What makes people do what they do?
Why do they choose one brand over the other?
What motivates them to stay loyal to a brand? Is it easy to make customers switch brands?
These are some of the questions that roam around the head of any advertising professional and entrepreneur.
Understanding consumer behavior is the key to branding, positioning, and advertising. It helps you make communications in such a way that it connects to them and makes them want to try your products, or keep buying and becoming a loyal customers.
What is consumer behavior?
Consumer behavior is the study of customers and all the activities associated with their purchase, use, and disposal of goods and services. Consumer behavior consists of how the consumer's emotions, attitudes, and preferences affect buying behavior.
You do not need to understand everyone's behavior. You need to identify your target audience and focus on studying them.
What is the target audience (TG)?
The target audience is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product/service. Studying their behavior is crucial for you. If you have not launched your business yet you can do market research and find out the trends of consumer behavior in your TG.
If you are dealing in Fast Moving Consumer Goods such as soaps, go to supermarkets and observe who buys soaps and what all goes into selecting one soap out of the 10 available options. Talk to consumers. Consumers can give great feedback and sometimes give the best marketing strategies unknowingly.
Learn the patterns, behaviors, and trends of your segment.
5 steps of decision making
Every consumer goes through a 5-step process before buying any product. Those are as follows-
- Recognition of the need/want of the product.
- Searching for information related to the item. This can be done by a discussion with peers, searching the web, asking people who own the product, etc.
- Then the customer evaluates the available alternatives. They will compare products from similar brands, different products that do the same job, etc.
- Then the consumer decides and finally buys the product
- Post-purchase the consumer evaluates whether the product fulfilled what it promised, and whether it was up to their expectation or not.
How to analyze current consumer behavior?
Analyzing how much, and how many times your current consumers buy is a key to sales. If you have a website, it is very easy to check how many orders were placed, and what were the demographics, psychographics, age group, gender, etc of your consumers.
If you sell via a store, you will get an idea of the amount of product sold rest details will not be possible to collect. You can get feedback via a machine in which the consumer can press buttons indicating whether they were happy with it or not. Or you can give short feedback forms to the consumers.
How to analyze consumer behavior via websites?
The digital medium is the easiest medium to check how many people interacted with your communication, went to your website, purchased something, left the website and so much more.
If you put on a digital campaign on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, their Ad Managers help you find out how many people went to the website, and whether they saved or shared the post.
On your website backend, you can find out how many people purchased your goods, whether they are repeating customers, with what frequency they return, what is your hot selling item, and what is your least selling item.
This data can help you create strategies, plan production accordingly, offer discounts and boost sales.
See how consumers respond to your ads
If you do a print advertisement you can get an idea about the reach of the ad based on the circulation of the newspaper. But how much of it will convert to sales is very difficult to track.
In digital platforms such as Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, banners, Google Ads, etc. it is easy to see how people interacted with your ad. You can check the number of viewers who saw the ad, how many went to the website, what items they viewed, and whether they added something to the cart.
Sometimes people add things to their cart and leave them. This is called an abandoned cart. Once you know what they have added you can show them ads continuously to remind them and try to get them to buy it.
You can measure the success of your campaign easily with digital tools that give you statistics on the reach and impact of the campaign.
This is how you can understand consumer behavior and use it to your advantage to increase sales.
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