Consumer Buying Behaviour in Fashion Industry

Consumer Buying Behaviour in Fashion Industry

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


1. Introduction:
Consumer behaviour research is defined as the systematic and scientific study of the processes consumers use to select, secure, use and dispose of products and services that satisfy their needs. It is found that, knowledge of consumer behaviour directly affects marketing strategy. This is because of the marketing concept, i.e, the idea that firms exist to satisfy customer needs. The human behaviour is found to be complex, filled with controversies and conflicts and comes as no surprise to marketing academicians as well as practioners. Consumer behaviour has been authorized in marketing for it provides the conceptual framework and strategic thinking for carrying out successful segmentation of markets. In this way, the field of consumer behaviour has been characterized by diversity of viewpoints; as a result, the entire field now is based on an interdisciplinary science.

Consumer Buying Behaviour in Fashion

2. Types of Consumer Buying Behaviour:

2.1 Complex buying behavior:
This type of behavior is commonly observed when consumers are buying an expensive, valuable and rarely bought product. They are highly involved and engaged in the purchase process and consumers do a lot research before committing to a high-value investment. Imagine buying a house or a car; or haute couture dresses these are an example of a complex buying behavior.

2.2 Dissonance-reducing buying behavior:
In this type the consumer is highly involved in the purchase process but sometimes find the difficulties in determining the differences between brands. ‘Dissonance’ can occur when the consumer think that they will regret in future about their choice. For example, imagine one buying a lawnmower. One will decide based on price and convenience, but after the purchase, one will seek confirmation that they have made the right choice.

2.3 Habitual buying behavior:
Habitual purchases are featured by the fact that the consumer has very small amount of involvement in the product or brand category, because these things are purchased very frequently and on habitual basis. For example, grocery shopping: you go to the store and buy your preferred type of all the items. Here, one is exhibiting a habitual pattern, not strong brand loyalty.

2.4 Variety seeking behavior:
In this type of behavior, a consumer purchases a different product not because they weren’t satisfied or happy with the previous one, but because they always want something new and want to try variety. For example, when you are trying out new shower gel scents.

3. Factors that Influence Consumer Buying Behaviour:

3.1 Psychological Factors:
There are a range of psychological factors that play a important role in consumers’ buying behaviour. For example, marketers and sellers need to know about how buying patterns are influenced by factors such as whether individuals are more likely to make buying decisions based on their needs versus wants.

a) Brand Perception and Exclusivity:
Consumers point of view towards a brand will often determine what they buy. For example, some people happy to spend money on brand-name clothes and products, such as H&M Shirts and Louis Vuitton purses. In this demographic, high-ticket, luxury items are seen as status symbols, and buyers who spend money on them are drawn to exclusivity. .

b) Brand Perception and a Desire to Buy “the Best”:
A second aspect of brand perception deals with how good a product or service is when it is compared to its competitors and other well known brands. If someone thinks that Apple laptops are the best on the market, they will be more willing to buy next time a Mac Computer.

3.2 Personal Factors:
Personal factors, basically includes an individual’s gender and culture, and whether they understand how the product can be used to deal with a problem, for example how microwave-safe food containers can help for meal preparation, have also been proven to affect which products and services consumers buy.

a) Age:
Consumers of different age groups are often drawn toward different types of products. If we consider a example, a new parents in their early 20s who are raising a child are likely to purchase different baby products than new parents who are in their early 40s. Marketers who have the preliminary knowledge regarding the age groups they’re targeting are well-positioned to develop appropriate products and advertising campaigns for each demographic.

b) Gender and Sexual Orientation:
Recent study and analysis has proven that in many households, women are the primary decision-makers when it comes to purchases and buting. Inc. reports that among couples, women prefer to do most of the shopping and make 70% to 80% of the purchasing decisions. Marketers may promote different types of a product depending on gender they are dealing with. However, some marketers are utilizing less narrow gender parameters to appeal to younger generations.

c) Culture and Background:
Successful players understand how the different aspects such as nationality, religion, and cultural values play a vital role in consumer behavior. For example, in some countries, such as China and Japan, people are more inclined to make purchases that improve the welfare of a group, such as their family and society. In the United States, on the other hand, purchasing decisions are found to be more individualized and deals more to consumers’ personal preferences.

3.3 Marketing Campaigns:
Marketing campaigns alter the purchasing decisions a lot. If done right and regularly, with the right marketing message, they can even make consumers to change brands or opt for more expensive alternatives. Example includes, Facebook ads for e-commerce, can even be used as reminders for products/services that need to be bought regularly but are not necessarily on customers’ top of mind. A strong marketing message can influence impulse purchases.

3.4 Economic Conditions:
When the consumer is buying a expensive products especially economic conditions play a huge part. A kind of positive economic environment is known to make consumers more confident, strong and willing to engage in purchases irrespective of their financial liabilities.

4. Customer Behaviour Patterns:
It is generally observed that, buying behavior patterns are not same with buying habits. Each customer has different buying habits, while buying behavior patterns are collective and offer marketers a distinctive characterization. Customer behavior patterns can be categorized into:

4.1 Place of purchase:
Most of the time, customers will differentiate their purchases between many different stores even if all items are available in the same store itself. When a consumer has the power and the access to buy the same kind products in different stores, they are not permanently loyal to any of the store; unless that’s the only store they have access to. Analyzing customer buying behavior in terms of choice of place will help sellers identify key store locations.

4.2 Items purchased:
Analyzing a shopping cart can give marketers lots of consumer details about the goods that were purchased and in how much quantity it was how purchased. Very important and daily basis items can be bought in bulk while luxury and premium items are more likely to be purchased less frequently and in small quantities. The amount of each item purchased is influenced by the usability of the item, the purchasing power (Economy condition) of the buyer, unit of sale, price, number of consumers for whom the item is intended, etc.

4.3 Time and frequency of purchase:
Customers will go shopping according to their free time and as per their convenience and will expect service even during the oddest hours; especially now in the era of e-commerce where everything is only a few buttons away. It’s the shop’s responsibility to cop up with these needs by identifying a purchase pattern and match its service according to the time and frequency of purchases.

4.4 Method of purchase:
A customer can come into a store and buy an item right at that instance or order online and pay online via credit card or on delivery. It is seen that even the method of purchase can also involves more spending from the customer for example in online shopping, you might also be charged a shipping fee for example). The way a customer decides to buy an item also says a lot about the type of customer he is.

5. Conclusion:
When it comes to the buying of fashion it is a complex process for consumers. Consumer buying behaviour in fashion industry overall includes the emotional aspects of self-image; impulse purchases and continuously changing fashion combine with cost, personal circumstances, massive over consumption and lack of awareness of the fashion industry to create a difficult set of behaviours to try to change. So consumers buying behaviour plays a important role for the success of the business.

6. References:

  4. degrees/marketing/resources/what-is-consumer-behavior

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