Consumer behavior refers to the selection, acquisition and consumption of goods and services to meet their needs. There are different processes involved in consumer behavior. Initially, the consumer tries to find what products you would like to consume, then select only those products that promise greater utility. After selecting the products, the consumer makes an estimate of available funds that can happen. Finally, the consumer looks at the current prices of commodities and makes the decision about which products to consume. Meanwhile, there are several factors that influence consumer purchases, such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is as follows.
1. Cultural factors
Consumer behavior is deeply influenced by cultural factors, such as buyer’s culture, subculture and social class.
Essentially, culture is the share of each company and is the major cause of the person who wants and behavior. The influence of culture on the purchasing behavior varies from country to country, therefore sellers have to be very careful in the analysis of the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.
Each culture has different subcultures, such as religions, nationalities, geographical regions, racial, etc. marketing groups may use these groups, segmenting the market in several small portions. For example, marketers can design products according to the needs of a specific geographical group.
• Social Class
Every society has some kind of social class is important for marketing because the buying behavior of people in a particular social class is similar. Thus marketing activities could be adapted to different social classes. Here we should note that social class is not only determined by income, but there are several other factors such as wealth, education, occupation etc.
2. Social factors
Social factors also influence the purchasing behavior of consumers. Social factors are: the reference groups, family, the role and status.
• Reference groups
Reference groups have the potential for the formation of an attitude or behavior of the individual. The impact of reference groups vary across products and brands. For example, if the product is visible as clothing, shoes, car etc., the influence of reference groups will be high. Reference groups also include opinion leader (a person who influences others by his special skill, knowledge or other characteristics).
buyer behavior is strongly influenced by a family member. So vendors are trying to find the roles and influence of the husband, wife and children. If the decision to purchase a particular product is influenced by the wife of then sellers will try to target women in their ad. Here we should note that the purchase of roles change with changing lifestyles of consumers.
• Roles and Status
Each person has different roles and status in society in terms of groups, clubs, family, etc. organization to which it belongs. For example, a woman working in an organization as manager of finance. Now she is playing two roles, one of the chief financial officer and the mother. Therefore, purchasing decisions will be influenced by their role and status.
3. Personal factors
Personal factors may also affect consumer behavior. Some of the important factors that influence personal buying behavior are: lifestyle, economic status, occupation, age, personality and self esteem.
Age and life cycle have a potential impact on the purchasing behavior of consumers. It is obvious that consumers change the purchase of goods and services over time. Family life cycle consists of different stages as young singles, married couples, unmarried couples etc that help marketers to develop suitable products for each stage.