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Analysis of the consumer's reasons and driving factors for buying

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International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2013 (January), e-ISSN 22477225
www.ijept.org
60
Analysis of the consumer's reasons and driving factors for buying
by
Corina Pelau, Tanase Stamule
Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
corina.pelau@fabiz.ase.ro, tasestamule@ase.ro
Abstract. One of the biggest challenges for companies nowdays is to convince the consumers to buy their own products and
not the ones from the competitors. For this, it is important not only to know the needs, preferences and options of the
consumer, but also to know the factors which determine the consumer to buy these products. This article presents the results
of a research about the reasons and reactions of consumer behavior. More precisely, there are analyzed the free recall factor s
which a consumer mentions to take in condideration when making the buying decision for several product groups. The
results of the research show that the price, the brand and the quality of the product are the most frequent factors which the
consumers mentions, but there are also other product specific factors. Based on these results a company should adjust its
communication strategy in order to determine the consumer to buy its products.
Key words: consumer behavior, buying motives, buying decision, product groups.
JEL classification: M31
1 Introduction
The biggest challenge for the analysis of the
consumer is the fact that in recent years the
needs and preferences of the consumer have
changed according to the development of the
society in which we live. According to Solomon
et. al. the consumer doesn’t want to fulfill his
basic needs, but he also defines by them his
image, express his personality and consolidate
his image in the society (Solomon, et.al. 2010,
pg. XIV). Besides the classic factors which
influence the consumer behavior such as
culture, social groups, family and personality
(Kotler, Bliemel, 2001, pg. 325), the behavior
of the consumers in the world is more and more
influenced by globalization. The access to
internet, mobile communication as well as more
efficient transportation means has increased the
information a consumer has. A research by
Alden, Steenkamp and Batra (2006) confirm the
fact that influence of globalization is stronger in
countries which have a high exposure to media
and in materialistic cultures (Alden, Steenkamp,
Batra, 2006, pg. 227-239). Still Djursaa and
Kragh (1998) remark that the globalization
influences on consumer behavior depend also
on the product category. So the more cultural
values are associated with a certain brand, the
more difficult is the acceptance of international
product (Djursaa, Kragh, 1998, pg. 23-38).
Marketing research has shown that consumer
buy not the products for themselves, but for
several reason by which a certain product can
influence in a positive way their lifes. Knowing
the factors which contribute to the buying
decison can influence easier the consumer. For
this reason it is important for any company to
know them. From a methodological point of
view there are several forms of determining the
factors which influence the consumer behavior.
According to Aaker (1991), there are four
phases of product awareness and knowledge
(Aaker, 1991). The first phase and the most
unconvenient one is when the consumer is
unaware of a brand. In this stage the probability
that he buys the product is very low. The second
phase is the aided recall. The consumer doesn't
remember some brands or brand characteristics
but he is able to recognize them. A more
conveniente phase is the unaided recall, when
the consumer can remember without help the
characteristics of a certain product. The last and
the most conveniente for companies is the top
of mind awareness, where the consumer can not
only mention a certain brand, but he can also
give details about it. This is the phase where the
probability that the consumer will buy the
product is the highest. In this article there is
analyzed the unaided recall of the factors which
International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2013 (January), e-ISSN 22477225
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61
influence the buying decision of the Romanian
consumer.
2 Methodology and coordinates of the
research
The objective of the research was to determine
the cognitive and emotional reactions of the
consumer behavior and the rationality of this
behavior. The research was done in the period
November 2011-December 2011. For the
research, there were chosen an equal number of
men and women and there was also a
homogeneous distribution among 5 age groups.
The respondents within every segment were
chosen on a random basis. There were received
711 answers. The questionnaire contained
questions about the general behavior of the
consumer, the emotional-impulsive behavior of
the consumer as well as the way in which the
consumers behave for 13 different product
groups.
In this article there is analyzed the unaided
factors which influence the behavior of the
consumer. For each of the 13 product groups
the consumer was asked to mention the most
important three factors on which he makes his
buying decision, without having any answer
options. The results presented contain the
cumulated values of the three main factors,
wihout taking in consideration the order of
mentioning them. In the following there are
presented the results only of 7 of the 13
analyzed product groups. Among the seven
categories, there were chosen the cans, fruits
and vefetbales, meat and dairy products, cooked
products, alcoholic beverages and sweets.
3 Factors and unaided reasons for buying
In this chapter there are presented the reasons
which the consumer mention about buying
products of several types. These reasons can be
used in advertising or in other marketing
communication means to influence much easier
the consumer in their buying decision. In this
article there are presented the most important
5-6 factors for buying for each product group.
Consumers also mentioned other factors, but
they were not so frequent.
In figure 1, there are presented the main factors
for buying cans. As it can be observed the most
important factor which influences the
consumers when buying cans is the price. 85%
of the consumer mention that the price is
important when making the buying decision.
13
24
40
52
85
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Quantity
"Best be fore" date
Quality
Brand
Price
Figure 1. Top 5 buying influencing factors for cans
(Source: Own research results)
The second highest importance, being
mentioned by 52% of the consumers is the
brand. The brand assures the consumers about
the characteristics and safety of the product and
it is also an identification element. 40% of the
consumers mention the quality as an important
buying reason. Quality is a factor which is
expected by many consumers with the remark
that it is a subjective construct. The quality of
the products is often related to the expectations
of the consumers and can be of more types. We
can talk about the quality regarding the
ingredients, the quality of the taste, the quality
of the package and so on. Moreover a product
which is considered of high quality for certain
consumers doesn't necessary have to be of
quality for other consumers. Despite all these it
is a factor which influences the consumer and
for this reason it must be taken in consideration
and used in different comunication means.
Another important factor, mentioned by 24% of
the consumers is the "best before" date. Cans
are not fresh products and in many cases they
are bought to be kept for a longer period of
time. For this reason the valability period is
very important in the case of cans. The quantity
of the product is also an important factor in the
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62
buying decision. Depending on their need,
consumers buy bigger or smaller portions. For
this reason companies should adjust their
sortiment to fulfill the needs of the consumers.
Besides the factors analyzed in figure 1, there
are also other factors which are mentioned by
the consumers, when buying cans. There are
mentioned factors like the producer,
ingredients, country of origin, aspect, package
and so on. Mentioned factors typical for this
product are the content of preservatives, content
of salt or the fact that it is practical and needs
no preparation. Some of the consumers even
mention that they buy it because the product
brings them satisfaction. In order to be
succesful a company which produces cans
should take in consideration all these factors
and should integrate them in the marketing
communication means.
For the product group fruits and vegetables, the
influencing factors are different as this product
group is totally opposite to cans. In the case of
cans, the valability period of the products is
very long in opposition to fruits and vegetables,
which are natural and fresh. This has also an
impact on the reasons which determine the
buying decision. The most important
influencing factors for fruits and vegetables can
be observed in figure 2.
24
26
38
39
86
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Fres hnes s
Countr y of origin
Aspe ct
Quality
Price
Figure 2. Top 5 buying influencing factors for fruits and
vegetables
(Source: Own research results)
The main reason for buying fruits and
vegetables is the price. 86% of the consumers
mention the price as one of top 3 aspects whicht
they take in consideration when buying fruits
and vegetables. On the next places are the
quality (39%) and the aspect (38%). As for
cans, in the case of the quality it is difficult to
analyze the elements which are considered to be
qualitative for the consumer. Still it can be an
element which should be used and taken in
consideration for the marketing communication
means. Also in the case of the presentation of
the products in the store, they should look good,
as it is an important factor for buying.
The first two reasons for buying fruits and
vegetables can be also found at cans. The next
to elemets are typical for this prodct group. 26%
of the consumer mention the country of origin
as a factor which influences the buying
decision. Some countries have also better
climate characteristics for growing certain types
of fruits and vegetables. Besides the aspect,
the fresh look of the products is also a factor
which is mentioned by many consumers (24%).
As expected the brand is not one of the most
mentioned factors as there are not many known
brands in this product group. Although, 20% of
the consumers mention the brand as factor for
their buying decision and 7% of the consumer
mention the producer as a factor for the buying
decision. 4% of the consumers event mention
that they prefer products from Romanian
producers.
Besides these general factors, there are also
other products group specific factors as for
instance the colour, the smell, he taste of the
products the content of vitamins and other.
Some of the consumers prefer the season
specific products and they rather buy fruits and
vegetables directly from the paysans who
produces them. Availability and proximity of
finding the products are also factors mentioned
for the buying decision.
As it can be observed in figure 3, for the
product group meat the most important factor in
the buying decision is the price. 82% of the
consumer mention the price as important reason
in the buying decison. As meat is a product
group with not that many brands, the next most
important factors in the buying decision of meat
are the quality and the aspect. 39% of the
consumers mention the quality as important
buying factor, while 34% of the consumers
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63
menion the aspect as an important factor. It is
important to mention that in the case of meat
the aspect gives an important insight about the
quality of the products. 26% of the consumers
mention the brand as important factor in the
buying decsion, while another 7% mention the
producer.
16
20
23
26
34
39
82
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Countr y of origin
"Best be fore" date
Fres hnes s
Brand
Aspe ct
Quality
Price
Figure 3. Top 7 buying influencing factors for meat
(Source: Own research results)
The freshness of the products and the
production date are another important elements
in the buying decsion of meat products. 23% of
the consumers analyze the freshness of the meat
products when buying them, while 20% analyze
the date when it was produced and the "best
before" date. It is important to mention that
meat is an easy perishable product so that the
quality of the meat is determined by its
production date. Another important aspect in
the buying decision is the country of origin. It is
known that in some regions of the world there
were problems with health of the animals so for
this reason the country of origin is an important
factor in the buying decision. Besides this, in
some countries the hygene norms are better
monitored than in others so that consumers trust
more the products from certain countries.
Regarding the influence of the country of
origin, 4% of the consumers prefer Romanian
meat products.
Besides these frequent factors there are also
other important elements mentioned for the
buying decision of meat products. Consumer
take in consideration different aspects regarding
the aspect of meat as for instance the taste, the
smell or the colour. The type of meat is also
very important for the buying decision (3%) and
the amount of fat (1%). The easyness of the
preparation, the diversity of food types which
can be prepared and the necessity of eating meat
are also taken in consideration in the buying
decision for meat products. Consequently a
meat company should take in consideration all
these aspects when developing its strategy. So
the meat should be presented in a nice manner
in the store and it should be fresh. As meat is an
easy perishable product, the meat companies
shoul have a very well organized planning
system as all the products which can not be sold
within the short valability period (1-2 days) can
not be sold anymore.
Milk products are also easy perishable goods,
but in comparison to meat, on this market there
are more powerful brands and producers. This is
reflected in the order of the influencing factors
on the buying decision, as it can be observed in
figure 4. As in all analyzed product groups, the
price plays an important role in the buying
decision. 84% of the consumers mention that
they take in consideration the price when
buying milk products. 53% of the consumers
mention the brand as factor in the buying
decsions, while 11% of the consumers mention
the producer. The quality of the products is
mention by 37% of the consumers, while the
valability period is mentioned by 25% of them.
Although there in not put to much focus on the
country of origin in the case of dairy products,
10% of them mention it as an important factor
in the buying decision.
10
11
25
37
53
84
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Countr y of origin
Produce r
"Best be fore" date
Quality
Brand
Price
Figure 4. Top 6 buying influencing factors for dairy
products
(Source: Own research results)
Among other elements regarding the content,
which influence the consumer are the freshness
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64
(8%), the amount of fats (5%), the amount of
calories, the ingredients (5%) as the contenet of
preservatives, of bio ingredients or even of
powder milk. Another aspect is the fact there
are some consumers which are allergic to dairy
products so that they buy only special products.
Marketing elemets such as advertising,
packaging or aspect also influence the
consumer. So 5% of the consumers are
influenced by advertising, 5% are influenced by
the package while 8% are influenced by the
aspect. Dairy products are also bought because
they are healthy and the consumers like them.
In figure 5 there can be observed the main
reasons for buying cooked products, a more
recent developed product group. As for the
other product groups, price is the most
important factor for the buying decision.
Despite this, it can be observed that price is
mention by only 76% of the consumers, which
is a lower value compared to the other product
groups, where price is mentioned by more than
80% of the consumers. Although the price plays
an important role for the buying decision, this
influence is lower than in the case of other
product groups. On the second place after the
price it is mentioned the quality with a value of
41%. Although there are not many brands in the
field of cooked products, 31% of the consumers
mention the brand as an important buying
factor. Probably the consumers associate the
cooked products with the store from where they
buy them. Another 4% mention also the
producer.
11
14
28
31
41
76
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Fres hnes s
"Best be fore" date
Aspe ct
Brand
Quality
Price
Figure 5. Top 6 buying influencing factors for cooked
products
(Source: Own research results)
The next most important factor for the
consumer is the aspect of the cooked products.
28% of the consumer mention the aspect when
making the buying decision for food products,
while another 11% mention the freshness,
which can be aslo determined with the help of
the aspect. 14% of the consumer mention the
valability period as an important factor for the
buying decision.
Besides these, there are also other factors which
are mentioned to influence the buying decision.
In the case of the cooked products, there are
many factors regarding the convenience and the
impulse. So many consumer state that they buy
cooked products because they save time (2%), it
is easier to buy them cooked, it is difficult to
produce them at home or even because they
start to have appetite, when seeing them. They
are also bought because of their ingredients
(9%), taste (5%), necessity (5%) or variety.
In the case of alcoholic beverages the price and
the brand are the most important factors which
influence the buying decision. As it can be
observed in figure 6, 83% of the consumers
make the buying decision based on the price. As
an advertising intense branch, the influence of
the brand is the highest compared to other
product groups. So 61% of the consumers admit
that they make their buying decision based on
the brand. Quality has also an important role in
the buying decision, as 36% of the consumer
mention it as an important factor in their buying
decision. Among the most mentioned reasons
for buying are also the valability period (11%),
taste (9%) and country of origin (9%).
The buying decision for alcoholic products is
also influneced by several aspects regarding the
marketing of the products such as the package
(7%), producer (7%), advertising (6%) or aspect
(4%). Besides this there are specific reasons
regarding alcoholic bevrages such as the content
of alcohol (3%) or ingredients (4%). It is also
interesting to observe that there are also many
mentioned factors about the feelings and
emotions of the consumers. There are
respondents who state that they buy alcoholic
products for fun (3%) or because of preferences,
satisfaction, experince or because they have
appetite on it or because of the state of mind. So
it can be observed that the buying decision is
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65
not only taken because of the characteristics of
the products but also because of the feelings to
which the products are associated.
9
9
11
36
61
83
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Countr y of origin
Taste
"Best be fore" date
Quality
Brand
Price
Figure 6. Top 6 buying influencing factors for alcoholic
beverages
(Source: Own research results)
The last analyzed product group are the sweets.
As it can be observed in figure 7, in the case of
sweets price is also the most important factor in
the buying decision. 80% of the consumers
mention the price as the most important factor.
As a product group influenced by advertising,
the brand has an important role in the buying
decision, so that 57% of the consumers mention
the brand with a high influence, while 35% of
the consumer mention the quality. Valability
period, ingredients and taste have also a
significant role in the buying decision.
9
9
17
35
57
80
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Taste
Ingre dient es
"Best be fore" date
Quality
Brand
Price
Figure 7. Top 6 buying influencing factors for sweets
(Source: Own research results)
Besides these, there were also mentioned
factors such as advertising (8%), aspect (8%),
package (7%) country of origin (7%) and
producer (6%). Aspects related to the content of
the product are also very important so that the
consumer take in consideration the amount of
calories or preservatives or the flavour. Similar
to the alcoholic beverages sweets are also a
product which is bought because of the fact that
the consumer has appetite on it or it indulges
some pleasures.
4 Conclusions
As the methodology of the research shows, the
responses presented in this article are the factors
mentioned unaided by the consumer and
represent in this sense only the opinions of the
consumer. Although some of the mentioned
factors can be improved by being more specific,
these results are very important because they
show the elements, reasons and factors which
crosses through the mind of the consumer when
he is asked about the elements which influences
the buying decision. Besides this it is a good
element of control to see what the consumers
perceive and memorize in an inconscience way
from all the marketing communication means.
Of course these are just the perceived
conscience factors of the consumer, while the
decision might be based also on other
unconscience elements.
As the results of the research show price is the
most important element for the buying decision,
according to the opinion of the consumers. For
all product groups, more than 75% of the
consumers mention the price in the top 3 factors
that influence the buying decision. The next to
important facttors, which alternate from one
product group to another are quality and the
brand. As mentioned in the article the quality
from the perspective of the consumer is a
subjective construct as it is not determined what
a consumer associates with quality. Still from a
marketing perspective it is useful to use the
construct of quality in the communication as it
has a high impact on the consumer. The brand
has highre importance in more advertised
branches as for instnace cans, dairy products,
alcoholic beverages or sweets. It is interesting
that few consumers mention advertising as
influencing factors, althogh they are influenced
by the brand, which is created with the help of
advertising. This shows the unconcience
influence of advertising. Besides these there
were mentioned other product group specific
International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2013 (January), e-ISSN 22477225
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66
factors such as aspect, valability period, country
of origin and others.
Acknowledgment
This work was supported from the European
Social Fund through Sectoral Operational
Programme Human Resources Development
2007-2013, project number POSDRU/ 89/ 1.5/
S/ 59184 “Performance and excellence in
postdoctoral research in Romanian economics
science domain”.
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Author description
Dr. Corina Pelau is lecturer at the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, Department of
Business Administration UNESCO. Within the Faculty of Business Administration, in foreign
languages she helds courses of organizational and consumer behavior, customer relationship
management and marketing. Her main research interests are consumer behavior, customer relationship
management and marketing-controlling.
Dr. Tanase Stamule is assistent at the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, Department
of Business Administration UNESCO. Within the Faculty of Business Administration, in foreign
languages he helds courses of strategic management, intercultural management and entrepreneurship.
His main research interests are strategic management, entrepreneurship and human resource
management.
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The analysis of the consumer behavior has become one of the most important aspects in the way companies make their decision and the way they develop their strategy. Knowing the motivation and the behavior of buying of the consumers can help companies develop their strategy accordingly and by this to convince the consumers to buy more. Besides this, the behavior of the consumer is a good reflection of the image of the society, its values and its important aspects. So knowing the motivation of buying doesn’t only give directions to companies for their strategy, but also shows the development of a society. The facts presented in this article are based on an experiment about the behavior of the consumers in different retail formats in Romania. More precisely, from the observed behavior of the Romanian consumers there were build six clusters, which present the way consumers shop and the product groups which are more important for them. There are presented the methodology of the Ward cluster analysis, the characteristics and some demographic data of the clusters.
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The possibility of marketing standardized products depends on the ability of the products to penetrate the cultural systems of the intended markets. A segmentation of markets into peripheral (culturally open) and central (culturally closed) consumption contexts makes it possible to identify structures which are receptive to foreign, unfamiliar products and structures which resist globalization. This segmentation principle may be a valuable help for the firm's strategic decisions about the product portfolio's composition of locally adapted and globally standardized products. The theoretical argument builds on data collected on the consumption context of furnishings in Britain, supplemented with Denmark, and the consumption contexts of food in the three Arab cities, Riyadh, Jedda and Dubai.
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Despite the long tradition of research on country-of-origin and consumer ethnocentrism, many of the issues remain unresolved in the literature, most notably the relationship between cognitive, affective and normative mechanisms in consumer choice behavior, and generalizability of existing research findings to non-traditional emerging and/or small country markets. This study responds to the current gaps in knowledge in that it examines behavioral manifestations of consumers’ choice of domestic vs. foreign products in four transitioning post-war markets in the West Balkans. Data were collected via personal interviews with 1954 adult urban consumers. The model of domestic purchase behavior was tested using SEM analysis. The results for all four country samples indicate that consumer ethnocentrism has affected domestic purchase behavior both directly and indirectly through domestic product appraisal. Moreover, we found consumer worldliness, a controversial construct in previous studies, to be uniformly negatively related to ethnocentrism. On the other hand, the findings related to the role of national identification as an antecedent to consumer ethnocentrism and domestic product appraisal were inconsistent across the samples. The implications of these findings for the validity and generalizability of existing models of consumer behavior in a new cultural context are considered, and implications for marketers interested in exploiting opportunities in the region are discussed.
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This study examines factors thought to influence consumers' planned and impulse purchase decisions including subjective culture (individualist or collectivist consumers) and the presence of another person at the time of purchase. Data was collected in four countries — the USA, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. The results indicate that overall, consumers are differentially influenced by others in planned and impulse purchase situations, even after controlling for price. These differential influences can be explained by culture. Compared to more individualist consumers, more collectivist consumers are likely to be more satisfied with an impulse purchase when another person is present at the time of purchase.
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The role of emotion as a source of bounded rationality has been largely ignored. Following Herbert Simon, economists as well as psychologists have mainly focused on cognitive constraints while neglecting to integrate the growing body of research on emotion which indicates that reason and emotion are interconnected. Accordingly, the present paper aims to bridge the existing gap. By establishing a link between the two domains of research, emotion and bounded rationality, it will be suggested that emotions work together with rational thinking in two distinct ways, and thereby function as an additional source of bounded rationality. The aim, therefore, is not to offer an alternative to bounded rationality; rather, the purpose is to elaborate and supplement themes emerging out of bounded rationality.
  • D L Alden
  • J B Steenkamp
  • R Batra
Alden, D. L.; Steenkamp, J. B.; Batra, R. (2006): Consumer attitudes towards marketplace globalization: Structure, antecedents and consequences, in: International Journal of Research in Marketing, nr. 23, pg. 227-239.
Stilurile consumatorilor de a lua decizii şi consumatorii tineri-adulţi: o explorare indiană
  • A M Anubhav
Anubhav, A. M. (2010): Stilurile consumatorilor de a lua decizii şi consumatorii tineri-adulţi: o explorare indiană, in: Revista Romana de Marketing, nr. 4.