What Is Consumer Buying Behavior? - Definition & Types

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  • 0:00 Consumer Buying…
  • 0:20 Standard Behavioral Model
  • 2:00 Types of Buying Behaviors
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Most every business wants to know how consumers tick. In this lesson, you'll learn about consumer buying behavior, including the standard model. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz after the lesson.

Consumer Buying Behavior Defined

Consumer buying behavior is the sum total of a consumer's attitudes, preferences, intentions, and decisions regarding the consumer's behavior in the marketplace when purchasing a product or service. The study of consumer behavior draws upon social science disciplines of anthropology, psychology, sociology, and economics.

Standard Behavioral Model

The standard model of consumer behavior consists of a methodical and structured process. Let's take a brief look at each step.

  1. Problem recognition - The first step is problem recognition. During this step, the consumer realizes that she has an unfulfilled need or want. Let's use the example of a consumer who has just been informed by her mechanic that fixing her car will cost more than it's worth. Our consumer realizes that she now has a transportation problem and wants to fulfill that need with the purchase of a car.
  2. Information search - The next step is to gather information relevant to what you need to solve the problem. In our example, our consumer may engage in research on the Internet to determine the types of vehicles available and their respective features.
  3. Evaluation - After information is gathered, it is evaluated against a consumer's needs, wants, preferences, and financial resources available for purchase. In our example, our consumer has decided to narrow her choices down to three cars based upon price, comfort, and fuel efficiency.
  4. Purchase - At this stage, the consumer will make a purchasing decision. The ultimate decision may be based on factors such as price or availability. For example, our consumer has decided to purchase a particular model of car because its price was the best she could negotiate and the car was available immediately.
  5. Post-purchase evaluation - At this stage, the consumer will decide whether the purchase actually satisfies her needs and wants. Is our car purchaser happy with her purchase? If she is not satisfied, why isn't she?

Types of Buying Behaviors

Let's take a brief look at four different types of consumer buying behaviors.

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