Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Evaluating the Main Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision


Consumers are the end users of goods and services while a group of customers who purchase goods for inputs example organisations and businesses are referred to as customers. We will focus on the main factors that influence customer buying behaviour and we will focus on the economic, social and physiological perspectives.

The economic perspective of customer behaviour focuses on the price of products, advertisement and also the income levels of buyers, the sociological point of view focuses on reference groups and culture and finally the psychological perspective focuses on the decision making process and motivation theory.


A fall in the price of a product will result to an increase in the quantity of a product purchased, however these depends on the price elasticity of a product. If a product is price elastic and this


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

means that the price elasticity of the good is more than one, then the products demand will rise at a greater proportion than the rise in price. If the price elasticity of a product is less than one then the demand for the product will not rise at a greater proportion than the price. [1]

The price of substitutes also play a major role in determining the consumers purchasing behaviour, in a situation where a substitute of a product is less expensive, then the consumer will purchase the substitute. under the price of a product we will also consider the risk associated with buying a certain product, the more expensive a product is the higher the risk and the higher the consequences of making the wrong decision, buyers will also consider the scrap value of and mostly this is associated with vehicle and machinery product, products with very high prices and low scrap value will be less preferred.

Another consideration is the price of the complimentary good, if the price of the complementary good is high then a consumer will be less likely to purchase the product, a good example is petroleum products and vehicles, if the price of petroleum products is too high then the consumer will less be likely to purchase a vehicle, this can associated with the running cost of the product to be purchased will be high and therefore a rational consumer will not purchase the product with high running cost. [2]


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Future expectations about changes in prices will also influence the buying decisions of consumers, if consumers expect a rise in price in the future for a certain product then they will tend to purchase that good in large quantities to avoid high prices of the product in the future. Therefore the price of a product is a factor that influences the consumer buying decision, the consumer will purchase goods rationally to optimise on his real income and also maximise his utility, prices of substitute and complementary goods play a role in consumers decision making on what to buy and in what quantity. [3]


Income is also another major factor that influence the buying decisions of consumers, the consumers disposable income play a major role in determining what to buy and in what quantities, however this depends on the income elasticity of a certain product, if the consumers disposable income increases and that the income elasticity of demand for that good is greater than one then the proportional rise in the demand for that product is greater than the rise in income levels. [4]


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Certain goods also will be purchased by high income earners, for example high income earners will tend to purchase expensive luxurious goods while low income earners will purchase cheap goods; however there is need to consider the type of good that is produced such as giffen goods whose demand decreases as the income levels rise. Therefore we can conclude that income levels do influence the purchasing decision of consumers.


The availability of credit facilities means that a consumer can purchase products on credit basis; therefore the consumer can still afford to purchase very expensive products despite his or her low income. The existence of credit facilities will influence the customers buying decision and also influences impulse buying in that the consumer will purchase goods on credit without having to consider his low income or financial constraints.



Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Reference groups are those groups used by individuals as a point of reference for their own judgement, values and behaviour. The reference group shapes the taste and preference of an individual, however this depends on the level of conformity to the group where the level of conformity varies from one individual to another, the level of conformity depends on the degree of dependence to the group, benefits yielded by an individual from the group when they conform and finally the sanctions that arise as a result of non conformity to the group. Therefore the reference groups that include religious groups, the family and the peer groups are major determinants of the buying decision making of an individual in the group. [5]


We will focus on the Maslow’s theory of motivation, this theory suggest that human beings seek to satisfy lower needs and then the higher needs, he hieratically arranged human needs from low needs to higher needs as follows:

Physiological needs- this include the basic needs such as food and shelter

Safety- this include shelter and the needs to protect one from danger

Affection- these are the needs for one to belong to certain groups or family


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Self esteem- these are the needs for recognition and dignity

Self actualisation- these are the needs to realise our full potential


Depending on the type of need a product is designed to satisfy it highly influences the consumers decision, consumers will tend to satisfy the lower needs then move on to the next level of needs. The motivational theory is a break through to the explanation of decisions made by consumers regarding satisfaction of need of certain products, however certain products are designed to satisfy more than one need example food may be designed to satisfy a physiological need and at the same time a social or recreational need.


Under the technical criteria consumers will make buying decisions depending on the performance which will be evaluated depending on the reliability, durability, comfort and convenience of the product. Products that posses the above properties will be more likely to be purchased by consumers compared to other products with lesser properties mentioned. [7]


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision


Certain products evoke such feelings such as fun, pride and pleasure, when consumers attach certain emotions to a product then this will influence their buying decisions, a good example is the rejection of the new coca cola brand in 1985 despite its preferred taste people still preferred the old brand because they had already certain attached emotions to the old brand. [8]


Advertisements also act as an influence to the buyer’s decision to buy; adverts are means by which the availability and the quality of products are notified to consumers. Also they act as ways in which confidentiality is increased to the buyers of a product, a good example is where vehicle manufacturing firms continue to advertise products and owners of such products will always check these adverts for the reassurance of the quality of the products they already bought.


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

Therefore adverts are a major influencing factor to buyers when they decide what to buy, they are persuasive in nature and also they provide information about a product including quality, offers and price cuts, availability of a product and the price of the product and this aids the consumers to make quick decisions about purchasing a product. The adverts also aid in building brand preferences and loyalty through their constant and consistent campaigns.


Consumer buying decisions will in most cases be influenced by the prices, income, and availability of credit facilities, emotional attachment, need satisfaction, technical factors and advertisements. When products prices are low the more the consumer is influenced to buy the product, however the influence of price depends on the price elasticity.

Income also plays a major role in determining the consumer’s decision on buying, the higher the disposable income the more the quantity of products a consumer will buy, this however depends on the income elasticity of the product, however there need to distinguish the type of good because some goods are less demanded as income rises.

Under the need satisfaction we consider the Maslow’s motivation theory where consumers will first satisfy the lower needs before moving on to higher needs. Advertisements also pay a major role in shaping the preferences of consumers in that they persuade buyers to buy certain products, they inform consumers on the availability of certain products, quality and also help


Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

build brand loyalty.

All this factors contribute to the decisions consumers make when deciding on what to buy, therefore consumer’s decisions depend upon so many factors which must be taken into consideration by firms when undertaking market research in order to increase their sales volumes to attain higher profits.


Jobber D. (       ) marketing

Bruce and Jewel (       ) business studies

[1] Bruce and Jewel (



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Factors Which Influence Customer Buying Decision

[7] Jobber D. (      )

[8] Jobber D. (      )