Types of Buying Behaviour 

Types of buying habits of consumers/levels of the consumer decision-making process are also known as buying situations. The decision process is used differently depending on the situation. One situation such as the purchase of a new home – may necessitate a thorough use of each step in the process, perceived risk will probably be high regardless of the consumer’s background. 

Another situation – such as buying a magazine may let the consumer skip certain steps in the process; the perceived risk will probably be low regardless of the person’s background. 

On a continuum of effort ranging from very high to low, we can distinguish four specific levels of consumer decision-making:

Types of Buying Behaviour

1) Complex Buying Behaviour/Extensive Problem Solving/New Task: 

This situation occurs 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 items with which the individual has had little or no experience. Perceived risk of all kinds is high. 

For example, a car, a house,  and a life insurance policy. Because the customers tend to use extended decision-making, such retailers as real estate brokers and auto dealers emphasise personal selling, printed materials, and other methods of communication to provide as much information as possible. A low-key approach should be enacted, so customers feel comfortable and not threatened. In this way, the consumer’s perceived risk can be minimised.


2) Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behaviour/Limited Problem Solving Modified Buy: 

This situation occurs when a buyer uses each step in 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 person typically has some experience with both the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the purchase.

In this category are items that have been bought before, but not regularly. The risk is moderate, and the consumer will spend some time shopping. 

For example, a second car, clothing, a vacation, and gifts. 

Here the marketer’s job is to design a communication program, which will help the buyer to gather more information, increase his brand comprehension and gain confidence in the brand.


3) Habitual Buying Behaviour/Routinised Response Behaviour/ Straight Rebuy/Brand Loyalty: 

This situation takes place when the consumer buys out of habit & 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 little risk because of buyer experience. The key step for this type of decision-making is the awareness of the problem

For example, groceries, newspapers, and haircuts.

The marketers must understand the information evaluation and gathering activities of the prospective consumers. They have to educate the prospective customers to learn about the attributes of the product class, their relative importance and the high standing of the marketer’s brand on the more important brand attributes. In other words, marketing communications should aim at supplying information and helping the consumer to evaluate and feel good about his/her brand choice.


4) Variety-Seeking Buying Behaviour/Brand Switching: 

Some buying situations are involved but significant brand differences, here consumers often do a lot of brand switching.


The market leader & the minor brand 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 better deals,  lower prices, coupons, free samples, and advertising that presents reasons for trying something new.



 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: 


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 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 leader 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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