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Consumer Behaviour Shopping Buying And Evaluating Notes

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Shopping Buying and Evaluating

Introduction

The store environment exerts a major influence; shopping is like a stage performance with the customer involved either as a member of the audience or as an active participant. The quality of the performance is affected by the other cast members as well as by the setting of the play and props.

In addition the consumer activity per se occurs after a product has been purchased and brought home. After using a product the consumer must decide whether or not they are satisfied with it. The satisfaction process is especially important to marketers who realise that the key to success is not selling a product once but rather forging a relationship with the consumer so that they will continue to buy in the future.

Antecedent States

A person's mood or physiological condition at the time of purchase can have a major impact on what is bought and can also affect how products are evaluated.

One reason for this is that behaviour is directed towards certain goal states.

The person's particular social identity or the role that is being played at a given time will be influential.

Situational Effects; Mood and Consumption Situations

A consumer's mood will have an impact on purchase decisions. Two dimensions determine whether a shopper will react positively or negatively to a store environment; pleasure and arousal. A person can enjoy or not enjoy a situation and they can feel stimulated or not.

Different combinations of pleasure and arousal can result in a variety of emotional states.

An arousing situation can be either distressing or exciting depending on whether the context is positive or negative.

A specific mood is some combination of pleasure and arousal. In general, a mood state biases judgements of products and services in that direction. Simply consumers like things much better when they are in a good mood.

Moods can be affected by store design, the weather of other factors specific to the consumer. In addition music and television programming can affect mood; this has important consequences for commercials. When consumers hear happy music or

watch happy programmes they have more positive reactions to the commercials and products especially when marketing appeals are aimed at arousing emotional reactions.

A consumption situation is defined by factors over and above the characteristics of the person and of the product. Situational effects can be behavioural or perceptual.

Common sense tells us that people tailor their purchases to specific occasions or that the way we feel at a specific time affects what we feel like buying or doing.

One reason for this variability is that the role a person is plays at any time is partly determined by their situational self-image.

Situational Segmentation

By systematically identifying important usage situations, market segmentation strategies can be developed to position products that will meet the specific needs arising from these situations.

Situations can be used to fine tune a segmentation strategy. By mapping context against users a matrix can be constructed that identifies specific product features that should be emphasised for each situation.

Our brand loyalty may also be dependent on the situation.

Social and Physical Surroundings

A consumer's physical and social environment can make a big difference in affecting their motives for product purchase and also product evaluation.

Important cues include the number and type of other consumers as well as dimensions of the physical environment.

Décor, smells and even temperature can significantly influence consumption.

In additional to physical cues, many of a consumers purchase decisions are significantly shaped affected by the groups or social settings in which these occur.

In some cases the presence or absence of co consumers can be a determinant attribute and function as a product attribute. At other times the presence of others can have a positive value.

The presence of large numbers of people in a consumer environment increases arousal levels so a consumer's subjective experience of a setting tends to be more intense.

While the experience of other people creates a state of arousal, the consumer's actual experience depends on their interpretation of and reaction to this arousal. Crowing may result in avoidance, aggressiveness, opportunism or self-blame.

It is important therefore to distinguish between density and crowing.

Density refers to the actual number of people occupying a space while the psychological state of crowing exists only if a negative affective state occurs as a result of this density.

In addition the type of consumers who patronise a store or service cab serve as a store attribute and the type of consumers who use a product can influence evaluations. We may infer something about a store by examining its customers.

Temporal Factors

Time is one of consumers most precious and limiting resources. Recent research shows that there are significant time money differences when consumers use heuristics for decision making which suggests that although time and money seem to be economically equivalent they are in fact psychologically different.

Our perspectives on time can affect many stages if decision making and consumption such as needs that are stimulated the amount of information search we undertake and so on.

Common sense tells us that more careful information search and deliberation occurs when we have the luxury of taking our time.

Economic Time

Time is an economic variable; it is a resource that must be divided among activities. Consumers try to maximise satisfaction by allocating time to the appropriate combination of tasks.

An individual's priorities determine their time style. Time style incorporates dimensions like economic time, past orientation, future orientation, time submissiveness and time anxiety.

Research identified four dimensions of time; o

Social - refers to individuals categorisation of time as either time for me or time with others

o

Temporal - depicts the relative significance individuals attach to past, present or future.

o

Planning - alludes to different time management styles varying on a continuum from analytic to spontaneous

o

Polychromic - denotes doing one thing at a time versus multitasking time styles.

These multiple dimensions of time style push and pull individuals in different directions which ultimately lead to psychological conflicts.

From these dimensions, five emergent symbolic metaphors of time were proposed which reflected different perspective on time and the process by which the perspective was created; o

o

Time is a map - women who exemplify this metaphor are usually analytic planners, have a future temporal orientation and a polychromic time style. They often engage in extensive information search and in comparison shopping.

o

Time is a mirror - women who come under this metaphor are also analytical planners and have a polychromic orientation. However they have a past temporal orientation. Due to their risk averseness in time use these women are usually loyal to products and services they know and trust.

o

Time is a river - women whose time styles can be described through this metaphor are usually spontaneous in their planning orientation and have a present focus. They go on unplanned, shot and frequent shopping trips undertaken on impulse.

o

Time is a pressure cooker - women who personify this metaphor are usually analytic in their planning, other orientated and monochromic in their time styles. They treat shopping in a methodical manner and the often feel under pressure in a conflict.

Time is feast - these women are analytical planners who have a present temporal orientation. They view time as something to be consumed in the pursuit of sensory pleasure and gratification and hence they are motivated by hedonic and variety seeking desires in their consumption behaviour.

Some of the implications for consumer behaviour which flowed from this research included; o

There are major differences in individual's attitudes and behaviours in relation to shopping across the five temporal metaphors.

o

These symbolic metaphors are associated with differences in individual's consumption of leisure, food habits, expenditure of time and money on keeping up with appearances.

o

In the domain of food habits women who exemplify time as a feast metaphor demonstrated a preference for fresh and novel ingredients while women that

fit with the mirror metaphor were, or inclined towards convenience food choices. o

Individuals who placed emphasis on keeping up appearances coupled with their social orientation were found to spend more time and money on their presentation of self and their material possessions.

Many consumers believe they are more pressed for time than ever before, a feeling called time poverty. This feeling however, may be due more to perception than fact.

This sense of time poverty has made consumers very responsive to marketing innovations that allow them to save time.

Psychological Time

The fluidity of time is important for marketers to understand, because we are more likely to be in a consuming mood at sometimes rather than others.

Time categories in terms of when people are likely to be reception to markyting messages; o

Flow time - in a flow state we become so absorbed in an activity we notic nothing else. Not a good time to be hitting people with advert.

o

Occasion time - special moments when something monumental occurs. Adverts clearly relevant to the situstion will be given our undivided attention.

o

Deadline time - when we are working against the clock. This is the worst time to catch someones attention.

o

Leisure time - during down time we are more likely to notice adverts and perhaps try new things.

o

Time to kill - witing for something to happen. This is bonus time where we feel we have the luxury to focus on extraneous things. As a result we are more receptiove to commercial messages, even for products we do not normally use.

Social Time

Social time has been proposed as an important but overlooked time dimension in consumer behaviour. Social time refers to the tome in relation to social processes and rhuythms and schedules in society. It takes into account how determined our lives ae by interrelated temporal phenomena such as working hours, opening hours and eating hours.

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