identification of members belong to it. Product and marketing program should be prepared in light of subcultures.
Every nation has its own unique culture that shapes and controls behavior its citizens. Consumers of different nations hold different behavior toward the company’s products and strategies. The company can concentrate on one or more nations to serve.
Every religion has its culture that have impact on its followers. Consumer behavior is directly affected by religion. That are associated with the celebration of various religious events and festivals.
iii. Racial Groups
Each culture, have various racial groups. Each group responds differently to marketing offers due to different cultural backgrounds.
iv. Geographical Regions
Each geographic region represents specific culture and differs in terms of needs and use of products.
c. Culture of Social Classes:
Social classes are based on caste system. Members of different castes have their cultures and accordingly, they perform certain roles. Every social class has its culture that affects behavior of its members. They show distinct product and brand preferences in many areas. Marketer should design his marketing program to cater the needs of specific social classes.
2. Social Factors affecting consumer behavior:
Consumer response to product, brand, and company is influenced by a number of social factors. Marketer needs to analyze these social factors of his target market to cater its needs effectively.
Family is one of the most powerful social factors affecting consumer behavior more significant in joint family. Each members of family select product that is acceptable to elder or family values.
b. Reference Groups
This group have a direct or indirect influence on the person’s attitudes or behavior. Reference group include the following group:
i. Primary reference groups: They are informal groups such as family members, etc. With whom the person interact fairly continuously. Habits, life-style, and opinions of these groups have direct impact on the person.
ii. Secondary reference groups: They tend to be more formal groups such as religious groups, professional groups, etc. That affect buying decisions of an individual buyer.
c. Roles and Statuses
A person plays various roles in many groups throughout his life. Each role carries status. Therefore, marketer must be aware of the status symbol potential of products and brands. The marketer should also try to associate products and brands with specific roles and status.
d. Social Customs and Traditions
Social customs associated with religion, caste, or economic aspects. Customs determine needs and preference of products in different occasions. Hence, affect consumer behavior.
e. Income Level
Income affects needs and wants of consumers. Preference of the rich consumers and the poor consumers differ notably. Marketer must be aware of expectations of different income groups of his target market.
3. Personal Factors affecting consumer behavior:
Personal factors are related to the buyer himself. These factors includes following:
a. Age and Stage in Life Cycle
Need and preference vary from age to age. So marketer may concentrate on one or more stages of his target consumers’ life cycle. Use of different product depends on age and stage of buyers’ life cycle.
Buying and using pattern of consumer is affected by a person’s occupation. So company can specialize its products according to needs and wants of special professional groups.
c. Economic Circumstances
Product preference, are largely affected by consumers’ economic circumstances. Economic circumstances consist of spendable income, income stability, level of savings, assets, debts, borrowing power, and attitudes toward saving versus spending. Therefore people buy products keeping in mind these economic circumstances.
d. Life Style
People with the same culture differ in term of their life style. Knowledge of life style of the target market is essential for marketer to design more relevant marketing program. Every product has potential to suit different life styles.
Personality is a distinguished set of physical and psychotically characteristics that lead to relatively consistent to one’s environment. Therefore every person buys that product which suits his personality.
Sex affects buying behavior. Some products are male-dominated while some are female-dominated. Marketer must be aware of gender-effect on buying behavior of the market.
Education makes the difference. Highly educated, moderately educated, less educated, and illiterates differ considerably in terms of their needs and preferences. Buyers’ color choice, quality-orientation, services and other aspects have more or less educational significance.
4. Psychological Factor affecting consumer behavior:
It is difficult to measure the impact of psychological factors as they are internal. But are much powerful to control persons’ buying choice. So marketer must try to understand probable role the factors play in making buying decisions.
Psychological factor include the following factor:
Motivation is closely related to human needs. Some needs are physiological in nature. Other needs are psychological in nature. Motivation comes from motive; motive is expression of needs. Thus, a motive is the need that is sufficiently pressing to drive the person to act.
People hold one or more of following motives to buy:
- Satisfy basic needs like hunger, thirst, or love
- Protect from economic, physical or mental hazards
- Get social status
- Be recognized or appreciated
- To be respected
- To avoid physical or mental stress
Knowledge of this concept assists the manager to understand deeper motives, the people hold for buying different products
Most human behavior is learned. Learning is basically concerned with experience of an individual. Sufficient knowledge of learning is an important input for the marketer to design the meaningful marketing program.
Positive and negative beliefs have their impact on purchase decisions. Marketer can create positive belief by associating strong aspects related to product and brand. Therefore marketer must try to know what type of beliefs people hold about company, products, and brands. Such knowledge must be incorporated in preparing an effective marketing program.