Consumer Buying Behaviour - Meaning, Types, Factors, Process & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Consumer Buying Behaviour?

Consumer buying behaviour is a set of actions, steps or processes followed by the consumers in a marketplace before (and after) buying a product or a service. These actions are the result of the attitudes, preferences, intentions and decisions. These actions or steps can be both online and offline given the modern business paradigm. 

Consumer Buying Behaviour just not only covers the purchase part but also covers the usability and even the disposal of the products or services. This is part of the Post Purchase Evaluation but is a critical part of the buying behaviour.

Consumer Buying Behaviour Process

The consumer buying behaviour can be broken down into a series of tasks.

Consumer Buying Behaviour Process

Let us see them one by one:

1. Problem recognition

During this stage, the consumer becomes aware of an unfulfilled need or want. For example, his old laptop may be broken and a need arises for a new laptop.

2. Information search

In this stage, the consumer gathers information relevant to solving his problem. Example, collection of information about various laptop models.

3. Evaluation

The various alternatives are evaluated against the consumer’s wants needs, preferences, financial resources etc.

4. Purchase

In this stage, the consumer will commit to a particular choice and make the final decision. The choice maybe influenced by price and availability.

5. Post purchase evaluation

In this stage, the consumer evaluates whether the purchase actually satisfied her need or not.


4 Types of Consumer Buying Behaviour

Following are the types:

1. Complex

High degree of consumer involvement with significant brand differences.

Example - Cars.

2. Dissonance Reducing

High degree of involvement with little brand differences.

Example - Carpeting

3. Habitual

Low involvement with little brand difference.

Example - Salt

4. Variety seeking

Low involvement with significant perceived brand difference.

Example -Chocolates

Factors influencing Consumer Buying Behavior

Various factors influence the consumer’s buying behavior. They can be broadly categorized as below:

External factors

1. Influence of a group
This includes the influence of culture, family and  reference groups on the buying behavior of the consumer
2. Environmental/situational
Factors like season, time of day, temperature and humidity etc. also affect the decision making process.
3. Economic conditions

Internal factors

Lifestyle, Personality, Motivation etc.

These factors hold different level of importance for different kinds of products. For example, consider a cold drink brand, Pepsi. The sales of Pepsi will be majorly influenced by the environmental factors like season and temperature. The influence of group is minimal in this case. On the other hand, while purchasing a car, the consumer’s decision majorly rests on group influence and his internal factors. The environmental factors have almost no role in this purchase.

Consumer Buying Behaviour Example

Buying a chocolate can be an example of consumer buying behaviour. A customer might think of various chocolates with various cocoa content. The customer might be looking for a high cocoa content chocolate for oneself but some other members in the family may want a more balanced chocolate. Depending on various factors, the customer might buy multiple chocolates or may be 1 depending on the need and financial budget.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Consumer Buying Behaviour along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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