Buying behaviour may be defined as the decisions and actions of people involved in buying and using products. Consumer buying behaviour refers to the purchasing of products for personal or household use, not for business purposes. Organizational buying behaviour is the purchasing of products by producers, resellers, governmental units, and institutions. Since a firm’s success depends greatly on buyers reactions to a particular marketing strategy, it is important to understand buying behaviour. Marketing managers are better able to predict consumer responses to marketing strategies and to develop a satisfying marketing mix if they know the factors that affect buying behaviour.
CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR
Consumers’ buying behaviours differ when they buy different types of products. For frequently-purchased, low-cost items, a consumer employs routine behaviour, involving very little search or decision-making effort. The buyer uses limited decision making for purchases made occasionally. When buying an unfamiliar, expensive item or one that is seldom purchased, the consumer engages in extensive decision making.
A person deciding on a purchase goes through some or all of the steps. First, the consumer acknowledges that a problem exists. Then the buyer looks for information, which may include brand names, product characteristics, warranties, and other features. Next, the buyer weighs the various alternatives and then finally makes a choice and acquires the item. In the after-purchase stage, the consumer evaluates the suitability of the product. This judgment will affect future purchases. The buying process is influenced by person-specific factors (demographic, situational), psychological factors (perception, motives, learning, attitudes, personality), and social factors (family, roles, peer groups, social class, culture and subculture).
Organizational buyers consider a product’s quality, its price, and the service provided by suppliers. Organizational buyers are usually better informed than consumers about the products they buy and generally buy in larger quantities. In an organization, a committee or group of people, rather than single individuals, often decide on purchases. Committee members must consider the organization’s objectives, purchasing policies, resources, and personnel. Organizational buying occurs through description, inspection, sampling, or negotiation.
The principal difference between consumer and organizational buying is that the latter usually involves group decision making. Here, individuals have different roles in the purchasing process, and this idea was first put forward by Frederick E Webster as the Buying Centre. The categories described are now more commonly referred to as the
Decision Making Unit (DMU).
❑ Userswork with or use the product and may be involved in product specification.
❑ Buyershave authority to sign orders and make purchases. Their main role is supplier negotiation and selection.
❑ Decidersare people who make the buying decision (most often the decider and the buyer is the same person).
❑ Influencerscan affect the buying decision in different ways (e.g technical people may have helped in some way to develop the product specification).
❑ Gatekeeperscontrol the flow of information to and from people who buy (e.g a purchasing assistant or the Chief Buyer’s secretary).
Consumer Buying Decision Process and Possible Influences on the Process
(A buyer goes through some or all of these steps when making a purchase).
POSSIBLE INFLUENCES ON THE DECISION PROCESS
Person-specific influences Psychological Social influences
Demographic Perception Family
Situational Motives Roles
Learning Peer groups
Attitudes Social class
Personality Culture and subcultures
CONSUMER BUYING DECISION PROCESS
Recognize Search for Evaluate Purchase Evaluate after
problem information alternatives purchase
2. Find the English equivalents to the following words in the text:
3. Fill in the gaps with the following words or word expressions:
purchase intentions routine purchases final purchasing decision
personal involvement loyalty purchasing behaviour
………. or purchasing patterns refer to what a consumer buys, and when and how he makes his ………. . The first step is usually awareness of the brand. The consumer forms ………. – plans to buy things – which they may or may not act on. ………. of the same products on a repetitive basis (coffee from the coffee machine at the office) have low levels of ………. . Major investments (such as a car) or ………. (such as buying some new shoes or a CD on the way home) have higher levels of personal involvement. Some consumers have very high levels of ………. to a brand or product and they will always buy the same brand.
4. A marketing specialist is talking about purchasing behaviour. Replace the underlined expressions with alternative expressions from the exercise above. One question has two possible answers:
The (1) actual decision to buy a product depends on the type of product or service. With yoghurt, for example, many customers wait until they are in the supermarket, in front of the row of yoghurts, before they decide. On the other hand, for a more expensive product, with higher (2) thought and psychological investment from the consumer, it may take place a long time before the purchase. Our research shows that some customers spend three years thinking about the next type of car they will buy. Obviously, over these three years the (3) plans to buy may change a lot. Then there are those (4) purchases without any thought because they are a habit that we all make without thinking. I always get pasta, eggs and milk at the supermarket so I never write them on the list and I always look out for special offers and promotions. This kind of (5) shopping habit is very difficult for a marketing team to change. However, (6) buying something you like when you see it is created by different customer needs, and here we can really make a difference.
1…………………… 3…………………… 5……………………
2…………………… 4…………………… 6……………………
5. Answer the questions:
1.Define the term ‘buying behaviour’?
2.What does consumer buying behaviour refer to?
3.What does organizational buying behaviour refer to?
4.Why is it important for a firm to understand buying behaviour?
5.What is a consumer’s buying behaviour when buying frequently purchased, low-cost items and when buying an unfamiliar, expensive item?
6.List the main factors which influence the buying process.
7.List the main steps of the consumer buying decision process.
6. Fill in the gaps with the most suitable words below:
fulfill consumption effectively develop positive
obtaining manner decision purchase buyer
As consumers, we are exposed to various experiences and influences. Some of us are more susceptible to change and influences than others. Some of our responses to our environment are the results of our psychological make-up. As our situations change, opportunities emerge and we are subjected to a wider range of influences to which we may consciously or subconsciously respond, in a positive or negative …... Changes in circumstances may arouse inherent needs or promote new needs and wants in our ….. patterns.
The task of marketing is to identify these needs and wants and ….. products and services that will satisfy them. The role of marketing is not to ‘create’ wants, but to ….. them. It is more valuable to find out why something is required. Only by gaining a deep and comprehensive understanding of ….. behaviour can marketing’s goals be realized in terms of becoming better equipped to satisfy customer needs ….. . This should lead to the establishment of a loyal group of customers with ….. attitudes towards the company’s products.
Consumer buyer behaviour is defined as: ‘The acts of individuals directly involved in ….. and using goods and services, including the ….. processes that precede and determine these acts.’
The underlying concept of consumer buyer behaviour relates to a system in which the consumer is the core, surrounded by immediate and wider environments that influence individual goals. Such goals are satisfied by consumers passing through problem-solving stages leading to ….. decisions.
7. Match the term on the left with the definition on the right:
1. Marketing ethics a) an established liking for a particular producer’s products that means you often buy the same product again, even over many years
2. Niche marketing b) large purchases of products that will be used for a long time, even for years. Such purchases are often thought about a lot, with a high level of customer involvement.
3. Brand loyalty c) a spontaneous decision to buy something – you see it – you buy it!
4. Routine purchasing d) aiming a high price, high quality product at a narrow group
of consumers, with a lot of purchasing power (a lot of money)
5. Impulse buying e) repeat buying, with little involvement in the purchase.
6. Fast-moving f) regularly used items that are bought frequently with little
consumer goods personal involvement.
7. Consumer durables g) concern for the environment, for society and for a moral
code in marketing.
8. Fill in the gap in the sentences below with a preposition from the box. The prepositions may be used more than once:
at in into of on to with for about
1.People who are concerned ______ society are typically interested _____ marketing ethics.
2.Niche marketing is frequently concerned _____ aiming particular products _____ specific socio-economic groups.
3.Brand loyalty is based _____ the development _____ routine purchasing of low-involvement goods.
4.The success of shops attached _____ petrol stations depends _____ impulse purchasing. You can see motorists who suddenly decide to buy a music cassette, confectionary or a magazine.
5.Research _____ buyer behaviour shows that when consumers make routine purchases _____ regularly used consumer products, they are not personally involve _____ the products.
6.Routine purchasing contrasts _____ the purchase of consumer durables, such as furniture, kitchen appliances or a car. Here there is a greater degree _____ personal involvement.
7.Clients have increasingly high expectations _____ the providers of professional services in a range of fields, including health, education and the law.
8.Special government appointed committees are responsible _____ ensuring that consumers get good service and adequate protection. Sometimes called consumer watchdogs, they respond _____ reports of malpractice.
1. Read the text, make up a plan and try to retell it: