Buying Behavior: The Definition

by Marcel Nanning | Last Updated: May 22, 2024

Buying behavior refers to what consumers or organizational buyers do when considering or making a purchase. Organizations map out the purchasing process, and the needs and wants of their target groups to some extent, in order to respond effectively with product, price, place, and promotion.

buying behavior map

Influences on Buying Behavior

The buying behavior of purchasers or consumers is influenced and determined by various factors.

  1. Environmental Factors
    • Cultural Influences
    • Economic Influences
    • Social Influences
    • Family Influences
    • Individual Factors
  2. Individual Factors
    • Needs & Motivation
    • Attitude
    • Perception
    • Motivation
    • Learning Process

In marketing, different purchasing situations are distinguished, such as:

Straight Rebuy, please!

More and more business models aim to achieve a straight rebuy. Think of all the products and services sold through subscription models. For example: purchasing data bundles for telephony, receiving new razor blades monthly, or subscribing to a streaming service like Netflix. These services are often cancelable monthly but are frequently repurchased.

Ways to influence buying behavior include removing purchasing barriers, creating attractive products, and marketing. In marketing, the four P’s are discussed:

customer journey behavior mapping

Customer Journey Mapping

By adjusting these four ‘levers,’ the purchasing process can be influenced to achieve better results. A tool often used for this is Customer Journey Mapping. Based on a stereotype of the target group (Buyer Persona), the customer journey is mapped out to identify elements where the purchasing process can be influenced through, for instance, a product adjustment or marketing effort.

Work with the DMU

The relationship between buying behavior and the Decision-Making Unit (DMU) is integral in the context of business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The DMU, also known as the buying center, consists of all the individuals and groups involved in the purchasing decision process within an organization.

These roles typically include users, influencers, buyers, deciders, and gatekeepers. Each member of the DMU has different criteria and motivations that influence the purchasing decision. For instance, users are concerned with the practical application of the product, while financial buyers are focused on cost and return on investment.

Understanding the dynamics of the DMU allows marketers to address the specific concerns and motivations of each member, facilitating a more effective and persuasive marketing approach. By aligning marketing messages with the needs of the DMU, businesses can enhance their chances of successfully navigating the complex B2B purchasing process.

Online Buying Behavior

The development of activities around online buying behavior is progressing rapidly. Tools and methods to map out customers’ online buying behavior are mushrooming. In this domain, we look at, among other things:

Offline Buying Behavior

In this digital world, there is still a significant offline spending pattern. By early 2022, there might be as many webshops as physical non-food stores (source: ING).

When discussing offline spending, it’s not only about non-food. Sales via physical stores, or Brick and Mortar, have been under pressure for years. More and more people are buying online, a trend that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that consumers will spend more in offline stores again after the pandemic.

Retailers are trying various strategies to make offline shopping attractive. The most commonly used strategy is to enhance the shopping experience. Stores are adding services, paying more attention to the experience, or offering a unique assortment not available online.

buying behaviour CRM

Recording Buying Behavior Information in CRM Systems

To effectively manage and influence buying behavior, organizations use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to collect and analyze data. CRM systems capture various aspects of buying behavior, including:

CRM systems enable businesses to create detailed profiles of their customers, allowing for personalized marketing strategies, improved customer service, and more effective sales processes. By analyzing buying behavior data, companies can identify patterns, anticipate needs, and tailor their offerings to better meet customer expectations, thereby driving sales and fostering customer loyalty.

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