We have often seen that there are some purchases which require a lot of time and information to make. On the other hand there are also buying decisions which can be made with out taking time and consulting others. In this way, consumer buying behavior is broadly divided into four parts on the basis of the extent of buyer involvement and the extent of differences among brands. The explanation of four types is given and explained below.
Complex buying Behavior
When the consumers are highly involved in a purchase and observe significant differences between the brands then the consumers undertake complex buying behavior. Such type of behavior occurs when the customer is trying to buy a product which is risky, expensive, and is purchased infrequently such as cars, computers, house etc. Therefore in order to make final decision, the customer tries to learn more about the product such as product features, attributes, quality, durability, reliability etc. For this purpose, the customer seeks information from various sources such as print media and electronic media and develops a particular belief and attitude towards the product. He only makes the final purchase decision when he is fully satisfied. Therefore it is very important for the marketers of high-involvement products to understand the information gathering and evaluation processes of customers. Marketers should also help the customers to easily gather information about the products of company and they should also differentiate their products from the competitors.
Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behavior
Consumers undertake dissonance-reducing buying behavior when they are highly involved in a purchase and observe insignificant differences between the brands. Such type of buying behavior occurs when the product is expensive, risky and is purchased infrequently but the differences between the brands are insignificant. It means that the customer can purchase product from any anywhere without considering the brand. For example the consumer buying furniture will observe dissonance-reducing buying behavior because on one hand the product is expensive whereas on the hand it is in the given price range.
Habitual Buying Behavior
If the involvement of consumers is low and they perceive few differences among the brands, then the consumers undertake habitual buying behavior. Such type of behavior occurs when the consumers buy low cost, frequently purchased products. For example, purchase of milk, bread, salt etc requires low consumer involvement and does not contain significant differences between brands. In such cases, brand loyalty does not occur and consumers only purchase products of particular brand because of their familiarity. For this purpose, customers do not gather information for the brand. Therefore marketers have to increase the familiarity of their products with the help of attractive prices and sales promotion.
Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior
Variety-seeking buying behavior occurs in a situation of low consumer involvement but significant brand differences. For example, purchase of shoes, soaps, detergents, etc. Customers try to use different brands of such products because they want to check variety of products. This is the reason that most of the consumers do a lot of brand switching in case of variety-seeking buying behavior. Under such circumstances, both leaders and challengers have to adopt different strategies to attract the customers. For example leaders have to adopt the strategy of encouraging the habitual buying behavior with the help of extensive advertisement and dominating shelf space. Whereas challengers have to encourage the variety-seeking buying behavior by offering products at low prices, providing free sample and special discounts etc.