Understanding the Types of Consumer Behavior for Better Conversion

Digital Marketing
Understanding the Types of Consumer Behavior for Better Conversion
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: October 25, 2022

As business owners and marketers, you can benefit greatly from knowing what drives your target audience to pick your brand over competitors. When you analyze and use this knowledge correctly, you can experience greater conversion for your product or service offers.

There are four types of consumer behavior where these purchasing patterns, impulses, and decisions are anchored. And devising digital marketing strategies, such as on-demand marketing, according to these consumer behavior types is a smart practice.

The pandemic has seen a shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping. This means businesses need to invest more in digital marketing consultants, as an exceptional digital experience is what earns the loyalty of almost 60% of consumers.

Receive proposals from top digital marketing agencies. It’s free.
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

What is Consumer Behavior?

Consumer behavior is a series of patterns that individuals and organizations follow before deciding on the selection, purchase, usage, and disposal of products or services.

This marketing concept begins with awareness of a want or need for a product or service and concludes with a purchase or subscription transaction.

Learning how consumers interact with and utilize your offers can help you make more informed future decisions about product design, creation, and marketing.

There are four types of consumer buying behavior classified based on people’s degree of involvement in a purchase.

4 Types of Consumer Behavior

Understanding the four consumer behavior types can help you become more aware of your products’ benefits influencing buyers to transact with your brand instead of another.

These four types of consumer behavior are as follows:

1. Complex Buying Behavior

Complex buying behavior means a customer with extensive knowledge of the significant differentiators of brands is highly involved in a purchase.

People who display this consumer behavior type do their due diligence and conduct adequate research to compare their options.

They will gather relevant information about varying brand and product choices. They will look into details until they find and settle with what they perceive to be the best selection.

This type of consumer buying behavior is generally triggered by high levels of brand awareness, known risks, high costs, and infrequent transactions.

For instance, buying a house, car, or electronics is a transaction wherein a client will compare prices and product attributes carefully. The buyer will test multiple options before arriving at a decision and making a purchase.

Brand managers and marketing experts can develop strategies that provide detailed product information. Highlight its best features and benefits that are most attractive to prospective customers.

You should aim to help customers explore their options and show them how choosing your brand over competitors will work most favorably for them.

2. Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behavior

Dissonance-reducing consumer behavior happens when a highly involved consumer perceives few differences between brands. This suggests a feeling of discomfort from holding two or more different products.

Buyers with expert knowledge of the products will need to decrease cognitive dissonance. Thus, they will justify their decision by identifying reasons to support it.

The customer may assess ratings and reviews, compare features and prices thoroughly, or seek advice from family or friends with previous buyer experience with the brands in question.

They may have a brand they initially intended to buy before purchasing another. And they end up feeling satisfied with the latter.

This type of consumer behavior is commonly found in repeat or frequent purchases.

3. Habitual Buying Behavior

Consumers buying out of routine or habit display the habitual type of consumer behavior. In this situation, they have low involvement in the purchase. Not putting much thought into the transaction, they also tend to stick with a product or brand and are less likely to switch to another.

Habitual buyers are influenced by price, availability, proximity, and convenience.

This type of consumer buying behavior shows during common, customary shopping, such as when going to the grocery store or market.

Habitual buying behavior includes:

  • Buying the same food items and consuming them regularly
  • Buying from the same clothing brand and in similar colors
  • Buying identical or similar seasonal gifts every year

Soda, salt, and coffee are more specific examples of purchases that can trigger habitual buying behavior.

These are the three habitual purchaser categories:

1. The New Purchase Type

This pertains to buyers constantly looking for new brands and products to try them once. They can be impulsive with their purchases, deciding without being reflective or using much reason. Neither do they have the patience to research other available options in the marketplace.

Social buyers fall under this type. 44% of them are likely to buy a brand they have not encountered yet.

2. The Relative Value Type

These are buyers who always look for the best available bargain on goods they are already aware they like.

Saving money interests the relative value type of habitual buyer.

Unlike the new purchase habitual buyer, they are more careful with being economical. They will not spend on items they believe are not worthwhile and would not serve them in the long term.

3. The Compensatory Action Type

These purchasers avail of products to make up for what is missing from their life. The intention is to feel good about themselves, improve their situation, or fill an insufficiency.

They are driven by changing moods and emotions. They are inclined to buy food impulsively because they are hungry. Or subscribe to a movie streaming platform without hesitating when they are bored.

4. Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior

The variety-seeking consumer behavior type is a buying pattern wherein customers procure a product based on the occasion or their mood. They tend to switch from one brand to another and experiment with new items.

Inexpensive costs of changing brand preferences can trigger this type of consumer behavior. These are other factors that prompt this consumer behavior type:

  • Convenience
  • Product attributes
  • Geographical proximity
  • Dissatisfaction with an earlier purchase
  • Influence from peers and family
  • Price increase of previously patronized product

Some products that cause this type of consumer behavior are cleaning supplies and toiletries.

Free samples and discount offers are excellent ways to advertise products to this type of consumer buying behavior.

Influences on the Types of Consumer Buying Behavior

Several factors affect consumers’ purchasing choices. Some are permanent, like gender, while others are temporary, like mood and emotional state.

Here are the five main factors that shape buying behaviors and choices:

1. Personal Factors

These are critical considerations for marketing specialists when sketching a buyer persona.

Personal factors cover:

  • The target market’s demographics, such as gender, age group, and location
  • Occupation
  • Lifestyle
  • Pain points
  • Client needs and preferences

2. Social Factors

These factors include:

  • Peer pressure
  • Opinions of friends and family
  • Social class
  • Cultural background
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Gender orientation and preference
  • Current trends

People who share any of these factors tend to have similar buying patterns and habits.

3. Psychological Factors

Psychological factors are quite difficult to anticipate. These will depend on personalities, which are immensely different for every individual.

These factors include:

  • Mindset, i.e., a person’s reception and interpretation of information and the response to them
  • Level of motivation
  • Positive or negative perception of a brand
  • Degree of brand awareness and loyalty
  • Willingness to spend

4. Economic Factors

Product prices relative to consumers’ income have a significant influence over their buying patterns and decisions.

The higher a person’s income is, the easier it will be to persuade them to spend.

The general economic condition of the country an individual lives in is also greatly influential over the public’s purchasing behaviors.

People who live in more affluent countries have greater purchasing power. They are more capable of buying inessential goods, like products intended for recreation, without compromising their basic needs.

You can segment your brand’s target audiences by income range and propose a solution based on each economic group’s needs and preferences.

5. Situational Factors

People’s shopping environment can play a role in their buying behaviors and choices.

For example, in physical stores, the general ambience may persuade or discourage them from making a purchase.

The lighting, music, client service, and placement of product displays can affect their decisions. The shop location is another situational factor.

The same applies to eCommerce websites. The online store’s visuals, user-friendliness, ease of navigation, and convenience of the checkout process are situational factors impacting consumer behaviors.

Regardless of platform, 76% of consumers value convenience as their foremost priority.

Getting Acquainted With the Types of Consumer Behavior

Studying the different types of consumer behavior enables you to experiment and approach your target market from various angles. It equips you with data to position your marketing strategies in a way that underscores how your brand and products or services will benefit potential customers.

The four types of consumer buying behavior uncover details that make you more deeply understand what guides people’s purchasing decisions.

The value of knowing the types of consumer buying behavior lies in that:

  • You can provide more customized client experiences.
  • You get more opportunities to acquire and retain customers.
  • You can enhance product creation and management.
  • You discover new customer-centric marketing methods.
We’ll find qualified digital marketing agencies for your project, for free.
Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news