Factors Affecting Consumer Buying Behavior

Written by brian willett
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Factors Affecting Consumer Buying Behavior
Understanding the behaviours of consumers is crucial to your business. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

If you're running a business, large or small, it's crucial to be able to put yourself in the shoes of consumers. By understanding the perspective of the people who may purchase your product or service, you can relate to them and their needs, creating more effective marketing messages and improving profitability. Several factors influence consumer behaviours, and you should take these into account when advertising.


According to University of Delaware professor Alex Brown, MBA, personality has a significant effect on consumer buying behaviour. Brown notes that personality traits such as compulsiveness, confidence, and competitiveness all affect how consumers perceive your product and ultimately, how likely they are to buy it.

Ease of Information Access

When shopping online or in person, consumers alter their likelihood of buying a product based on how easy it is to find information about it. Search engine optimisation researcher Dejan Petrovic explains that quick loading time, position in search results, availability of product information and pictures, and lack of intrusive advertising increase a consumer's tendency to buy a product.

Opinion Leaders

Opinion leaders are individuals in society who act "as an information broker between the mass media and the opinions and behaviours of an individual or group," according to Wayne D. Hoyer and Deborah J. Macinnis in "Consumer Behavior." Opinion leaders have the appearance of credibility, and their recommendations and endorsements influence consumers' purchasing behaviour.

Personal Needs

Brown notes that examining Maslow's hierarchy of needs can provide insight into consumer buying behaviour. He believes purchasing decisions are based on a desire to achieve a goal or satisfy a specific need, including safety, belonging and esteem. Such needs can drive consumers to buy products or make them resistant to doing so. For example, consumers may buy guns for protection and personal safety or decide not to buy them for fear of accidents.

Credibility of Information

The credibility that consumers attribute to sources can also influence buying behaviour. Because consumers realise advertisements are created to sell products, they may be less likely to believe even a completely factual advertisement than a biased article in a well-known newspaper. In addition, "Consumer Behavior" explains that consumers may even see marketing information as biased and manipulative, solely due to its source. For this reason, you should always be transparent to eliminate potential credibility issues or scandals. In addition, you should seek press coverage from legitimate sources.

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