In the first stage of buying, the consumer identifies and need and selects a product or service that will satisfy the need.
On selecting the product, they estimate amount they are willing to spend on it. Just before buying the product or service, the consumer analyzes the different price on offer. Here are factors that influence consumer choices:
Culture is the way of life of a community or group. In order to fit in a cultural group, a consumer must follow the written and unwritten cultural norms.
For instance, for your to fit in an Islamic community, you are cannot consume pork. To fit among the youth in any community, you are expected to dress like them.
In other words, cultural norms define what a consumer can or cannot buy.
Your lifestyle is generally determined by the amount of money you make. If you make more cash, you are expected to keep to a certain lifestyle.
Lifestyle influence consumer behavior directly by the fact that if you earn less, you cannot afford to buy items which are above your class.
On the other hand, if you are from a higher class, you will feel like “your class is lowered” by consuming cheap products or services.
Motivation is what drives a person to consider one need to be more important that the other. The more important need demands to be satisfied sooner than the others.
Motivation is powered by different physiological, biological and social needs. If you are motivated by the need to feel important, you will generally buy products or services that feed this need.
Personality is a set of characters that are deeply embedded in a person’s mind. Personality differs from person to person and also place and time.
Personality determines what you eat, wear, drive or watch. In simple terms, personality determines all your decisions including your attitude towards different products.
Age influences consumer behavior in a rather direct way. For instance, the needs of a 6-year old are not similar to those of a teenager. Consumer needs are basic in childhood but become complex in teenage and middle ages.
In old age, consumer needs go back to basic. Furthermore, the psychological needs of people at different age groups are different thus the diffrence in consumer behavior.
Perception is the prevailing popular opinion about a product or service at a particular time. Perceptions change with time. Consumers can have the same need but buy totally different brands due to perception.
In the past, mobile phones were only for communication- calling and texts. This perception has since changed; mobile phones have a variety of functions.
Perception is also influence by media reports and advertising. Just after the Oil Spill at the Gulf of Mexico, perceptions about BP – the oil company – were really bad.
A consumer with in need of fuel would rather buy it from another company. Keep in mind that the fuel is the same.