What Factors Influence The Consumers Buying Behavior Marketing Essay

2808 words (11 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Marketing Reference this

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A consumer buys goods or services for his or her personal use. ( Armstrong & Kotler ) What factors influences the consumers buying behavior? This literature review on consumers buying behavior , many scholars and researchers working in this field. They from different angles on the impact of consumers buying behavior . They have found large area is divided into many categories of factors. These are cultural factors, personal factors, social factors, psychological factors, various academic sources have been used and reviewed below.

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Today, the all world markets change to global market, it has brought many opportunities and challenges, and the markets are facing more challenges even than before, especially the rapid technological advancements like shopping online and this fast developing economy has completely changed people’s lifestyle.

With the development of consumer society, the concept of corporate management more concerned about the consumer changes. 60s from the 20th century, the concept of corporate management from production orientation, market orientation of the development of marketing orientation. “A good market researcher will study the thought process undergone by consumers, compare it with their demographic data, and use the resulting information to market their products.”( Armstrong et al, 2009 )

This literature review is the objectives and the purpose of this paper to know the different aspects that the consumers have take into account when they decide to use a certain product. Consumers around the world is different in gender, age, income, education level, living habits, and tastes, when they purchase the product they show an incredible difference, those consumer purchase behaviors could be influenced by many factors, such as cultural, personal, social and psychological. ( Armstrong & Kotler, 2009 )

The world leading authorities on marketing researcheres: professor Armstrong and professor Kotler, they analyzed ” the consumer buying behavior refers to the buying behavior of final consumer, individuals and households who buy goods and services for personal consumption.”( Armstrong & Kotler, 2009)

Linehan and Cadogan (2000) has many years experience worked with the big companies on marketing research, they got the similar opinion with Armstrong & Kotler, and also point out that marketers can not control the buying factors. Consumer buying behavior is been researched more and more today , due to the huge technology change ,that has taken place in the last two decades, marketers must know what influence on the consumer’s buying decision.

Those weaknesses have been discussed based in the current literature reviews. It suggests that the marketer should not only understand the existing model of the consumer behavior, but also should examine the effect of the personal impulse buying factors.

Culture factors

Culture is an important factor in consumer buying behavior. Culture distinguishes one human group from others. A people’s culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. (Kim and Ahn, 2006)

The most famous authority on culture study is Geert Hofstede, he has determined that culture as “mental programming” which each person has his or her own pattern of thinking, feeling or action which have learned through their life time.(Hofstede,2001) Hofstede produced five different dimensions that classifies different cultures, and his dimensions are relevant to this literature review on consumer buying behaviors: Individualism and collectivism, has been studied as the patterns of buying is different cultures that fall within either individualism or collectivism categories .

Culture can be best expressed in the complex interactions of values, attitudes, and behavioral assumptions of a society. (Schwartz 1994)

People from the USA have a higher individualism score according to Hofsedes study(2001) ,it found that consumers from a individualism society were more likely to purchase a product that made them stand out from others in there social groups .They are more singularly minded they usually don’t look for advice from there friends or family before they purchase .On the other hand in a collectivism culture like China, people will ask or seek advice from friends or family members and look to there groups behaviors before the purchase ,they also consider what is acceptable within there group so that they reinforce there ties with there group.

The awareness of this big gap between China and the USA is very important to marketers, so that they can adjust there marketing strategies to deliver the products that most suit the needs of the consumer in that particular market .Culture differences is very important to understand, because if a company gets it wrong it could be a very costly exercise.

Luna and Gupta (Luna & Gupta, 2001) have suggested that marketers who are entering a foreign market that market should be researched to see how consumers in that market will view there product or services, good research should identify any potential problems.

Armstrong and Kotler are the foremost authorities on marketing in the world today. The consumer buying behavior refers to the behavior of the consumer, individuals and householders who buy goods and services for personal consumption.

(Armstrong & Kotler , 2009)

There work is in-depth study of consumer behavior which states that marketers have very little control over the factors that the consumer makes to purchase a product.

They must take into account what are the influences that control the consumers’ behavior in making a purchase.

Personal factors

Linehan and Cadogan, point out : personal factors influence buying decisions, it includes economic, age, gender, occupation, lifestyle, and situation, etc.( Linehan & Cadogan,2000) Peoples buying habits and tastes change with age ,we have different needs and different outlook on life as we grow older .As the different family cycle stages changes over time the needs also change .This is a very important for the marketer to understand ,as to the distribution of people in regards to there age. Marketers will try to identify age groups that have more than the average interest in there products and services.

Armstrong and Kotler also has similar opinions and found that if people with a good secure job and regular income, tend to buy more expensive and even luxury product, where people with less income and less secure jobs tend to buy cheaper products.

This can be expressed in hobbies, shopping, sports social events, food, fashion, etc.

“Therefore if economic indicators point to a recession, marketers can take steps to redesign, and reprise and their product closely. ( Armstrong & Kotler, 2009) The current economic recession is presently a source of concern for marketers attempt to determine the current buying behaviors of the consumers, consumers are changing there buying behaviors and greatly decreasing there overall spending.

The buying habits of consumers have changed a lot since the internet started; consumers can now easily check the price of a product without leaving there home at anytime in any part of the world in order to get the best price. Marketers have to move with the trends of the consumers and find ways to get the largest slice of the market than they can; this huge global market has a lot of competitors.

Linehan and Cadogan highlighted that: even though people have same job, same social class, but their lifestyle may quite different. And Professor Armstrong and Kotler explained that lifestyle is a person’s pattern of living as expressed in their psychographic, it covers attitudes of life, opinions and beliefs, interests and hobbies.

Ever person has a different personality, it relates to there buying behavior. Personality refers to our unique psychological character tics it can be described in terms of our self-confidence, sociability, defensiveness, adaptability, etc. Armstrong and Kotler showed same point, said that personality has a huge influence to decide whether use it or not.

The basic concept is that our possessions reflect our identity we are what we are.

Our personality will reflect our consumer behavior as to which brand or design of product that we choose, not only will it provide function but also it can express the consumers’ personality.

Social factors

Armstrong and Kotler suggested that: people choose their product for their social status, when they buy product, it is not to enjoy them, but to let others know that they can afford them, they hope that product can reflects their status. Kim et al (2002) addressed consumers product choice for a particular or brand are affected by a complex social influence, and Linehan and Cadogan (2000) proposed that social factor also influence consumers behavior, like family, peer group and status.

In real life, individual influence each other in different ways. “Peer group will exert a particular type of behavior and put pressure on the person to conform.” ( Linehan & Cadogan,2000)

There are many social factors which affect the consumer buying behavior consumers product choice for a certain type or particular brand is affected by complex social influences.


The family is the most important buying organization in society, family members

can strongly influence other family members on what product to purchase

mothers have the most influence as they decide what to buy ,when to buy and where to buy ,marketers need to take this group in to account when any decisions are been made in regards to the needs of the household.( Armstrong & Kotler, 2009)

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Alcohol is a example of peer group pressure for teenagers as they would be seen to conform to the peer group standards if they agree with the practice. Peer pressure also creates buying for social reasons so that the person is not seen to be the odd one out.

( Linehan & Cadogan,2000)

From these reviesing, we can see social factors have a lot of things happening for the marketer to research ,like brand image to increasing brand awareness through the use of the internet and social networking sites .

Psychological factors

Armstrong & Kotler (2009) discussed that person’s buying decisions are further influenced by their motivation attitude and perception. Linehan & Cadogan (2000) explained internal elements that influence an individual buying behavior.

Attitude is an evaluation, feeling or tendency toward something; difficult to change them as people have attitudes toward just about everything. (Armstrong & kotler, 2009)

A person has many needs at any given time; some are biological, arising from states of tension such as hunger, thirst or discomfort. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009)

Professor Armstrong and kotler (2009) also point our a person’s needs could be biological, such as hunger, thirst, or discomfort. Other needs are psychological, such as it arising from the need for recognition, esteem, or belonging, but in fact, most of these needs will not be strong enough to motivate the person to act at a given point in time. A need becomes a motive it has to be aroused to a sufficient lever of intensity.

There is another important element, which is perception. According to linehan, and Cadogan (2000), Perception is the process by which people select, organize, and interpret information in order to make sense of it. No two people will interpret the same information in the same way, thus the companies are sending positive messages to influence consumers’ select behavior, and it is very useful to retain or enhance company’s value to customers.

A persons buying behavior are influenced by Psychological factors which are motives, perceptions, beliefs and attitudes this is similar to the third level of Schein’s theory .

The attitudes towards certain products or brands that people exhibit which are very hard to change, for example the Ipod is the best portable music device in the world .

It’s hard for a company to compete against this product due to its advance technology, and also how to change the attitude and the beliefs of the consumer that there is another product which can do the same job just as effetely for a lesser price. The company should examine carefully why consumer has chosen this product and try to satisfy the consumer needs rather than try to change them . A person has many needs at any given time; some are biological, arising from states of tension such as hunger, thirst or discomfort. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009)

A person has many needs at any given time; some are biological, arising from states of tension such as hunger, thirst or discomfort. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009)


In most literatures, authors have examined the factor that has influence on the buying decisions, such as the personal ,cultural, psychological, and the social factors.

My opinion is that there is something that most of the researchers did not consider or ignore it, which is the impulse buying factor of the consumer.

Silvera et al(2008) discussed that impulse purchase is a unplanned purchase and sudden , for example you only planned to buy a newspaper in the shop, but when you see the sweets or other things displayed at the checkout aisles, you make a purchase, sometimes and even don’t consider if you need it or whether it’s necessary or not.

Impulse buying factor is difficult to measure, as those factors do not fit in well to the existing models of buying behavior. Normally, impulse buying is accompanied by strong reactions such as a urge to buy or feelings of pleasure and excitement. “This behavior is based on the immediate stimulus object, it can influence by the social factors, self- esteem and personal effect, etc.” (Silvera et al2008: 23)

Silvera et al(2008), suggested that the retailer or marketer should create the environment that can minimizes the inherent street and virtuously motivate impulse purchase by reducing barriers to purchase.

Therefore, in future research, the researcher should focus not only on the existing models, but also should do further investigation on the consumer impulse buying factors


Consumer behaviors is complex, Nowadays, the world business environment is becoming highly competitive and dynamic. If the marketers want to make it successful, it is necessary to understand why people make certain purchasing decisions, and help them to improve their marketing strategies.

However, as the world change so fast, especially the Rapid technological advancements and fast developing economy, those factors may be changed over time, and shows the limitation of those literatures. For example, there are over 10,000 Chinese currently working or studying in Ireland, there are more and more Asian shops now that have opened recently. As Irish, they have got a chance to taste the Chinese food that they have never tried before. As the result, that may be directly or indirectly changes people’s buying habits.

Therefore, the retailer or the marketer should always aware the factors that will affect society’s value, perception, and behaviors, in order to decide the best way to deliver its product, retain its market position, and increase their market share and gain competitive advantages against over other competitors. (linehan, & Cadogan,2000)

In short, it is very useful for the marketer to know all of those factors and identifying the consumers they are trying to influence. So in the future, it will help them being able to make forecasts on how the market responses to their new products, or to evaluate the perception of existing product in the market. (linehan, & Cadogan,2000)

The most of the previous literatures and the relevant study reviews are concentrated on the exist model of the consumer buying behaviour, but very little studied the influence on the impulse buying behaviour. If the marketer wishes to provide the right product or service in a competitive global market, it is essential to meet and fully understand their consumption behaviour, and developing effective marketing strategies.

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