LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 .1 Definition of Consumer Behaviour

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5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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Consumer behaviour can be defined as “the study of individuals, groups or organisations and the processes they use to select, secure, use and dispose of products, services, experiences or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.” (Hawkins, Best, and Coney, 2001, p7.) This definition contain a sequential process involving different activities that can be influence to the consumer in a number of ways.

The study of Consumer Behaviour is the study of how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, and effort) on consumption-related items. It includes the study of what they buy, why they but it, when they buy it, where they buy it, how often they buy it, and how often they use it. It concludes elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology and economics. Consumer behaviour goal is to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people’s wants. Although this subject study on how and why consumers make decisions to buy goods and services, consumer behaviour research goes far beyond these facets of consumer behaviour and encompasses all of the behaviours that consumers display in searching for, purchasing using,evaluating, and disposing of products and services that they key expect will satisfy their needs.

And other definitions is emphasise the mental, emotional, and physical processes and needs and wants, as well as the influence of perceived risk. (Arens, 1999, p129) The literature generally distinguishes between individual consumer buying and organisational purchasing processes. Wilson (2000) argues that the distinction is artificial and a generic behavioural model must be developed for both individual and organisational consumers with appropriate contextual adjustment. The field of consumer behaviour is enormous, and highlights the importance of the customer at the centre of the marketer’s universe. Every each consumers is unique with different needs and wants and buying choices and habits and choice that are in turn tempered by psychological and social drivers that affect purchase decision processes. (Brassington and Pettitt, 2000).

The literature review concludes a high level overview about consumer behaviour. It contains consumer behaviour from an individual perspective and considers consumer behaviour in the context of a rational purchasing decision process. It is including a perspective on the ethical responsibility of marketers.

Foxall (1993) notes that a purely behavioural approach, which relies on observed results as a means to infer the end result of human information processing should be supplemented by an evolutionary explanation. He suggests that evolution is a causal mechanism which accounts for selection or a decision by consequence. The experience of results of prior and similar behaviour (operant conditioning), environmental influences, and cultural changes should be considered in order to explain and predict changes in consumer behaviour. The argument is therefore, that the principle of selection by environmental consequence will enhance behaviourist thinking in a marketing context.

When we analyzing about the consumer behaviour is perceived as cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy (Papers4you.com, 2006). Consumer behaviour is mental and emotional processes and the observable behaviour of consumers during searching purchasing and post consumption of a product and service (Batra & Kazmi, 2004). Similarly Engel (et al, 1990) refers consumer behaviour is the action and decision process of people who wants to purchase goods and services for personal consumption. If these defining criteria are already observed, it is evident that we analyzing consumer’s decision making process is the foundation of entire notion of consumer behaviour.

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There are four different views related to consumer decision making process and behaviour (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2004). The first views is ‘economic view’ that consumers are primarily face competition and they are always expected to make rational decision on the basis of assumptions that they are aware of all product alternatives, they can rank benefits and limitation of each alternative and able to identify one of the best alternative. Second views is ‘Passive View’ is absolutely opposite to economic view and this view suggest that consumers are irrational and impulsive as they are submissive to self-center interests of marketers and that consumers got influenced by the marketing tools. And the third views is ‘ Emotional View’. This view related to perceive consumer’s decision making based on their emotional association or feeling about some products and services. Example, if a person loosing red colour pen neither go for rational decision by evaluating alternatives (economic view) or the person get influenced by marketers (passive view). Thus the person will try to purchase any ring closely resembled with his favourite. And the last views is ‘Cognitive View’ where consumers are considered as “thinking problem solver’. which are receptive as well as actively searching for the products and services that can fill their need. Consumer’s behaviour under this view is based on information seeking and processing attributes usually directed by a goal. For example, buying a tooth paste from shop can have a certain goal of choosing product that can taste good (Papers4you.com, 2006). ┬áDespite of critiques for each viewpoint, it can be considered a valid argument, that all four types of decision making behaviour exist and provide marketer guidelines to analyze consumer accordingly.

After we anaylyze the data from each viewpoint, it can be considered a valid argument, that all four types of decision making behaviour are exist and provide marketer guidelines to analyze about consumer habits.

Based on the general perception about most acknowledged and common ‘cognitive view’, Batra & Kazmi (2004) asserts broader stages of a consumer’s decision making process that includes identification of problem (feeling need of a new car), information search (on internet and showrooms), alternatives evaluation (comparing brands, for example like on basis of repute and features), outlet selection and purchase (purchasing selected item) and post-purchase action (satisfaction or dissonance).

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