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. Connick, Wendy. “What is a Gatekeeper?” The Balance, June 07, 2017.
  2. Kercher, Joey. “Reaching the Unreachable: How Experiential Marketing Targets Brand-Savvy Millennials.” Forbes, June 20, 2017.
  3. For one listing of top social media influencers in different product categories see: “Top Influencers.” Forbes.
  4. For more on how retailers encourage impulse shopping see: Bianchi, Jessica. “Impulse Buying: How Retailers Can Get Customers to Buy More on the Fly.” Shopify, Aug 2, 2016.
  5. For more on the Netflix recommendation system see: Plummer, Libby. “This is How Netflix’s Top-Secret Recommendation System Works.” Wired, August 22, 2017.
  6. One estimate by an e-commerce software company, suggests the abandonment rate for online shopping carts exceeds 70%.  For details see: “Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics.” Barilliance