What is consumer behavior?
Consumer behavior is defined as activities people undertake when obtaining, consuming, and disposing of products and services.
Obtaining refers to the activities leading up to and including the purchase or receipt of a product. Consuming means how, where, when and under what circumstances consumers use products. Disposing refers to how consumers get rid of products and packaging.
Consumer behavior also can be defined as a field of study that focuses on consumer activities.
How do you study consumers?
Methods can be classified into three major methodological approaches: (1) observation, (2) interviews and surveys, and (3) experimentation. An observational approach to consumer research consists primarily of observing consumer behaviors in different situations. In-home observation places marketers inside people’s homes to examine exactly how products are consumed. Shadowing is a method in which a researcher accompanies or “shadows” consumers through the shopping and consumption processes, asking questions about each step of the process. Surveys are an efficient way of gathering information from a large sample of consumers by asking questions and recording responses. Interviewer bias: the potential for an interviewer to affect the responses of the interviewee, perhaps because of a desire to please the interviewer. Focus groups usually consist of eight to twelve people involved in a discussion led by a moderator skilled in persuading consumers to discuss thoroughly a topic of interest to the researcher. Longitudinal studies involve repeated measures of consumer activities over time to determine changes in their opinions, buying and consumption behaviors. Experimentation attempt to understand cause-and-effect relationships by carefully manipulating independent variables to determine how these changes affect dependent variables. A laboratory experiment is...