What is Buyer Behavior? Definition, Types, Model, Factors, and Importance

What is Buyer Behavior?

Buyer behavior refers to the choices and actions individuals make when buying products or services for personal or group use. It’s also known as “consumer buying behavior” when dealing with individual customers rather than businesses.

Understanding buyer behavior is crucial for effective marketing strategies. It’s about comprehending why people choose certain products, why they stay loyal to specific brands, and how their actions impact businesses. Positive actions lead to success, while negative actions can harm a company.

Analyzing buyer behavior helps companies thrive in a competitive environment. It involves answering questions like who influences buying decisions, who buys, how, when, and who uses the goods. This understanding guides marketing efforts. In essence, buyer behavior is the foundation of successful marketing strategies.

The Six Os of Market

How to understand buyer behavior? The six Os of the market is the key to understanding buyer behavior. Try to find the answer to the following six Os,

  • Occupants – Who are in the market?
  • Objects – What does the market buy?
  • Occasions – When does the market buy?
  • Organization – Who is involved in the buying?
  • Objectives – Why does the market buy?
  • Operations – How does the market buy?

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Types of Buyer Behavior

Buyers’ behavior is always determined by how deeply the buyer is involved in the buying decisions as well as the nature and price of the products. The higher and more complex the product’s price, the higher complex behavior the consumers will show. Based on this, there are four main types of buyer behavior.

Complex Buying Behavior

When customers engage deeply in the purchase process due to high economic or psychological risks, it’s called complex buying behavior. They meticulously research before buying expensive items like houses or cars.

Dissonance Reducing Buying Behavior

This type occurs when buyers face difficulty distinguishing between multiple options and fear regretting their choice. Typically seen with high-cost or occasional purchases, they may opt for convenience rather than extensive research. For example, choosing a waffle maker from a few available brands.

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Variety Seeking Buying Behavior

Customers displaying this behavior switch brands not out of dissatisfaction but for the sake of variety or curiosity. Their involvement with the product is low, like buying different soap scents without much thought.

Habitual Buying Behavior

In this behavior, buyers show little involvement in the purchase decision and tend to buy the same products over time. They don’t pay much attention to brands, often seen when purchasing everyday items like milk from the same brand routinely.

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Consumer Buying Behavior Model

The consumer buying behavior model is a systematic process influenced by marketing stimuli (product, price, place, and promotion) and environmental factors (economic, technological, political, and cultural). It guides a customer from recognizing a need to making the final decision to buy or not.

Consumer Decision-Making Process

  • Need Recognition: The journey begins when a buyer acknowledges the need for a product or service. For example, a growing business might realize the inefficiency of manual email outreach and recognize the need for an email automation solution.
  • Information Search: After identifying the need, the buyer seeks information from various sources, such as friends, advertisements, or mass media. They might research options, read reviews, and gather details about available solutions.
  • Evaluation of Alternatives: Armed with information, the buyer evaluates their choices. They compare features, pricing, and benefits, striving to select the best-suited option among all available alternatives.
  • Purchase Decision: Having carefully considered their options, the buyer reaches a decision. This could involve starting a free trial or making a paid purchase, depending on the nature of the product or service.
  • Post-Purchase Evaluation: After the purchase, the buyer assesses whether the product met their expectations. They may leave reviews, share feedback with peers, or reflect on their decision.

Read More: 7 Pros and 6 Cons of PESTLE Analysis in Business

Importance of Understanding Buyer Behavior

Understanding buyer behavior is like having a strategic advantage. Here are the five key advantages to prove it.

Tailored Marketing

Understanding how buyers move through the purchase process enables businesses to tailor their marketing strategies. This means delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right people. It’s like giving each customer a personalized shopping experience, increasing the likelihood of a sale.

Product Improvement

Buyer behavior insights reveal what customers value and dislike about products or services. This knowledge is a roadmap for product improvement. It’s like fine-tuning a car based on driver feedback to make it more appealing.

Predicting Demand

Knowledge of buyer behavior helps businesses anticipate market demand. This is crucial for managing inventory, resources, and production. It’s similar to knowing when a popular show will air, allowing you to prepare and serve the audience efficiently.

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Effective Communication

When businesses understand how buyers make decisions, they can communicate more effectively. This results in clearer, more persuasive messaging that resonates with customers. It’s akin to speaking a language your audience understands, making your point more convincingly.

Building Loyalty

Satisfied buyers are more likely to become loyal customers. By understanding their behavior, businesses can nurture these relationships. It’s like maintaining a long-lasting friendship by paying attention to each other’s preferences and needs.

Factors Influencing Buyer Behavior

Below are the four key factors influencing buyer behavior.

  • Psychological Factors: Imagine a puppeteer pulling strings. Psychological factors are like those invisible strings that affect buyers. These include motivation, perception, learning, attitudes, and beliefs. For example, a person’s motivation to stay healthy can lead to buying organic foods.
  • Social Factors: Picture a flock of birds flying together. Humans are social creatures, and they often follow what others do. Social factors, like family, peer groups, societal roles, and class, influence decisions. When friends all have the latest smartphone, you might feel inclined to buy it too.
  • Cultural Factors: Think of culture as a big pot of soup. Cultural factors are the ingredients that flavor a buyer’s choices. These factors involve shared values, beliefs, and customs within a community. People from the same culture tend to have similar preferences, impacting what they buy.
  • Personal Factors: Imagine a fingerprint; each one is unique. Personal factors include individual characteristics like age, income, occupation, and lifestyle. They make each person’s buying behavior distinct. A teenager’s choice of sneakers might differ significantly from that of a retiree.

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Buyer Behavior Analysis

Buyer behavior analysis is the process of analyzing and interpreting consumer actions and decisions when purchasing goods or services. It’s like unraveling the intricate threads of why, when, where, and how people buy, allowing businesses to understand and respond effectively to customer needs.

Ways to Conduct Buyer Behavior Analysis:

  • Surveys and Questionnaires: Collecting direct feedback from customers through surveys and questionnaires can provide valuable insights into their preferences and expectations.
  • Data Analytics: Leveraging big data and analytics tools helps in tracking and analyzing customer behavior on websites, apps, or social media. This can uncover patterns and trends.
  • Focus Groups: Bringing together a small group of customers for discussions and feedback sessions can provide qualitative insights into their motivations and opinions.
  • Observation: In physical stores or online, observing how customers interact with products and make choices can offer real-time data on buying behavior.
  • Market Research: Employing market research firms or tools can provide a broader perspective on industry trends, competitor analysis, and consumer sentiment.

Read More: The 6 Steps in Market Research Process

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