Buying Patterns: What They Are and How to Analyze Them
Buying patterns are the habits and routines that consumers establish through the products and services they buy. They are influenced by factors such as where someone lives, what they enjoy, what their goals are, and how much money they have. Understanding buying patterns can help marketers better target their audience, predict their behavior, and optimize their strategies.
In this article, we will explain what buying patterns are, why they are important, what types of buying patterns exist, and how to analyze them using data and tools.
What are buying patterns?
Buying patterns refer to the why and how behind consumer purchase decisions. They are defined by the frequency, timing, quantity, etc. of said purchases. For example, someone who walks to work every morning may grab a coffee from the same shop on the corner â to them, that’s part of their routine. To the shop owner, that’s an established buying pattern.
Buying patterns are determined by factors such as:
- Where someone lives
- Where they work
- How much money they make
- What they enjoy and prefer
- What their friends and family recommend
- What their goals and motivations are
- The price of the product or service they’re interested in (and any active sales or discounts)
- Any product displays
- The necessity of the product or service
- Festivals, holidays, rituals, or celebrations
Buying patterns can vary depending on the type of product or service, the level of involvement required, and the stage of the customer journey. For instance, buying groceries may be a low-involvement purchase that happens weekly, while buying a car may be a high-involvement purchase that happens once in a few years.
Why are buying patterns important?
Buying patterns are important to recognize, analyze, and measure because they help businesses better understand and potentially expand their target audience. By knowing how customers buy, businesses can:
- Create buyer personas that represent their ideal customers
- Segment their market based on different criteria (e.g., geographic, demographic, psychographic)
- Determine the best distribution channels and locations for their products or services
- Design effective marketing campaigns and promotions that appeal to customers’ needs and preferences
- Predict customer demand and sales trends
- Increase customer loyalty and retention by offering personalized experiences and recommendations
- Identify new opportunities for growth and innovation by spotting gaps or changes in customer behavior
What types of buying patterns exist?
The buying pattern can be classified into different types based on the level of involvement and decision-making required by the customer. These are:
- Low Involvement Buying: This is the regular buying of things like groceries or toiletries that customers have bought many times before and do not require much thought or comparison. The most important factor here is availability at the right time and place.
- Impulse Buying: This is the spontaneous buying of things that customers may not have planned to buy but are tempted by when they see them. The most important factor here is visibility and attractiveness at points where customers can quickly make a purchase (e.g., near point of sale terminals).
- Limited Decision-Making Buying: This is the occasional buying of things that customers have some prior knowledge or experience with but still need some information or guidance before making a purchase. The most important factor here is trustworthiness and credibility of the source of information (e.g., reviews, testimonials, referrals).
- High Involvement Buying: This is the infrequent buying of things that customers have little or no prior knowledge or experience with and require a lot of research and comparison before making a purchase. The most important factor here is quality and value of the product or service (e.g., features, benefits, warranty).
How to analyze buying patterns?
To analyze buying patterns, businesses need to collect and process data from various sources, such as customer