Factors that Drive Consumer Purchase Decisions

Hyder Jaffari
August 21, 2023
Factors that Drive Consumer Purchase Decisions

Marketers are often the unrecognized psychologists of our society. They tirelessly study every aspect of the human psyche to sell products or services effectively. Whether it's persuading you to change the color of your freshly painted walls or fine-tuning the rounded call-to-action button for the best response rate, in doing so, they possess an in-depth understanding of how we make purchase decisions.

This subject has been extensively studied, with numerous scholarly articles and published journals on the science behind consumer behavior, both online and offline. Here are a few links:

All this research concluded that five significant factors enable purchase decisions. Let us take a look at them below.

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Psychological Factors

Psychological factors encompass motivation, learning, general attitudes, and self-beliefs of individuals. Motivation is the main driving force when purchasing, which arises from inner desires for personal satisfaction.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that people have a fundamental desire to fulfill their needs, ranging from food and shelter to self-actualization.

Other sub-factors that contribute here include:

  • Goal orientation: What is the reason behind the purchase? Do they have a final goal tied to their decision to buy?
  • A decision can have urgency as a motivating factor; this gives rise to arousal to act, as it catalyzes the purchase.
  • The highest form in Maslow's hierarchy is the self-fulfilling need to reach one's potential. The variable for these changes depends on the point of time you are at in your life and what is the primary motivating factor to feel fulfilled.

Social Factors

Culture refers to a group of people's shared heritage, values, beliefs, and customs and how they live and conduct themselves in society.

The impact of culture on purchasing decisions greatly influences marketing. If marketers understand cultural sensitivities, their chances of success are maintained.

The top 5 social and cultural factors that influence marketing are:

  1. Values
  2. Language
  3. Symbols
  4. Customs
  5. Religious Beliefs

Societal influence, whether from the larger population or a small extended unit, also plays a significant role. The opinions and behaviors of these social groups shape each individual's spending habits.

Personal Factors

Personal or general experiences and emotions shape an individual's personality.

Building brand loyalty through positive experiences establishes a lasting connection between a person and a product. Other factors discussed previously also influence these experiences, as cultural and societal influences can shape them.

Regarding the emotional aspect of human psychology, whether a person is positive or negative can significantly impact the likelihood of a sale. This factor is more or less hidden, as individuals suppress their emotions they prefer not to display publicly.

The Family View

Most of one's important milestones in life are marked by their family. Whether it's:

  • Graduating from high school or college
  • Starting a first job
  • Getting engaged or married
  • Having a child, or
  • Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries

These events heavily influence an individual's purchasing decisions.

Positioning your brand through customer profiling, considering age, profession, marital status, and other data, can help create an attachment with the individual. Your products or services create lasting memories by becoming integral to these binding life moments.

Economic Factors

Unfortunately, not everyone is on an equal footing regarding the financial resources required to make purchasing decisions.

For some individuals, deciding is not even a consideration; it becomes more of an impulsive action. On the contrary, their economic circumstances dictate decisions on their behalf, where the distinction between needs and wants may not even exist.

In conclusion, many factors influence purchase decisions and the marketing campaigns that target the consumer. All psychological elements like, motivation and culture to personal experiences and emotions can shape individual preferences. Understanding these factors empowers marketers to connect effectively with consumers and create meaningful relationships.

Analyze in-depth data on your customer's purchase decisions. Join Livedocs today.

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