Chapter 4: Understanding Customers

Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, we look at how customers make purchase decisions.  We begin with a discussion of customer needs and why understanding this is fundamental to understanding why customers make purchases.  The perspective we take in this chapter is to touch on just the basic concepts that appear to be commonly accepted as influencing customer behavior.  We look at the buying behavior of consumers (i.e., when people buy for personal reasons) and examine factors that influence buyers’ decisions in the business market.

Key Issues:

  • Why Customers Buy
  • What Influences Purchasing
  • Internal Influences
  • External Influences
  • How Customers Buy
  • Consumer Purchase Decisions
  • Business Purchase Decisions

Links to Cited References:

  1. For more on the role of gatekeepers see: Wendy Connick. “What is a Gatekeeper?” The Balance, January 20, 2020. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-gatekeeper-2917359.
  2. For more on how companies made adjustments due to lifestyle and other changes that resulted from the pandemic see: Mauro F. Guillén. “How Businesses Have Successfully Pivoted During the Pandemic.” Harvard Business Review, July 7, 2020. https://hbr.org/2020/07/how-businesses-have-successfully-pivoted-during-the-pandemic.
  3. For more on experiential marketing see: Tracey Meyers. “The Ins and Outs of Experiential Marketing During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” WWD, April 28,2020. https://wwd.com/business-news/business-features/experiential-marketing-coronavirus-pandemic-1203622343.
  4. For one listing of top social media influencers in different industries see: Nicole Fallon. “The Top 5 Social Media Influencers by Industry.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce. https://www.uschamber.com/co/grow/marketing/top-social-media-influencers.
  5. For more on the impact of Economic Conditions see Chapter 19.
  6. For more on the Netflix recommendation system see: David Chong. “Deep Dive into Netflix’s Recommender System.” Towards Data Science, April 30, 2020. https://towardsdatascience.com/deep-dive-into-netflixs-recommender-system-341806ae3b48.
  7. One estimate suggests the abandonment rate for online shopping carts exceeds 75%. For details see: Stephen Serrano. “Complete List of Cart Abandonment Statistics: 2006-2020.” Barilliance. https://www.barilliance.com/cart-abandonment-rate-statistics.