5 Common Influences on Consumer Behavior You Should Be Aware Of

Consumer behavior is complex.

The factors that convince someone to buy one product or service over another are many and varied. To begin to understand what motivates a consumer to buy, you have to delve into the psychological, social, and economic elements that make up consumer behavior.

In this blog, we’ll briefly go over five common influences on consumer behavior. As you develop your marketing, sales, and merchandising strategies, keep these influences in mind.

1. Economic Conditions

Both overall economic conditions and a consumer’s personal financial situation will influence their buying behavior. This is especially true for high-end products where the consumer’s decision-making process is longer.

A positive economic environment produces more confident consumers who are willing to indulge in larger purchases. An economic downturn typically has the opposite effect.

2. Purchasing Power

Similarly, an individual’s purchasing power plays a significant role in what they do and don’t buy.

The vast majority of people consult their budgets before making a purchasing decision, especially for big-dollar items. In most cases, even when the product, brand, and marketing message are ideal, if a consumer doesn’t have the money to purchase the item, they won’t buy it.

Keep buying capacity in mind to more effectively market to eligible consumers and achieve more conversions.

3. Personal Preferences

Consumer behavior is hugely influenced by personal factors such as an individual’s likes, dislikes, priorities, and values. Taking this a step further, a person’s interests and opinions are in turn influenced by their demographics (age, gender, culture, occupation, location, etc).

And psychological factors such as motivation, perception, personality, attitude, and beliefs are some of the most important influences on consumer behavior.

A consumer's response to your marketing message will hinge on these personal factors.

4. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure isn’t limited to adolescent social circles. This type of social psychology has a massive impact on consumer behavior regardless of age.

What a consumer’s family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances think or do can significantly affect their buying decisions. Other social factors like education level, media (both traditional media and social media), and the wider communities a consumer identifies with influence buying behavior as well.

In general, people are more inclined to participate in something if they feel included.

Being included as a part of a group (“VIP customers” or “gold” or “platinum” status, for example) makes consumers more receptive to your message. People will take action to maintain their status as part of an elite group.

5. Marketing

Communicated regularly and effectively, the right message has the power to persuade consumers to not only buy, but also to change brands or opt for more expensive alternatives.

Consumers are more likely to take action when they are given instructions on what to do next or how to solve their problem. Driving them toward specific actions will help them break out of “action paralysis” and move forward in the customer journey.

And a good marketing message can prompt impulse purchases…especially when it offers instant gratification.

Use language like “instantly,” “quick,” or “fast” in your marketing and displays to light up the part of the brain that makes people more prone to buy. This language allows a consumer to envision their problem being solved right away, and people are more likely to buy when reminded that their problems can be solved quickly.

At Miller Wittman, we know what makes consumers tick, and we know how to reach them for your brand. Contact us to discuss how we can help you engage more consumers and grow your sales.