Environmental Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior
Consume behavior is affected by different environmental factors including
Culture and societal environment
Culture plays a crucial role in determining the needs and behavior of a consumer. It is good to note that as a person grows up, he or she is influenced by his friends, cultural environment, society and the family. Through the environment, an individual learns of certain values, preferences and adapts to common behaviors. Therefore, an individual is often likely to make decisions on products based on what he or she adapted to while growing up.
Social factors are environmental influences that affect a consumer’s behavior significantly. It is even more significant in today’s age and era where advancement in technology and social media have influenced social roles and status of many individuals.
Social factors are classified into three including social roles, family and reference groups. A person is therefore influenced by the type of group he or she associates with, family background and the position a person holds in the family, club and country or in a group of friends.
Due to social setting, a consumer develops certain attitudes and perception over specific products. It influences purchasing decisions of many people across the globe. For example, a CEO of any company is often seen a rich and superior person. As a result, a CEO should live an elegant life; drive a big car and dress well to be taken serious by employees and clients.
Personal factors affect a consumer’s behavior significantly. The characteristics of each consumer determine whether a person will buy specific products or not. Personal factors include age and way of life. Therefore, an individual can buy a specific product based on his values, environment he or she lives in, activities, hobbies and general lifestyle that one leads.
One can choose to buy a specific phone model because of the kind of activities, hobbies or work related issues. Therefore, a consumer will purchase certain products and services that he or she loves to identify with based on personal factors.
Psychological factors are of the environmental factors that has a very significant impact on a consumer’s behavior. It is divided into four major categories including perception, learning, motivation and beliefs/attitudes.
Motivation is a driving force that drives a consumer to purchase a specific product or service to achieve satisfaction.
Perception-this is the process in which a consumer settles for a product based on the information provided by marketers. This will affect consumer behavior based on 3 major ways including selective attention, selective retention and selective distortion.
Learning-this is a continuous process through action. When somebody acts, he or she learns. Therefore, a change in behavior often results from the experiences that a consumer goes through. Learning is a process that changes the behavior of a consumer in the process of acquiring information. For example if a consumer had a good experience after using a certain product, he or she will often buy the same product for satisfaction.
Attitudes and beliefs– a belief is a conviction while attitude is a feeling or predisposition to act in a specific way. Through beliefs and attitudes, consumers develop coherent behaviors towards specific brands thus influencing their purchasing decisions.
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