Comparative behavior of the consumer is mostly seen in the market when he buys the products. The product bought by the consumers is not always related to the needs and requirements but sometimes they are simply due to various stimuli where the need is not the one involved (Mooij, 2019). This report is a reflective analysis of different psychological factors that affect the consumer's behavior towards buying the products. It emphasizes on the two different cases of shopping where the behavior is assessed. One case is related to the buying of the products during a trip that is inexpensive and another case is associated with the behavior of the consumer when buying expensive products and the assessment of different factors before purchasing. This purchasing behavior of the customer is studied during weeks 1 to 4.
In the first week, I studied what is consumer behavior and what are the factors that affect the buying of the products. Consumer behavior refers to the study of the behavior of the individual customer that how he selects and buys the product to satisfy his needs and desires. However, the purchase does not always depend on the requirements of the consumer (Zhang and Benyoucef, 2016). For example, the purchasing of daily households is a requirement of the consumer but the thing they buy during the trips is simply bought as souvenirs. Consumer behavior is always changing according to the market up-gradation over time. Due to the presence of several products in the market, the purchasing has loosened its motive and shifted to unwanted buying. Moreover, the behavior changes according to income, education and other marketing factors also. The consumer behavior is different from customer to customer due to their culture and lifestyle. For example, some consumers are technophilic while others will invest their money in upgrading their wardrobes. Therefore, consumer behavior is not at all static in the market and consumer to consumer.
Psychological and situational factors that influence buying
In week two I thoroughly studied the situational and psychological behaviors that influence the buying of the products. This study was based on two different instances of trips that were made with a friend. The psychological and situational behavior that influenced the buying of the products were (Ramya and Ali, 2016):
Buying motives: the purchase of the inexpensive product was done on an emotional basis and affection for the family as the friend wanted them as souvenirs of the trip. However, on the second trip the motive was associated with his pride and uniqueness of the product.
Attitude towards product: the inexpensive product was cheap yet elegant while the inexpensive product was chosen based on the quality and cost that was less compared to the price where he lives. Therefore, this attitude towards the product mattered during the purchase.
Perception of the product: it refers to the image of the product. The inexpensive product does not require any perspective while the expensive product had an image in the market due to its advertisements done by celebrities that increased its worth.
Social and physical surrounding: the surrounding of the consumer affects the customer because the attraction for the product develops as social pressure and the customer ends up buying it though it is not his requirement.
Time factor: it is also a very important factor because sometimes the purchase is done because the product is time-saving and effective than other products in the market.
Theories of consumer behavior
In the third week of analysis, I studied about the different theories that come into function when discussing consumer behavior. The different theories of consumer behavior are:
Marshallian economics: this theory was derived by Alfred marshal and it states that the buying of the product is strict to satisfy the requirements of the consumer. it gave some useful hypotheses like the sale of the product would elevate naturally if the cost is less (Knight, 2018). During my first trip my friend bought the famous and inexpensive Tim Tams biscuits of Australia as affection for the family were in favor of this theory.
Psychoanalytic theory: this theory, given by Sigmund Freud, states that the factors like age and income level are not solely responsible for buying and unconscious desires and urges are behind the motivation to buy the products (Desmond, 2015). Aspirations, hopes, fears, and desires are more appealing than rational motives. The desire to be praised was observed when my friend bought a customized cricket bat which was of no use unless you want to show up as a great fan of the sport.
Pavlovian theory: this theory states that consumer behavior is a result of the responses to the conditions. Just like the dog salivates before being feed, the marketers reinforce brand components which they understood by the positive and negative responses of the customers (Viviani et al, 2019).
Veblenian social-psychological model: this model states that the desires of the customers are largely shaped by the environment they are living in. the founder of the model realizes that the utility of the product becomes secondary due to social and psychological pressures (Mandel et al, 2017).
Comparison of the consumer behavior for differential purchase
In the last week I drew a comparison between the behaviors and theories that supported the need to buy the products by my friend during the trip. The analysis of the previous weeks was observed and various reasons were defined for changing the behavior of the consumer. During our first trip, the inexpensive purchase does not involve much consideration and was bought as a souvenir out of desire. This type of behavior was supported by the Marshallian economics theory. However, during the second trip, much consideration was given on the quality and cost of the product. But he bought it due to his aspiration to be praised and this behavior is support by the psychoanalytic theory.
It can be concluded from the above four-week analysis that the behavior of the consumers towards buying is not static and it is influenced by the external and psychological factors. These factors account for the varied consumer behaviors towards buying. It is also concluded that the shopping behavior during the trips was widely supported by the Marshallian economics and Psychoanalytic theory of consumer behavior.
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