What factors influence your customer’s purchasing habits?
To understand who your target customer is, you also need know what their purchasing habits are. Purchasing habits can be influenced by the environment, life style or life cycle traits, income level, and employment status. They can also be influenced by personal or behavior traits. For instance, do your customers:
- Shop online or offline?
- Offline examples: ‘Brick & mortar’ stores, print catalogs, physically attending flea markets, home parties, or wholesale stores.
- Online examples: Shop via shopping networks, online only retail establishments, and online stores with ‘brick & mortar’ storefronts to complement offerings.
- Have a preference for location – whether online or offline – and time they shop?
- Require a trial period before purchasing the product or service?
- Prefer using certain payment methods – i.e. credit cards, cash and/or online vehicles such as PayPal or other similar services?
- Are price, quality, or image sensitive?
- Are motivated to buy based on a trigger event – i.e. an item needs to be replaced or some other need is driving their interest?
- Frequently use the product or service and have an urgency to fulfill or replace the item?
- Are loyal or will substitute products with competing products and/or services?
- Have a personal disposition that naturally encourages their interest?
- Will research options before purchasing or are prone to impulse purchases?
- Consider other opinions in making the purchasing decision?
- Have a tendency to search and/or purchase items via mobile devices due to convenience, price, or product availability?
- Have a negative or positive opinion of a vendor’s social/political stance on issues?
How do you find out about their purchasing habits?
By using primary and secondary resources to research where and when customers shop, you can create a marketing strategy to meet their needs. One way to find out more about customers is to ask them. Conduct a customer survey. When you understand their purchasing habits, you can improve the timing and messaging of your marketing campaigns to increase sales.
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- Ciotti, Gregory. “10 Ways to Convert More Customers Using Psychology.” Help Scout. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.helpscout.com/consumer-behavior/.
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- eMarketer. “The Future of Retail in the US: Industry Trends and Market Trends.” Business Insider. Last modified February 24, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/future-of-retail-market-trends.
- Gasca, Peter. “8 Shopping Habits of Millennials All Retailers Need to Know About.” Entrepreneur.com. Last modified December 7, 2015. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253582.
- “How American Consumers Shop Now.” Consumer Reports. Last modified September 2014. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/11/how-america-shops-now/index.htm.
- Johansson, Anna. “How Technology Is Reshaping American Spending Habits.” Entrepreneur.com. Last modified April 13, 2016. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/273860.
- Johnston, Euan. “5 Steps to Understanding Your Customer’s Buying Process.” B2B Marketing. Last modified May 18, 2016. https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en/resources/blog/5-steps-understanding-your-customers-buying-process.