The Internet became available to the public in the early 1990s. Indeed it came to the surface in the year 1993 especially in the western countries of the world. Since then, there has been a very rapid increase in the usage of Internet in almost every sector of the economy. The mostly affected sector is the business sector with rates of the usage of internet services greatly escalating in the recent studies (Constantinides, 2004). There is indeed a lot to be discussed concerning the same in the field of trade especially in the study involving the behavior patterns of the consumers. Online consumer behavior has been a popular marketing topic which has elicited debates on the predominant approach to explain fundamentals of online consumer behavior. Consumer behavior explains the pattern and approach that a consumer during a buying process under goes through learning, information processing and decision making (Constantinides, 2004). The activities are divided into [1] problem identification [2] Information searching [3] options evaluation and [4].purchasing decision [5].post-purchase behavior.   

A distinction between the number and frequency on actual purchases by an individual, implies that is could be determined by the perceived buyer risk. The degree on involvement is also a question of perceived experience in case where it is products purchased for the first time. In such case the level o involvement is not a factor (Constantinides, 2004). Afterwards, one need to identify the steps of the busying process and role played in each role and therefore, understand the factors that influence buying decisions and choice. The perceived interaction with technology and the like outcome of this interaction determines the busying pattern of online consumers.

Majority of academic practitioners concur that demographics, products, social, economic, cultural background and others factors are factors that affect the consumer buying habits (Harrell and Frazier, 1999 and Czinkota et al., 2000). However, marketers have no control over such factors they are therefore, use marketing mixes to influence online consumer behaviors and eventual outcome of buyers and seller interaction. Business to business and business-to- consumer are some of the major subgroups of E- commerce that are derived at through sales. According to research done by Forrester Research the volume of B2B in 1998 was worth $42 billion and projected is projected to grow exponentially (Forrester, 2012). On the other hand, B2C e-commerce for 1998 was between $ 7 -15 billion and is expected to grow exponentially in coming years (Forrester, 2012). This paper examines the online consumer behavior to determine an individual’s online shopping behavior in terms of psychographics perspective.

Background

Psychographics analysis takes into account a consumer’s lifestyle behavior to create the consumer profile. Therefore, creates a likely consumer profile in order to determine his or her behavior patterns. In essence it embraces personalities and lifestyle or the targeted consumer and demographics tells who buys, psychographics tells us why. Consumer can shares same demographics characteristics but different psychographics. Therefore, helping the marketers have a clear view of the value of social aspects that influence consumer behavior.

According to Forrester research global online population is estimates to by 2.34 Billion by 2014 (Forrester, 2012). The online sales figures are expected to increase in relation with growth of the world population. In detail the US retail market will reach $ 279 billion, mobile commerce sales will grow to $ 28.7 billon, social media sales will reach $30 billon and daily online sales will reach $ 3.93billlion (Forrester, 2012). The United States will still remain the largest online consumer.  This growing demand for internet purchases has lead companies to enhance their efforts in establishing e-commerce stores. They are numbers of advantages such no physical set-up is required, the business run 24/7 and fasters buying and selling procedures. 

Online shopping demographics show that the online population is 79% women and 77% men that purchase items online (Forrester, 2012). Online shopping age current statistics show that 80% of online people are aged between 90-64 and 30 and 49, while 77% are aged between 18 to 29 and 68% are aged over 65 years (Forrester, 2012). The income level also differs with individuals those who have more disposable income having a high frequency in purchases. This illustrates thrives mainly in economies that have high income levels. 

Consumer Online Behavior

Different communities will undergo an overhaul, triggered by inventions that incorporate the social and more so the mobile aspects, which would transform the behavior and operations of people, in turn changing the ways that people work and behave. Technology has enabled people to be connected and as a way enhance business productivity by enhancing the different ways of life. Having broken the geographical barriers, it will be possible to establish communities and forge associations in different ways (Close, 2012). The inception of the Web will work to integrate the world into one large community, increasingly bridging the wide gap that has characterized global cohesion and integration.

The popularity of the internet and advancement of the mobile inventions will trigger a different transparency within the markets that will significantly transform behavior. This invention will enable the spread of information between people and completely wipe out sceptisms and doubts. It will further monitor and evaluate the business operations and the activities of the consumer beyond the set standards. Given the prevalence and rapid nature of conveying information, people will be accorded the privilege of taking part in formulation of resolutions with reference to sophisticated financial issues (Wood and Solomon, 2009).

The market potential will keep changing with an aim of incorporating the consumer, both locally and across the globe. The economic development registered in the developing nations, will trigger the purchasing will of the consumers on different products and services, availing significant opportunity for all the small scale traders locally and on the global scene.

The basis of presenting an analysis of this situation is dependent on the reaction of consumers in the market and they keep on changing depending on how business policies keep evolving. Demographical boundaries as social factors have been noted to influence the perception of consumer behavior in purchasing of products. Over the years, consumer behavior has greatly changed. This is today evident because consumers purchase various products that are more health since today more information about a product is easily accessed as compared to how it used to be several years ago (Haugtvedt et al, 2005). Various factors have changed the way consumers usually perceive as well as value products, since they are nowadays more knowledgeable about products and the manufacturers are today required by law to print content and ingredients of their products  mostly at back of the product allowing us to be more educated about the products we are purchasing. The orientation required of consumers today notes that they have be on the lookout and watch the products they are purchasing. In addition, consumers are more exposed to what is required by global bodies and are therefore aware of various factors which have brought changes in the behavior of consumers.

As consumers, factors such as psychological, social and personal factors usually impact our consumer behavior greatly. From the setting experienced within the family unit, up to the lifestyles that are now being adapted by various consumers, the decisions are as well influenced by people’s own experiences, knowledge and the role of peers. The ability of now having information about products within the touch of a dial or in the finger tips usually provokes consumers to have knowledge of what they are consuming as well to whether or not those products are health hazard or risk to us and also to our families (Constantinides, 2004). As customers, while consumers are able to access all the information about various products that they buy or purchase, there are still the presences of the consumer, government and manufacturers groups that usually promote health risk that can be associated with the products that are purchased and consumed. For instance, advertisement campaign especially by the department of health usually promote health risk that can be associated with the habit of smoking and also the consumer groups such as ACA also in their own magazine publish health hazards that can be linked with the gene modification (Constantinides, 2004).

Role of consumer groups and the government are all broadly linked and as well aim to bring awareness or inform consumers in the public about safety of various products. Today consumers tend to purchase products different as compared to how they used to purchase them several years ago. As the old continue to interact with the young and as they evolve from one to another, with each new generation, our perceptions and values as well continue changing, and this indicates the way which we usually use in purchasing our services and goods (Close, 2012). As consumers, people tend to try and find the commodities which they think are good for them to purchase and consume, and are therefore able to select the one which they are products which are able to promise great utility and value to their money. After selecting those commodities, consumers can then make an estimate of money that are in their closet and which can spend on that commodity. The last aspect of consumer behavior towards a product will be to analyze the prevailing prices of products and services in the market in order to make the choice of the product. As a result, they make effective decisions if they can consume or purchase the product or service based on their needs. Most of the changes that affect out purchasing as well as consuming styles include the social, personal, cultural and psychological changes.

Some of the cultural changes that affect the way one purchase as well as consumer products and services include the buyer culture, social class and subculture. Generally, culture is part in each society and is usually an important part cause of consumer behavior and wants. Some cultures require that a given gender purchase certain goods and this can also affect the purchasing power of the consumer.  Every culture further contains subcultures that are different such as nationalities, religions, racial groups, geographic regions among many others. For instance, on one subculture, there are different type of products which one cannot purchase or consume because they are against the customs and norms (Woods and Solomon, 2009). Furthermore, in the global environment there are various forms of the social class and this social class; there are those which are not only determined by the income but also by other factors such as education, wealth, and occupation among many others. This changes especially in income influences much on the consumer behavior since a change in one’s income can impact behavior towards making purchase of an item which could not have been purchase before.

Changes in social factors such as the family, reference groups as well as status have also changed the consumption behavior of consumers. This is because they have changed the purchasing attitude and behavior, and some products which were bought by consumers and which were perceived to be less important to them have off late become important. Some of the reasons why there has been change of attitude have been due to the influence of peers. The family setting can also be noted to have played a great part in influencing the online consumer behavior (Close, 2012). For instance, the family tends to influence the type of product that is consumed in the social setting and as a result, consumers are prompted to purchase what will be acceptable within the family.

Changes in roles and status as well have influenced consumer consumption behavior because as a student, people tend to being influenced to consume or purchase various products mainly due to their financial status as well as because they are driven to purchase the product based on what other students have been able to purchase (Close, 2012). Changes in lifestyle as well influences consumers to a certain extent in consumption behavior because at certain times they are forced by circumstances to purchase certain products according to the current lifestyle and which may be mainly influenced by opinion, interest as well as activities within my society as well as among the people I am living with them.

Conclusion

The changes that have been witnessed in technology have played a major role in influencing consumer online behavior. As noted in the paper, it is worth noting that social orientation in online marketing has contributed to the various ways through which consumers are able to make purchasing decisions and choices. Personal as well as environmental uncontrollable factors have been able to define personal, demographic, social and economic trends in purchase of a product. Firms are now being encouraged to move into digital form of market orientation where they are able to attract a youthful generation as well as the aging as well. However, it is worth noting that social dimension that has been highlighted in the paper indicates that consumer purchase power tends to be influenced with what the society accepts to be good. There are cultures where the purchase of certain products by specific gender is not accepted. Furthermore, consumer power is influenced by the increasing knowledge about a product which can be easily accessed online. In conclusion, it is worth reiterating that online purchase is gaining popularity because of evolving technology which has prompted organizations to initiative ways that reflects this change.  The use of psychographics is good approach to understanding the consumer from a social perspective and enhancement of the company social media reach. Through data mining ones social background marketers are able to understand what makes the customer tick. In the end through playing with the customers psychographics companies will be able to increase the engagement and interaction and maintain customer loyalty.  

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