How to Measure Consumer Behavior

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Measuring customer behavior is a crucial part of any business. Knowing what the consumer wants and how he acts is vital in terms of product design, and later marketing. There are different ways that you can measure consumer behavior, depending on what area you are interested. Regularly conducting market research will allow you to get to know your customers, which will mean you take them into account when making business decisions. This will greatly improve your business, and your profits.

Conduct a survey to find consumer behavior. There are two main types of consumer survey: qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative studies involve asking a few consumers a lot of in-depth questions. Quantitative studies involve asking lots of consumers a few questions. The latter would be better for determining the market for a totally new product, since you only need to find out if people would buy it. If you are amending a product, or making one similar, a qualitative study would allow you to gain more detailed information.

Observe consumers going about their business. You will need to get permission from the store or the shopping mall you are observing. By watching consumers, you can discern a great deal of information about their behavior. Information such as optimum height and location of a product and store layout is all gleaned from obervational consumer behavior measures.

Use raw data to provide a measurement tool. For example, if you have released a product, see if this is bought regularly in conjunction with another product. If it is, then you can assume that you have a similar demographic to the second product. Use the raw data to determine what time of day, or weather, or time of year people buy your product. All of this gives information on consumer behavior.

Separate objective and subjective data. If you are leading an interview or survey, you may be influencing people's answers. By gaining as much data as possible, you will be able to make objective judgements, which are free from bias, whether inadvertent or not.

Have a clear question in mind. Consumer behavior measurements and any form of market research functions best when a specific question is kept in mind. Essentially, you should measure behavior based on the answer to one question, be it broad "What is our consumer demographic?" or focused "Should our price be $4.99 or $4.50?"

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About the Author

Emile Heskey has been a professional writer since 2008, when he began writing for "The Journal" student newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in modern history and politics from Oxford University, as well as a Master of Science in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Edinburgh University.

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  • consumer girl image by Lev Dolgatshjov from Fotolia.com