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People buy things to satisfy two basic needs

(1) Physical or Material
(2) Psychological or Mental.
The buying decision is infuenced by these two basic factors in various
cobinations! of course along with certain other e"ternal factors. Persons
buying the sae product ay have di#erent reasons to do so! and persons
having sae reasons ay buy di#erent products. The study of these
Physical $ Psychological factors along with various other factors that
infuence the consuer to a%e a buying decision is therefore of utost
iportant for ar%eters! and these constitute the sub&ect atter of
'onsuer (ehaviour.
'onsuer (ehaviour ( or (uyer (ehaviour ) is de)ned as *
1. The ac+uisition! consuption and disposition of products! services! tie
and ideas by decision a%ing units (individual or organisational).
2. ,t is the body of %nowledge which studies various aspects of purchase
and consuption of products and services by individuals with various
social and psychological variables at play.
-. The behaviour that the consuers display in searching for! purchasing!
using! evaluating and disposing of products and services that they e"pect
will satisfy their needs.
.. The study of consuer behaviour involves search! evaluation! purchase!
consuption and post purchase behaviour of the consuers and includes
the disposal of purchased products %eeping environent and personal
characteristics in ind.
,ntroduction *
The study of 'onsuer (ehaviour is +uite cople"! because of any
variables involved and their tendency to interact with $ infuence each
other and the buyer. These variables are divided into two a&or sections
that have been identi)ed as the ost iportant general infuences on
'onsuer (ehaviour. ,agine three concentric circles! one at the outer/
ost! one in the iddle $ one at the inner/ost! and they represent the
following *
1. 0"ternal 0nvironental 1ariables ,nfuencing (ehaviour * The e"ternal
environents are the basic or speci)c infuences which are represented by
the outer/ost circle *
a. 'ulture! and 2ub/culture!
b. 2ocial 'lass! and 2ocial 3roup!
c. 4aily! and Personal ,nfuences!
d. 5ther 0"ternal ,nfuences (which are not categorised by any of the
above si")! li%e political! statutorily! geographical! econoical! religious
environent! etc.
2. ,ndividual 6eterinants of (ehaviour *
Ma&or individual deterinants of 'onsuer (ehaviour are portrayed in the
iddle ring. These variables are personal in nature and infuence the way
consuers proceed thro7 a decision a%ing process regarding products $
They are *
a. Personality $ 2elf/concept!
b. Motivation $ ,nvolveent!
c. Perception $ ,nforation Processing!
d. 8earning $ Meory!
e. 9ttitudes.
-. The 'onsuer 6ecision Process * The inner/ost circle denotes the
consuer decision a%ing process regarding products $ services. These
are basically the physical attributes of decision a%ing process. The a&or
steps are *
a. Proble :ecognition
b. ,nforation 2earch!
c. 0valuation of 9pplication!
d. Purchase 6ecision!
e. Post/Purchase (ehaviour.
Mar%eters are fre+uently uncertain about the variables that are at play
infuencing $ a#ecting consuers. 2oeties this occurs because they
don7t clearly understand the e"tent of variables that ight be having an
infuence. The details of all e"ternal! internal! environental! econoical
etc. are discussed above. 2oeties soe variables are not directly
observable. 5ther ties variables are %nown to the ar%eters but their
e"act nature $ relative strength of infuence is not apparent. ,n these
circustances! it is useful to understand the above entioned concepts
and how the consuers behave! so that their decision a%ing process can
be predicted to a reasonable $ pro)table e"tent.