Consumers, along with businesses, are the driving force of the economy. When they spend, businesses reap the profit and consumers get a quality product or service that will in some way enhance their lives. Consumers play an important role in society from the methods they use to research and review products to their decisions on which brands to use and where to make purchases.


Consumers determine the products and services they need, whether they are shopping for themselves, friends, family members or business clients. The media help to persuade, inform and remind them about products and services that are available for consumption. Once a consumer becomes interested in a product or service, regardless of the brand name associated with it, he begins to gather information to determine if making the purchase is a reasonable, wise-buying decision.


Consumers undoubtedly look to family, friends and colleagues for opinions when they're making a purchase. A referral for a business or a personal experience with a product holds more weight with a consumer than a well-orchestra print advertisement or commercial. In fact, Business Wire reports that women often look to blogs and social networks to research products before they make a decision to buy. Companies offer customers an opportunity to review their services and products online, and consumers use this information to gauge quality, service, features, benefits and pricing.


Children, for example, may initiate the idea of a purchase by mentioning a new cereal to a parent. The parent decides whether or not to make the purchase after researching the cereal to determine its price, its availability and how healthy it is. Consumers who assume the role of a decider have the financial authority to decide whether a good or service can be purchased.


Consumers purchase products and services with their money, a spouse's money, or by using a company credit card. Whether they visit a store in person, make a purchase online or place an order over the phone, the buyer gives a payment and receives a good or service in exchange.


Consumers typically use the products they buy, unless they make the purchase for a family member, friend or colleague. Regardless of who makes the purchase, the user is the person who ultimately consumes the good or service that's purchased by the buyer.