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CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

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Introduction

In the modern era, understanding consumer buying behaviour supports companies to ensure long-term growth and sustainability. The concept outlines the overall way in which people in the market makes decisions linked with buying of products and services. The study of consumer buying behaviour is essential because it provides companies with an opportunity to understand the changing need and demand of people in the target market (Cantallops and Salvi, 2014). In addition to this, the study also supports businesses in offering satisfactory, fast and effective products and services to customers. The current essay demonstrates the overall impact or influence of different customer review and blogs on purchase behaviour of customers.

Meaning and significance of consumer buying behaviour

 

Over the past few years, the study of consumer buying behaviour has become vital for companies in terms of retaining old customers and attracting new ones. The study of consumer buying behaviour is mostly carried out by a company to gain a competitive advantage over other players in the industry or market. In simpler terms, consumer buying behaviour is defined as the process by which organisations understands the purchase process of customers and the key factors which influences the entire process (Erkan and Evans, 2016).

The study is critical because it helps companies to develop more effective and suitable marketing strategies. In addition to this, consumer buying behaviour provides businesses with an opportunity to offer products and services according to the need and demand of people in the market. Increasing revenue and brand equity are some other benefits associated with the study of consumer buying behaviour.

However, it can be critically argued that the study of consumer buying behaviour or decision-making process is essential because it helps companies to identify which product and services of competitors are purchased by people in the target market (Elwalda, Lü and Ali, 2016). It can also be expressed that the study of consumer buying behaviour is significant as it directly supports sales and demand forecasting.

Organisations can predict the future need and demand of customers more efficiently with the help of studying consumer buying behaviour. At the time of getting aware about the overall concept of consumer buying behaviour, companies are also required to understand the fundamental factors which affect the whole decision-making process of people in the target market (Ramanathan, Subramanian and Parrott, 2017).

The purchase decision or buying behaviour of the consumer is affected by factors such as purchasing power, marketing, social factors, group influences and personal preferences. It can be expressed that at the time of developing strategies linked with marketing and promotion, the factors affecting consumer buying behaviour should be taken into consideration by companies.

In addition this, the marketing strategies should be developed and implemented in such a way that they can directly affect the overall decision-making process of consumers (Charan and Dahiya, 2015). In today’s corporate era, the competition among businesses in almost every industry has become so intense that it is not long easy for a brand to sustain in the marketplace. Furthermore, people in the market are available with full ranges of options and alternatives to chose from. Here, offering products and services according to the changing need and demand of customers is critical in ensuring long-term sustainability and growth.

The decision making process of consumer

It is required by companies to understand the stages of consumer decision making as it directly contributes to the development of effective marketing strategies and satisfactory services/products (Schuckert, Liu and Law, 2015). The steps involved in decision-making process or consumer buying behaviour are below elaborated as:

Need identification or problem recognition is termed as the first and foremost stage of consumer decision-making process. Here, it is the responsibility of companies or the marketers to identify those needs and develop effective strategies to satisfy those needs in every possible manner (Strauss and Frost, 2016). The need and desire of a person can be of eating buying a new car for comfort and convenience.

Information search is the next stage in the decision-making process where, the buyer considered various sources to determine how the identified needs can be resolved in the best possible manner (Liljander, Gummerus and Söderlund, 2015). Here, friends, family members, internet, dealers, retailers and advertisement are the conventional sources which are used by the buyer to search information for need satisfaction and defining the alternatives available.

It can be expressed that the objective of information search is to define what alternatives is present in the marketplace to satisfy the identified needs. Evaluation of other options is the next step in the process of consumer decision making where the identified options or choices are evaluated (Lu, Chang and Chang, 2014). For example, the cars offered by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and other brands will be evaluated at this stage when the buyer is looking forward to purchasing a car for comfort and convenience.

The purchase is the fourth stage in the process of consumer decision making, and here, the buyer purchases the best and most suitable alternative among all the option available. The last step is of post-purchase behaviour wherein the buyer defines whether the identified need has been finally satisfied or not after using the project (Qazi et al. 2016). To increase the volume of sales and profitability, companies are required to become aware of and understand all stages linked with the decision-making process of consumer.    

Impact of blogs and customer reviews on consumer buying behaviour

 

It has been identified that the consumer buying behaviour is affected by the wide ranges of factors and these factors need to be taken into consideration by companies in the best possible manner. Over the past few years, blogs have emerged as the most critical factor which influences the buying behaviour or decision-making process of the consumer to a great extent. In simpler terms, the blog is considered as a website or web page which provides information and which is updated at regular intervals (Li et al. 2016).

Nowadays, blogs are playing a fundamental role in influencing the overall decision making of buyers or customers. In the modern era, blogs have been able to generate long-term and loyal readership, and this is one of the biggest reasons for increasing popularity of blogs. The blogs are now serving as a platform to set up emotional connects between the blogger and reader (Devedi, Sujatha and Pathak, 2017). Nowadays, the blogs are having a direct impact on purchase decision of buyers as individuals now refer to various blogs before making their choices linked with the purchase of products and services. Professional bloggers now write their reviews and opinions about various services and products available in the market, and this helps customers in making informed decisions (Mosteller and Mathwick, 2014).

Blogs provide an overview of good things about a product along with the issue or drawbacks associated with the same. In addition to this, blogs also offer recommendations to readers about whether they should buy the product or not.

On the contrary of this, it has been argued that the day-to-day purchase and buying behaviour of people in the market is getting affected by blogs to a great extent (Banerjee, Bhattacharyya and Bose, 2017). However, the kind of content shared through different mediums or platforms also plays a vital role in influencing the overall decision-making process of buyers or consumers. Here, personal connection between the blogger and reader is also a significant factor which encourages the consumer to buy a specific product or service (Godey et al. 2016). For making useful purchase decisions, different kinds of blogs are now referred by the people in the marketplace.

The positive information and advantages of products are published and presented in the blogs, and therefore, blogs are now considered as the most important source of getting information and carrying out decision-making process. On the other side of this, the comparison between different products and services is also carried out in blogs, and this supports consumers in the process which is an evaluation of alternatives. Apart from this, professional bloggers are also considered as effective and competent enough to influence the different stages of consumer buying behaviour. The statement can be justified by the fact that professional bloggers can provide useful information about products/services and this can further result in creating the need of the same within people in the market, and this is the first stage in consumer buying behaviour process (Bigne et al. 2018).

Customers now refer to blogs to gain insight into the drawbacks or disadvantages associated with a product or service, and this information cannot be found in other sources such official website of companies and newspapers. The readers of blogs are increasing by rapid pace with the passage of time because they provide non-bias and fair reviews about different services and products (Cantallops and Salvi, 2014). In addition to this, all elements associated with the product are analysed critically in the blogs, and this provides customers with an opportunity to obtain fair and reliable information about services and products. 

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