Consumer Buyer Behaviour

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Possibly the most challenging concept in the marketing is to deal with understanding the buyer behaviour. Consumer Buying Behaviour refers to the buying behaviour of the final customers, and households who buy goods and services for personal consumption. It is fascinating but different area to research and this is particularly relevant in the tourism field, where the decision to purchase by a consumer is of emotional significance. Consumers vary tremendously in age, income, education level and tastes and they buy an incredible variety of goods and services. Today market place has become very competitive. During the last 20 years hundreds of hotel companies developed new restaurants and hotels around the globe. In addition hospitality and tourism industry have undergone globalisation which has increased the competitors within the industry. So to attract the customers, the company that really understand how consumers will respond to different product features, price and advertising appeal has a great advantage over its competitors. Consumer behaviour is affected by many uncontrollable factors and their purchases are strongly influenced by cultural, social, personal and psychological factors. These factors cannot be control by marketers but must be taken into account before launching product or advertising the product.

Factors affecting consumer buying behaviour
Consumer decision making is essentially a problem solving process. Most customers, whether individual customers or organisational buyers, go through similar mental processes in deciding which products and brands to buy. The more marketers know about the factors affecting their customers buying behaviour the greater their ability to design attractive product or service offerings to define and target meaningful market segments, and to develop marketing programs to fit the concerns and desires of those segments. The factors affecting consumer behaviour are as follows:- 1. Cultural Factors: - Cultural factors exert the broadest and deepest influence on consumer behaviour. It has a significant impact on the consumer buying behaviour. Cultural factors consist of culture, subculture and social class. (A) Culture: - Culture is the most basic cause of a person's wants and behaviour. It comprises the basic values, perceptions, wants and behaviours that person learns continuously in society. Cultural values and beliefs tend to be relatively stable over time, but they can change from one generation to the next in response to changing conditions in society. For example, the baby boomers born in the United States between 1946 and 1960 have somewhat different values and behaviour patterns from those of their parents. Culture is an integral part of the hospitality and travel industry because it determines our lifestyle. Marketers are always trying to spot cultural shifts which might point the new products that might be wanted by customers or to increase demand. For example the cultural shift towards greater concern about health and fitness has created opportunities which resulted in many hotels adding exercise rooms or health clubs so that their guest can have access to it. And now companies are servicing customers who wish to buy low calorie food like McDonalds, Burger king and providing activity and health related holidays etc. Similarly the increased desire for leisure time has resulted in increased demand for convenience products and services such as microwave ovens, ready meals and direct marketing service businesses such as telephone banking and insurance. (B) Subculture: - Each culture contains smaller subculture or groups of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations. Many subcultures make up important market segments and marketers often design products and marketing programs according to their needs. For example, the average American family now has two wage earners who probably share decisions...
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