Women and Consumer Behaviour

Powerful Essays
Women and Consumer Behaviour


Consumer behaviour can be defined as “the acts of individuals directly involved in obtaining and using economic and services, including the decision process that precede and determine these acts.” (Engel et al, 1968, p 5)

Buyer behaviour refers to “the acts of individuals directly involved in the exchange of money for economic goods and services and the decision process that determined these act. “(Engel et al, 1968, p 5).

Both consumer and buyer behaviour differ amongst the population as people have different wants and needs. Therefore it is untrue to say that ‘working women buy products and services essentially the same as non working women.’ No two people are similar as physiological factors, cultural forces, economic considerations, interpersonal relationships, personality, self-concept, and learning are variables that shape goals and influence. (Runyon, K.E. 1980).

However consumers can be put into groups if they have similar characteristics, i.e. if they come from the same social class, background, age, lifestyle. Working and non-working women can be segmented in two separate groups. They are different because of many influences. Some are external due their social environment. What they do with these social stimuli involves a psychological process that differs from each other. These social influences and internal processes may evolve into a decision by the consumer to make a purchase or not. (refer to table 1). (Engel et al, 1968). As both groups possess different characteristics, it is necessary for marketers to understand that they will have different wants and needs.

Table 1. Factors influencing behaviour

Personal Psychological Cultural Social

Age & Lifestyle Motivation Culture Reference groups

Occupation Perception Subculture Family

Economic Learning Social class Roles & status

Personality Beliefs

Self concept Attitudes


Engel et al, (1968) suggest that culture refers to the unique patterns of behaviour and social relations that characterises and distinguishes it from other societies. Culture is not inherited genetically, it is rather the result of learning. Parents, teachers and schools help indoctrinate each generation into a cultural decision...

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