Consumer buying behaviour refers to what consumers buy at a certain point in time that involves their decision making. So it is very important for any firm to keenly analyse consumer buying behaviours as it has a great impact on the firm’s online marketing strategy. It also plays a key role in the success of the company. It is important for any firm to make a marketing mix that satisfies the customers.
Generally, there are few types of buying behaviours based on the sort of products which needs to can be found. Complex buying behaviour is where an individual looks for a lot of information about a high-value brand product before purchasing it. Habitual buying behaviour is where the individual purchases the item out of the behaviour. Variety seeking buying behaviour is where the person likes to look around and experiment with different products. Customer buying behaviour is dependent upon the level of involvement in the purchase decision (Hampf, ; Lindberg-Repo, 2011: 1)
The nature of the decision process varies depending on the item and the consumer. The marketers need to determine the sort of making decisions behaviour that is associated with the particular product in order to know the behaviour of the buyer. Howard (1989) classifies consumer buying decision into three broad categories:
Routine Response Programmed Behaviour- A consumer generally uses a routine response behaviour while frequently buying the inexpensive goods or services. These goods and services may be referred to as low involvement products as the consumer usually spend little time on decision making and purchases easily. The consumer is familiar with different brands in this product category but usually sticks on to one brand. The consumer usually skips many steps in the decision process as he buys the product out of the behaviour.
Limited Decision Making – Ordering product occasionally. When you need to obtain information about an unfamiliar brand in a product category. Requires a moderate amount of time for information gathering since it is compared with various brands. Acquiring information about an unfamiliar product category is called as limited decision making. Examples are books, clothes and cosmetics.
Extensive Producing decisions – Consumers usually spend much time on intensive making decisions with high involvement when they purchase an unfamiliar expensive product. This is the most complex type of consumer decision making as the consumer’s desire for a lot of information to compare it with its alternate brands. Good examples are cars, computers. Complex buying behaviour involves three steps:
• The consumer develops a perception about the product.
• The consumer develops an attitude about the product.
• The consumer makes a thoughtful choice.
Consumers usually engage in complex buying behaviour when they are highly engaged in a purchase, which usually occurs when the product is expensive, risky, and highly self-expressive. Many products do not carry features unless the buyer does some research. The marketing expert of a high engagement product must understand customer’s information- gathering and analysis process. According to this, the marketer needs to develop strategies that will determine the buyer in learning about the products features and their importance. The marketer also needs to differentiate the brand features, motivate storekeepers, and use proper print mass media to describe the brand name and the buyer’s interaction to influence the brand choice.
Dissonance-Reducing buyer behaviour – According to Herbert (1965), the consumer sometimes gets highly involved in a purchase but see little distinctions between brands. The high involvement is a result of the fact that the purchase is expensive, infrequent and risky. For this type of buy, the consumer will shop around to find out more on the product but purchase it quickly responding to the main factors like price or convenience. After the purchase, the buyer might experience dissonance by hearing great things about others or noticing certain disquieting features. Now the consumer will alert the informants who support his or her decisions. For instance, here, the consumer acted first then acquired new philosophy and ended up with a set of thinking. Marketing communication should source beliefs and evaluations that help the customer feel good about the brand of his choice.
Variety-Seeking Buying Behaviours are categorized by low involvement but significant brand differences. Generally, consumers do a lot of brand switching. Take, for example, cookies. The consumer has some knowledge about cookies, chooses them without much analysis and assess the product during intake. But next time the buyer may reach for another brand according to his taste. Brand switching occurs for the sake of variety rather than discontentment (Bashir, Zeeshan, Sabbar, Hussain, & Sarki, 2013: 93).