There is a wide array of elements that affect consumer behavior. These factors are typically divided into internal or external motivations. Some of the most common motivators include social, economic, and environmental factors. Marketers often use information from multiple areas of study, such as economics, sociology, and psychology, in order to try to understand consumer behavior.
Social aspects of consumer behavior can be related to the influence of external elements such as family, social class, and culture. Customers frequently make decisions based on the beliefs and traditions of the society in which they live. They often also often buy certain items because they feel it is appropriate for their particular social class. Both of these elements can also play a similar role in the smaller family environment. Other social groups or professional associations can also affect when, where, and why a customer may buy a certain product.
Environmental factors are another external element that can affect consumer behavior. The time of day, weather, and immediate surroundings may all affect the way an individual buys. By making marketing decisions based on these conditions, advertisers strive to reach consumers in the space and time where they are most likely to make a purchase. This can include the timing of ads, the stores selected for heavy promotion, and the sort of product offered.
Consumer behavior can include personal decisions or buying behavior that is meant to benefit another organization. The personal buying decisions an individual makes will typically differ from those made professionally, particularly if the purchase is made as an employee of an organization rather than as a business owner. In essence, this belief emphasizes that consumers can have multiple profiles based on the different aspects of their lives.
Another important aspect of consumer behavior is internal factors, such as personal beliefs, needs, and desires. Marketers will often attempt to determine what factors motivate the individual and study how that point of view differs from decisions made due to external factors. Some of the things affecting internal beliefs include economics, lifestyle, and knowledge.
Many marketers will also study the post-purchase behavior of a consumer. Beneficial product changes can be made via understanding how purchases have affected customers. This includes determining whether or not consumers have stayed loyal to a particular brand after purchase. It can also be helpful to know which brands consumers have chosen if they have decided not to be a repeat customer. This information is often collected via direct feedback, though market research can also be useful.