End User vs. Customer

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has been teaching math for over 9 years. Amy has worked with students at all levels from those with special needs to those that are gifted.

Examine concepts of end-users and customers while understanding how they can either be the same or different people. Discover more about the end-user and the customer, compare the two, and take a look at some examples. Updated: 01/20/2022

End User

You'll usually hear the term ''end user'' when it comes to computers and other electronics. If you work at a company that uses electronics, you'll also hear this word during training sessions. This term, end user, refers to the person that ultimately uses a particular product. At work, your employer might purchase a computer or other electronic tool that you use. Since you are the one using it, then you are the end user.

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  • 0:04 End User
  • 0:30 Customer
  • 1:26 End User vs. Customer
  • 2:09 Some Examples
  • 2:59 Lesson Summary
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A customer, on the other hand, is the person performing the purchasing transaction. At your place of work, if your boss is the one that went and purchased the computer, then he is the customer. In larger businesses, there may be a dedicated purchasing representative who makes all the purchases for the company. That person is also the customer, and everybody in the business using those materials are end users.

In everyday life, the end user and customer are often the same person. This is especially true for single people. If you don't have a family and it's just you, most everything you purchase is ultimately used by you. So you are both the user and the customer.

For example, say you purchase a pair of nice running shoes from a shoe company. Well, since you are the one purchasing it, you are a customer of the shoe company. Since you are the one who will eventually be wearing the shoes, then you are also the end user.

End User vs. Customer

There are times when the end user is different from the customer. This is usually true in businesses and families. In businesses, there is typically one person doing all the ordering and purchasing of materials and equipment. In families, when shopping, it's usually just one person who ends up checking out.

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