Consumer Buying Situations
Types of Individual Buyer Behaviour
Types of consumer buying situations/habits are also known as levels of the consumer decision-making process. Every time a person purchases a good or service or visits a retailer, the customer uses a form of the decision process just described. Often, the process is used subconsciously, and a person is not even aware of its use.
Consumer decision making varies with the buying decision types. The decisions to buy shampoo, a tennis racket, a personal computer, and a new car are all very different. If all purchase decisions needed extensive effort, then consumer decision-making would be an exhausting process that left little time for anything else. On the other hand, if all purchases were regular, then they would tend to be monotonous and would provide novelty or slight joy. On a continuum of effort ranging from very high to extremely low, we can distinguish four specific levels of consumer decision-making:
Related Article:- Consumer Decision Making Process
1) Complex Buying Behaviour/Extensive Problem Solving/New Task:
This situation happens when a consumer makes full use of the decision process. Considerable time is spent gathering information and evaluating alternatives – both what to buy and where to buy it – before a purchase is made. The potential for cognitive dissonance is great. In this category are expensive, complex things with which the individual has had little or no experience. All kinds of perceived risks are high.
For example- a house, a first car, and a life insurance policy. A low-key approach should be enacted, so buyers feel comfortable and not threatened. In this way, the consumer’s perceived risk can be reduced.
At this level, the consumer requires a great deal of information to establish a set of criteria on which to judge specific brands and a correspondingly large amount of information concerning each of the brands to be regarded.
2) Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behaviour Limited Problem Solving Modified Buy:
This situation occurs when a consumer uses each step m the purchase process but does not spend a great deal of time on each of them. It requires less time than extended decision-making since the individual typically has some experience with both the what and the where of the purchase. In this category are objects that have been purchased before, but not regularly, the risk is moderate, and the consumer will spend some time shopping.
For example – clothing, a car, a vacation, and gifts.
At this level, consumers already have established the fundamental criteria for evaluating the product category and the various brands in the category. However, they have not fully established preferences concerning a select group of brands. Their search for additional information is more like “fine-tuning”, they must collect additional brand information to differentiate among the various brands.
3) Habitual Buying Behaviour/Routinised Response Behaviour/ Straight Rebuy/Brand Loyalty:
These circumstances take place when the consumer buys out of habit and skips steps in the purchase process. Customer wants to spend little or no time shopping, and the same brands are usually re-purchased often from the same retailers). In this category, items are bought regularly. They have very less risk because of consumer experience. The key step for this type of decision-making is problem awareness.
For example – groceries, newspapers, and haircuts.
At this level, customers have some experience with the product category and a well-established set of criteria with which to evaluate the brands they are considering. In some conditions, they may search for a small amount of additional information, in others, they simply review what they already know.
4) Variety-Seeking Buying Behaviour/Brand Switching:
Some buying conditions are characterised by low involvement but important brand differences, here consumers frequently do a lot of brand switching.
The minor brand and market leaders in this product category have different marketing strategies. The market leader will try to encourage habitual buying behaviour by avoiding out-of-stock conditions, dominating the shelf space, and sponsoring frequent reminder advertising. Challenger companies will encourage variety-seeking by offering lower prices, deals, free samples, coupons, and advertising that presents reasons for trying something new.
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