Changing Consumption Patterns

Topics: Fast food, Globalization, Household income in the United States Pages: 7 (2310 words) Published: November 27, 2010
Consumer classification and consumption patterns
Ankit Verma
Aditya Srivastava
Rohit Sharma
Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad

How the consumers consume and for what purposes, drives the producers as to how they extract resources and create products. The consumers are classified on the basis of consumption patterns which are ascertained by observing their actual behaviour in a market in various purchase situations. These patterns are explained by multiple factors like tastes and preferences of people, price of product etc. But the most crucial factor is the income of consumers. During the last two decades, the norms and institutions all over the world have changed in ways that has either encouraged or permitted higher inequality in incomes. Under the conventional view, rising inequality is a side effect of economic progress as the growth rate is different in different countries. The other reasons for differences in incomes are level of education, priorities of people i.e. they prefer job profile with more money or status, politics and policies of a country, say, different labor laws in different countries etc. Apart from differences in incomes, another important factor influencing consumption patterns is tastes and preferences of consumer. Though the taste is becoming international, consumer’s choices and preferences still vary from place to place and hence the consumption patterns. An example would be McDonalds being a global brand does not serve beef and pork products in India.

Geert Hofstede said, “There is no such thing as universal rationality… what is rational or irrational to a person depends on that person's value systems, which in turn is part of the culture that person has acquired in her or his lifetime. What people around the world value vary enormously?” The consumers can be classified on the basis of their consumption patterns. Today’s consumption is undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating inequalities. And the dynamics of the consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating. If the trends continue without change — not redistributing from high-income to low-income consumers, not shifting from polluting to cleaner goods and production technologies, not promoting goods that empower poor producers, not shifting priority from consumption for conspicuous display to meeting basic needs — today’s problems of consumption and human. The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects. The evolution of consumption patterns can be (at least partly) explained by the interplay of different historical driving forces. The literature offers many accounts of this evolution in terms of technological innovation, demographic transition, socio-political changes or socio-cultural transformation. Nowadays, it is more and more widely acknowledged that all these trends should be considered together, i.e. in a systemic way, as parts of an encompassing process of innovation.

Consumer Classification

1.Loyal: These people are the ones who can and should influence the buying and merchandising decisions. Nothing can make a Loyal Consumer feel better than soliciting their input and showing them how much value is in it. Many times, the more the producers do for them, the more they recommend them to others. 2.Discount: They shop the stores frequently, but make their decisions based on the size of markdowns. This category helps ensure producers that their inventory is turning over and, as a result, it is a key contributor to cash flow. This same group, however, can often wind up costing the producers money because they are more inclined to return product. 3.Impulse: They do not have buying a particular item at the top of their “To Do” list, but they purchase on a whim. They purchase what seems good at the time. The producers would like to serve these types of consumers because they provide the producers a...
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