In simple words, buying patterns indicate how consumers purchase goods or services but are highly susceptible to change. For example, consider Pratik, a fresh college graduate, who has taken up a job at a multinational and follows the 9-to-9 work schedule. Pratik’s typical buying pattern (for biscuits) might involve going to the kirana store once a week and the supermarket twice a month, for both major and fill-in trips. Since he lives alone in his apartment, he generally opts for smaller SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and more variety. Now consider the launch of an online portal for groceries (e.g. bigbasket) that encourages buying larger SKUs. Since it’s much more convenient for Pratik to order biscuits and groceries online, Pratik’s trips to the two stores would come down drastically and buying pattern would change significantly.
Marketers often try to understand buying pattern and its relation with geographical, demographic and psychological characteristics of the consumer. In order to understand the buying patterns, marketers conduct comprehensive surveys. Typical questions to understand the buying pattern for a particular product would be:
This along with demographic and psychological information including age, gender, occupation, household income, household size, education level, geographic location, hobbies, interests etc. could provide valuable insights. Understanding the buying pattern allows the company to decide on strategies for market segmentation, distribution and sales promotions.