Understanding Consumer Choice


Consumer behavior is an important feature that marketers should know in order to meet their customers’ needs. It is a branch of marketing that deals with mental and physical processes that the consumers pass through before deciding to buy products and/or services. Consumer behavior shows how the customers decide to use goods, ideas, and/or services in the market (Blackwell & Engel 2006).

Individual customers vs. Household customers

Consumers are people who buy goods and services available in the market for their individual use (Foxall 2005). They are divided into either individual or household consumers. Individual customers make their own decisions on what they want to buy. Third parties do not influence their decisions on the market products or services they need to buy. On the other hand, household customers buy goods and services for household use. Friends or family tastes, needs, and preferences influence their decision to choose the products or services they should purchase.

Relationship between mental and physical processes

There are four factors that influence the consumer’s decision-making process. These include psychological, social, economic, and physical factors (Kardes, Cronley & Cline 2011). The sellers carefully study consumer behavior so that they can meet the customers’ needs at the right time.

Consumers’ physical use of services or products influences their psychological reasoning. This usually affects future purchases. Both physical and mental processes affect the consumer’s selection, purchase, and use of product or service. Mental and physical processes influence the consumers’ decisions to buy services and/or products (Foxall 2005). The customer uses the product physically to measure the degree of satisfaction. The satisfaction degree stays in the consumer’s mind as an attitude. This attitude affects the decision on whether or not the customer would purchase the service or the product again.

Ways through which customer needs and wants can be met

Markets need to select a suitable marketing strategy that incorporates better marketing campaigns to meet the customers’ needs. The understanding of the customers’ psychology helps in meeting their wants and needs. They should invest enough money to market, through promotions and advertisements, new products. New products usually receive acceptance from a small group of customers at first before the numbers increase gradually to include the rest of the consumers (Foxall 2005).

Markets should improve their customer service. Foxall (2005) provides that good customer service is important because it ensures that the customer’s needs and wants are met. He further claims that it is very important to respect the customers because this makes them feel appreciated. Also, this enables them to develop loyalty towards the products or services. Furthermore, good customer service encourages customers to speak out about their needs. This enables the markets to know and meet the needs accordingly (Laermer & Simmons 2007).

Markets should use customer surveys to know what their customers need and work towards meeting them. The surveys express the customer’s feelings about the products or services, and what they feel should be included so that they get satisfied. In addition, they help in pointing out customers’ needs at the right time.

Markets should deal with customer complaints in a right manner. This helps the customers to feel secured. If the customers are not satisfied with the products or services, a proper procedure should be formulated to compensate them. This encourages customers to buy more goods or services (Khajehnasiri 2008).

Lastly, another important strategy that markets should use in their attempt to meet the customer’s needs is the issuance of repeat business cards. These cards enable them to get incentives whenever they come back to buy. Moreover, they enable the sellers to determine recurrent customers at the checkout. This provides the sellers with a good chance to ask the customers to suggest areas that should be improved for a better service.


Blackwell, M, & Engel, P 2006, Consumer Behavior, Thomson Learning, New York.

Foxall, GJ 2005, Understanding Consumer Choice, Palgrave Macmillan, Baingstoke.

Kardes, F, Cronley, L, & Cline, W 2011, Consumer Behavior, Cengage Learning, Mason.

Khajehnasiri, E 2008, What is the Consumer Behavior or Customer Behavior, Arak Islamic Azad University, Arak.

Laermer, R, & Simmons, M 2007, ‘Punk Marketing’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 24, no.7, pp. 34-40.

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