Analyze the internal and external factors influencing the consumer decision making process for a major purchase.
The study of consumer behaviour reveals that when, why and how a buyer purchase a product and why he is not interested in buying the product? Now, days the companies are developing their marketing strategies as per the consumer behaviour, in order to fulfil the needs of the customer. However, there are many factors that influence the buying behaviour of the customers. Here, in this report, we will be discussing the factors, i.e. internal and external, which have a major role in affecting the consumer buying behaviour (Baker, 2002). This report contains a detailed analysis of a consumer (Mr. George) who wants to purchase a new car.
Internal factors are also known as internal influences. It includes lifestyle, motivation, attitude, perception, learning, and personality. Internal factors are influenced by an individual’s feelings, self-concepts, memory, and lifestyles. These are also called as psychological factors. Internal factors include the way that how a customer interact with the society and take a major decision with respect to the purchasing. Mr. George is deciding the car Fortuner as per his perception of the vehicle. Perception is a process how a consumer stimulates his imagines a real picture. Perception is the gathering of the information through the senses. He has chosen Fortuner as he has a very good perception of the vehicle in his mind. The consumer’s perception is mainly driven by the advertisement of the product. The need and the motivation are also very important factor(Wilson, 2000). Mr. George will never buy a car until and unless he needs it. He needs an SUV for his family. That is the reason he is ready to buy a car which is able to fulfil the need. The need of the customer can also be taken as deficiency of something in one’s life. It may be called as a gap between the actual and desired level of a person. The motivation is an inner mental state that encourages the individual to satisfy his need by purchasing the particular product. The customer has a big family and possesses a small car. This is the actual state of the customer. In order to fulfil his need, he would go out and search for some better option of a car. This better option for Mr. George is the SUV. This can be also called his desire. Sometimes, it happens that the customer only gets influenced by his attitude. Attitude is the next influential internal factor that affects the buying behaviour of the customer. It contains to what a customer assume for the product(Powers and Reagan, 2007) The attitude is always positioned in customer’s buying pattern. It is really a difficult task to change someone’s attitude. In other words, if a customer has a negative attitude for a particular product, then it is a difficult task to change that belief.
The situation may be in favour of the product also. Here, in this case, the attitude is that he wants to purchase a new car for his family. Learning is also an important attribute which influences the buying behaviour of the customer. Consumer learning can be taken as a process in which the consumer avails the required knowledge for the product. He evaluates that whether the product is compatible with his needs. In other words, the person who is buying a major thing car will learn the functions and features of the car properly. Then only, he would make over his mind to purchase that particular vehicle (Siji, 2015). Learning is a procedure in which one requires the knowledge, the personal experience.
The consumer analyses whether the product is suitable to him as per the learning. The experience regarding a particular product influence the customer to make a decision that whether the product is worth or not. Apart from all these factors the customer’s purchasing power, i.e. the value of the money is also an important factor. If a customer affords the product then only he goes for the same. Furthermore, the present ability of the product, the packaging, the branding, etc also affects the customer’s buying behaviour.
These factors are called as social influences. It contains the social norms, group influence, the cultured family, friends, household structures, etc. Mr. George is facing with the impact that what is his society, where he lives, what is his business status? These are the external influences as these all are not the creation of his mind. These all are coming from outside. These all strike in one’s mind whenever an individual is planning to purchase something. These all are external influences as the source of all these are exterior despite interior. These are also called as socio-cultural factors as they help in growing the individual relationships with his family, friends, and relatives(West and Lee, 2014). The understanding of these factors is also very important in making the buying decision. The major factor that affects the decision of a buyer is the culture. Culture is a value, beliefs, attitudes, opinion of the people that matters in a customer’s life. The culture of the individuals also covers the emotional part of a person towards his decision in buying a specific product. A person always tries to protect his cultural beliefs and values. This protective behaviour towards his culture is visible in the buying behaviour of an individual. Culture has affected Mr. George by the values and norms maintained by the society in which he is living. The society contains high-class families. In order to maintain his standard, he has decided to buy the SUV. Culture can also be taken as the environmental factor that transfers from one generation to the other.
As a culture denominates the religion and the family members, the association with a specific product is possible. The next factor is a group. A man is called as a social creature. He likes to live in a group. He cannot live alone. A group has two or more members who have prescribed values, norms, and beliefs and they usually interact with each other in order to reach to a specific decision. An individual has a habit to discuss his personal affairs in a group.
The individual’s buying decision affects the group which includes the status, pride, the frequency and level of interaction, the mutual understanding, etc. The family is also defined as a group, where two or more people live together. They may be related by marriage, birth or adoption. Mr. George is feeling the full pressure on their children for purchasing the SUV. The family is the only group that pressurizes a customer and influences the buying behaviour of the customer. The family is the most important reference group. A customer’s immediate family plays a vital role in influencing his decision. A child when imbibes from the parents, that becomes a part of his living. It becomes his habit and the style of living. Being the head of the family Mr. George has to fulfil his children’s demand. Furthermore, the subculture, the society also influences the buying behaviour of the consumer. Subculture transfers their values and norms from one generation to another. The influence of society is also remarkable. Mr. George has bought the SUV as it is also a matter of honour, pride and status for him in his society.
In the report, we have gone through regarding both the factors that influence the buying behaviour of the customers. Some factors are in the control of the customer while others are beyond their control, but they are directly or indirectly affecting Mr. George decision. In today’s era, Consumers have a number of choices in front of him. It is an era of product selection. A cut throat competition is prevailing everywhere (Calabrese, 2000). That is why the understanding of the customer’s behaviour is very necessary for the companies.
It has become the necessity for the success of the company. The companies plan their strategies according to their customers. Throughout the report related to the external and internal influencing factors, it can be quote that the each and every influence and condition is unique in itself. It also differs from one consumer to another. Some of them can be controlled by the marketers while the other can only be tackled as per the situation(Bergman, 2000). The good understanding of these factors is a key element for the success of a company. In order to conclude, the external and internal factors are interconnected somewhere and they have worked together to affect the buying decision of the customer Mr. George.
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