Consumer Behavior in Action

Consumer Behavior in Action


Walking into the supermarket, I notice a big SALE sign in a clothes and shoes store. There is a 50% off sale on every second item bought.

Image taken on May 1, 2021.

I am immediately attracted to the offer. A few other people are already hurrying to get inside as if the best items are getting sold out. Impulse buying is described by Cengiz (2017) as purchasing products without any forethought or planning. I believe this concept is triggered by a consumer’s level of involvement. It is also a critical part of the limited problem solving where the consumer uses simple rules and information to make a decision. The items from the store are low involvement products are cheap and pose low risks to a buyer. I believe we all got into the store, first, to see whether there were any items that would be good for us and secondly because we all interpreted the deal as very good and one that was necessary. Getting two items for the price advertised was very interesting, affecting the psychology of every buyer who interpreted it as a very good deal.


I believe Instagram posts are unrealistic. The way marketers use models that are perfect in every sense of the word works against my own desire to purchase the product. For example, a clothes company advertising using models with tanned and muscular models for the men, and perfectly shaped and flawless models for the women are just wrong in my opinion. I think a majority of people agree that such marketing efforts to showcase a product just work against the intention of the marketer. I have not seen many people looking like those Instagram models in real life. I think only 1 out 100 people look like that. I think I would be more attracted to a product if the marketers used real people. I mean averagely built men, with natural looking hair, women with normal skin, not so skinny, and people who are not always looking like they are mocking the rest of the universe.

Back to Back Screenshots taken and combined on May 15, 2021

The emotional behavioral, and mental response of a consumer to marketing is important (Bell et al., 2018), and should therefore be considered in the marketing mix. Consumer behavior is more than just products, but also about how they are presented to a consumer.


I took my friend to the mall the other day to get a haircut. I was expecting him to be there the whole day so I was sure I had enough time to do some window shopping and check out new deals in the clothes stores. After an hour, he called me to inform me that he was already finished and we could head back home. I was genuinely surprised on how men operate when it comes to their purchasing behavior. Personally, if I go to the mall, I expect to spend the whole day there even if what took me there was just brief. When I go to the mall with my girlfriends, we do a lot of impulse buying. We grab lunch, ice cream, then go for a movie, maybe go for a massage date, and we must leave room to go try out some clothes and new designs from our favorite stores. We take up an entire day and usually the time is not enough. We end up spending more than we had originally intended. Gender differences in purchase decision making is an important part of marketing and consumer behavior (Lin et al., 2019). I believe men are guided by what they were looking to do while women are mostly working to discover what they were really for as part of the purchase decision making. Women use a herd behavior, a pattern characterized by conformity and influence. We panic buy items because we feel like we would miss out if we are not a part of consumption.


I was sitting in the park on a lazy Sunday afternoon when a couple walked past me with a child in between them singing her hands happily. An ice cream vendor parked nearby waves to the child who then insists on getting an ice cream. The parents agree to buy the ice cream and additionally pick their own. That gets me wondering on who makes purchasing decisions in a family. The role of family in consumer behavior is described by Al Kurdi (2017) as complex. I now think that children have a significant influence when it comes to the purchasing behavior of families. People tend to consume more and spend more when there are children involved. Candies, sweets, toys, ice cream, shoes, or clothes are some of the items that individuals consume based on the influence of children. In other noticeable ways, children prompt households to subscribe to consumables such as Cartoon Network, Netflix, Disney Channel and so on. While the parent is the decider and the purchaser, the child remains to be the critical influencer.

An image of a family doing shopping with the children (influencers) and the parents (deciders and purchasers). Screenshot taken on May 15, 2021.


I was taking an Uber after a night out the other day and noticed that the price from my favorite restaurant to my apartment had increased by about 10% from previous charges. All the while, nothing else has changed. The services are the same, the product is the same as before, the features are also constant, yet the charges on the customer have changed. The concept of differential threshold is the point at which a customer notices changes in the features, prices, size, or any other aspect of a product or service (Currás‐Pérez et al., 2018). At times the changes are desired by the organization with the intention that the customer will notice. At other times, the organization tries to sneak the changes without the consumers noticing. If the same company, Uber, was to change the features of the services to a more luxurious vehicle or even lower the prices, I would appreciate the changes more. Consumers are willing to purchase items with the same features at lower costs. Reduced prices are a feature that moves differential threshold in the company’s favor without a need for other considerations. Reduced prices are a positive and powerful stimulus, that should be targeted by companies as a noticeable change for consumers to see. I have experienced this feature through large companies like McDonalds that add special features to their products, such as the double cheeseburger, for the price of the original product. I believe such marketing decisions would propel sales and lead to impulse buying from the consumer.


Al Kurdi, B. (2017). Investigating the factors influencing parent toy purchase decisions: Reasoning and consequences. International Business Research, 10(4), 104-116.

Bell, L., Vogt, J., Willemse, C., Routledge, T., Butler, L. T., & Sakaki, M. (2018). Beyond self-report: A review of physiological and neuroscientific methods to investigate consumer behavior. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1655.

Cengiz, H. (2017). Effect of the need for popularity on purchase decision involvement and impulse-buying behavior concerning fashion clothing. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 8(2), 113-124.

Currás‐Pérez, R., Dolz‐Dolz, C., Miquel‐Romero, M. J., & Sánchez‐García, I. (2018). How social, environmental, and economic CSR affects consumer‐perceived value: Does perceived consumer effectiveness make a difference?. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25(5), 733-747

Lin, X., Featherman, M., Brooks, S. L., & Hajli, N. (2019). Exploring gender differences in online consumer purchase decision making: An online product presentation perspective. Information Systems Frontiers, 21(5), 1187-1201.