Factors influencing consumer buying behavior

Consumers spend a lot of time thinking about what they want to buy. They think about how much money they have, which store is the cheapest, and if their friends will approve of the purchase. According to statistics from market studies that have been done, consumer buying behavior is very diverse and complex and is influenced by many factors. These are just some factors influencing consumer buying behavior that must be considered before making a purchase. Therefore, in this article, will list these factors in a systematic and easy to remember manner.

Understanding the factors affecting consumer buying behavior will help businesses better understand their target customers, thereby helping businesses take appropriate adjustment measures in their marketing strategies to better meet the needs of target customers.

Factors influencing consumer buying behavior

Factors influencing consumer buying behavior

In general, the factors affecting the buying behavior of consumers can be classified into 4 main groups:

- Cultural factors

- Social factors

- Personal factors

- Psychological factors

A. Cultural factors

1. The culture of the country/territory

The culture of the country/territory - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Each country/territory has a culture with its own characteristics. The citizens living there more or less inherited the characteristics of that culture. The characteristics of each culture will affect people's perceptions of all aspects of life, including, of course, behaviors related to product consumption.

To give a practical example, many US consumers are familiar with the idea of convenience. They tend to consume products that are readily available as it seems more convenient than going out to get them.

2. Customs and habits of small communities

Customs and habits of small communities - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Usually, within a culture of a country there will appear communities with the same distinct customs and practices. This difference may stem from the difference in topography, historical origin, race... Similarly, these different factors will also influence the consumption behavior of people living in the area of each community.

For example, a community that has historically been practiced for a long time, such as, in France are the "markets". It is known that the people living in France will not buy very frequently. They usually prefer to go to small markets (called "tourist traps" by other countries) and maintained by local communities where they can buy fresh foods directly from local farmers.

3. Beliefs

Beliefs - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Belief is a factor that has a profound impact on people's beliefs and attitudes about a certain issue or thing. Just like culture, the characteristics of each type of belief will affect consumer behavior in many different ways.

For example, the earliest settlers of America was a group that came here due to religious reasons. They believed in Christianity and their Bible teaches them that it is against God's will to consume alcohol. As a result, they do not like alcohol beverages and have the habit of avoiding consumption whenever possible.

B. Social factors

1. Social class

Social class - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Social class can be considered as a representative factor for consumers' income levels, thereby profoundly influencing consumer behavior such as criteria for choosing to buy products/services, time to buy, the frequency of spending, places and ways to shop, pay...

For example, the upper class will spend more on consumption, preferring a luxurious lifestyle.

2. Law and politics

Law and politics - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

In countries with a developed law system, law is always a factor that directly affects human behavior, including consumer behavior. The enactment of a new bill will have the ability to change the consumption habits of individuals living in that society. Besides, politics can also influence consumers' purchasing decisions.

For example, the high consumption tax in Europe makes consumers tend to buy more products locally. Therefore, European countries' manufacturing industry appear to be stronger than other continents such as the US, Asia...

3. Family

Family - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Family is the closest factor in society that often affects consumers' buying behavior. Members often interact with each other, thereby influencing the perception and purchasing decisions of the remaining members.

For example, "my mother says...", "my brother suggested..."... are phrases that users often encounter in discussions. We also hear parents say to their children, "do not buy this, it is not good for your health" or "the brand I bought last time was much better than the one you chose".

4. Role and status

Role and status - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

The role and social status of each individual in society will affect the habits, behavior, communication, as well as needs and shopping habits of each individual. People with different roles and statuses will have different needs later in terms of food, fashion, vehicles, housing...

For example, there are also many people with different socio-economic backgrounds in Vietnam such as, the rich, the middle class and the poor. The behavior of each group will always be different despite having shared culture, tradition and beliefs.

5. Race

Race - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Racial factors are often indirectly shown in consumer behavior, because it is difficult to differentiate and separate specific effects.

For example, when the target audience of a certain product or service is white people, then the design concept will be different from what is designed for African-American consumers.

C. Personal factors

1. Age

Age - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Age is the first personal factor affecting consumer buying behavior. At different stages in the process of adulthood and aging, people will need different consumer products to accommodate the changing needs of food, clothing, communication, health care...

Let's look at this example. During childhood, the focus is on education and basic needs such as food. In adolescence, youth are mostly concerned with fashion and entertainment. As young adults and then mature men and women, we require vehicles for work and travel, homes...

2. Occupation

Occupation - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

The second factor affecting consumer behavior is occupation. People with different occupations will have different choices about how to dress, different eating habits, products for work such as phones, laptops, vehicles, protective clothing, etc.

For example, office workers or business men often have to coordinate their clothes with the basic requirements of office work, which usually requires them to wear formal suits, work shoes, laptop bag...

3. Gender

Gender - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Studies have shown that women have faster cognitive and thinking maturation rates, but are more influenced by emotions than men. Besides, the differences in body characteristics, hormones and hormones also make men and women have certain differences in consumption behavior.

To give an example, a woman's consumption is often more based on emotional satisfaction. She will be able to easily find a suitable product for beauty, fashion... Men are more interested in the quality of products and practicality than women when choosing consumer products.

4. Personality

Personality - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

A person's personality is formed from the process of education, influences from the surrounding environment, from family members, friends, teachers, celebrities... People with different personality will also differ in the way they spend and shop.

For instance, some people are easy-going and go with the flow; others tend to be more serious. Some are humorous, others rather focus on life's problems...

5. Education level

Education level - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

The level of education affects the consumption behavior of an individual. The higher the education level, the richer life experience.

For example, a well-educated person will be able to grasp the concept of products better than an uneducated person. He or she will have more choices and can make more discerning judgments when buying any product such as medical services, vehicles...

In another example, graduates from colleges and universities often have higher salaries than workers with certificates of technical training or high schools. They also have a better understanding of trends in fashion and technology. For educated consumers, they are always willing to pay more for their education.

D. Psychological factors

1. Motivation

Motivation - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Humans always have needs at certain times. However, not all of these needs are addressed, or addressed at the same time, if there is no motivation to push. Motivation can come to people through events happening in life, which can be objective or subjective.

For example, home appliances are often bought during marriage. Children can help motivate parents to buy household products such as baby furniture, children's books...

2. Ability to perceive and comprehend

Ability to perceive and comprehend - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Perception affects how people behave in certain situations. While we all have five senses by default, the way each person perceives and processes information in the same situation can be different. Similarly, receptivity is the ability to learn, experience, and change oneself through life's events. Therefore, the ability to perceive and comprehend will strongly affect how people react to marketing messages from businesses, as well as in spending and shopping habits.

For example, in a certain product segment, people spend more time to understand the details of the products than before; they are less likely to have blind faith in brands. They would not be happy with just a simple explanation when buying and will want to know how it works, how much it cost...

3. Beliefs and attitudes

Beliefs and attitudes - Factor influencing consumer buying behavior

Belief is the way we humans view a particular issue, based on knowledge, feelings, while attitude expresses people's evaluation of that issue, through facial expressions, intonation, words, gestures... Therefore, a person's beliefs and attitudes about the product/service or the image and brand of the business will affect this person's behavior towards the business.

For example, a person who has a positive attitude towards the brand (including service, style, quality...) will want to have this brand and would like to buy the same product or service from this brand again.


Factors influencing consumer buying behavior is a huge topic. The article, Factors Influencing Consumer Buying Behavior: What Marketers Need to Know, has provided us with some insights into how marketers can cater their marketing and sales strategies towards these factors in order to increase product or service sales. After reading this article, it's clear that understanding the psychology of customers will help you understand what drives them as consumers. With an understanding of your customer base's motivations and needs for different products/services, you'll be able to create more effective content marketing campaigns that are tailored specifically to each person!


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