Consumer behaviour may be defined as the action of consumers in the marketplace and underlying motives for those actions. Marketers expect that by understanding what causes consumers to buy particular goods and services, they will be able to determine which products are needed in the marketplace, which is obsolete, and how best to present those goods to the consumer. It’s the behaviour that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products, services, and ideas that they expect, will satisfy their needs.
Need for the Study of Consumer Behaviour:
A number of reasons make the study of consumer behaviour relevant for effective marketing management. These are as follows:
- Consumers of the past reacted to price levels as if price and quality had positive relation. Today, consumers seek value for money, less price but with superior features.
- Consumer preferences are changing and becoming highly diversified.
- Consumer research has vividly pointed out that consumers dislike using identical products and prefer differentiated products to reflect their special needs, personalities, and lifestyles.
- Meeting of special needs of customers requires market segmentation.
- Rapid introduction of new products with technological advancement has made the job of studying consumer behaviour more imperative.
- Consumer behaviour can be used to sell products that might not sell easily because some other product has been satisfying the customer, even if the new product saves a life – much quicker than the old product.
- Implementing the ‘Marketing Concept’ calls for studying consumer behaviour. The shift in the age from selling age to marketing age meant that customer’s needs be given priority over the hard-sell tactics. It was realized that consumers would not buy anything sold. The consumer would buy those products which satisfy needs and wants. Thus, identification of the target market before production becomes essential to deliver the desired customer satisfaction and delight.
- The study of consumer behaviour has shown fallacies more apparently than ever before. Consumers are loyal to products or organizations. Consumers are not inherently disloyal and they become so only if utterly neglected or conditioned to do so. Loyalty is not dead. If a market becomes flooded with more and more products, the customer expects their favored product/ organization should produce them and deliver the same. Thus, companies who place major emphasis on attracting new customers and place minor emphasis on retaining existing customers should not be surprised to see that the customer has left their fold.
- Customers do not patronize the best available product. They patronize the best available offer. Thus, if Mercedes Benz and the Maruti Esteem are the two models that are under customer choice set, then the firm which can promise better payment terms and features would win the customer.
- A marketer cannot sell the product to the customer against his will. The marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion) cannot create the internal desire of the prospect to buy. The customer has to feel the need and then the marketer can provide various satisfiers. A good marketer, therefore, studies the drives and needs of customers and then tries best to satisfy them.
For Citing this article use:
- M, R. (2009) ‘Consumer behaviour towards smallcars in Vellore district’, University. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/10603/54117