One of the fundamental aspects of marketing theory is the importance of understanding consumer behaviour and the various influences that affect their behaviour. Holidays encourage a happy mood, a focus on special time spent with family, and the art of gift-giving. Naturally, we notice a different buying behaviour emerge altogether during the festive season.
Let’s break downthe different buying behaviours:
This type of buying behaviour is exhibited by consumers who are buying expensive, infrequent products, like a new house or car for example. Consumers will understandably spend a lot of time searching for information (research) that will guide their purchase process and which will yield in making a decision that is internally perceived as providing the most “value”, where value (in marketing) is calculated as follows:
Value = Perceived Benefits – Cost
Ever found yourself struggling to decide which brand to use after prices have gone up? It’s a mental struggle between choosing a brand that you know & trust but can’t justify spending that much, and then there’s this new brand that you’ve never heard of before selling the same product at a much lower price. That mental battle is referred to as ‘dissonance-reducing’ buying behaviour. It happens when we are concerned that we might later regret our choice. This is evident in post-purchase behaviour – where we start looking for confirmation that we have made the best purchase choice to reduce our uncertainty. This is usually for slightly more expensive products than let’s say, groceries.
Habitual buying behaviour refers to the behaviour accompanying frequent purchases that require little personal investment or research beforehand. For example, this would be evident in grocery shopping. You buy your favourite type of bread without spending too much time invested in prior research, nor do you spend a lot of time regretting the decision afterwards.
This is when we choose to purchase a different product NOT because we were unsatisfied or disappointed with it previously, but because we are merely looking to try something new. For example, when we try a different scented deodorant because we want to smell differently this week, or a new flavour of chocolate has been released for a limited period.
This seasonal type of buying behaviour comes out of the shadows around November and is characterised by behaviour that places A LOT of value on savings (i.e., is focused on finding a “Great Deal” or “Special Promotion”). Black Friday is where it starts for many – as this is when many festive buyers begin the search for discounts and promotions or any form of significant price reductions. Retailers smoothly reshape Black Friday advertising to flow into festive advertising. This is the best time of the year for retailers to offer discounts and additional freebies like “free delivery”, “free gift packs” or “complimentary gifts” with every purchase.
If you are a seller, your “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” game needs to be strong during this time of year.