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Chapter: Business Science : Marketing Management : Buyer Behavior

Online Buyer Behavior

With the existence of online environment, the basic principles of buyer behavior are changing.

Online Buyer Behavior


With the existence of online environment, the basic principles of buyer behavior are changing.


The following specifics of online buyer behavior are (see the Tab. 1):


Tab. 1 – Specifics of online buyer behavior. Source: own on literature review.


Analysis of Consumer behaviour online


This report will outline the most relevant behavioural characteristics of online consumers and examine the ways they find, compare and evaluate product information. Comparison of the newly collected survey data with the existing consumer behaviour theory resulted in detection of a number of issues related to a specific consumer group. The purpose of this report is to translate these findings into a set of implementation activities on strategic and technological level. Execution of these recommendations will result in better conversion of visitors into customers and encourage customer loyalty and referrals.


The focus group of this study will be young adults aged between eighteen and thirty-four interested in buying a mobile phone or a related product.


Research by Shun & Yunjie (2006) showed that there are product types, which are more likely to be sold online such as software, books, electronics and music. Reason for this is that when purchasing these types of products, one does not require personal inspection and most, if not all features, can be outlined in the product description and images. Most products in the mobile phone family belong to this category.


According to the recent research on consumer behaviour on the Internet users (Cotte, Chowdhury, Ratenshwar & Ricci, 2006), there are four distinct consumer groups with different intentions and motivations:


Exploration Entertainment Shopping



Music Videos, Lyrics - Daily updated collection of music videos and lyrics.


Majority of young adults interviewed for purpose of this research tend to be active information seekers. A high level of technological confidence within this group tends to be an encouraging factor when it comes to product information research online.


The following analysis presents both, focus group results and behavioural theory in a parallel fashion divided into two main research topics:


Information Retrieval and Search Patterns Perception of Product Information Online


These two areas are mutually dependent and particularly important in a market where consumers have the power to choose the right product from a number of competing suppliers. Well-structured product information that cannot be found easily online is as much of a problem as is having easily accessible information that does not meet the consumer's expectations.


1..Building & Measuring Customer Satisfaction


Managing customers‘ satisfaction efficiently is one the biggest challenge an organization face. The tools or methods to measure customer satisfaction needs to be defined sophisticatedly to fulfill the desired norms. There are following methods to measure

customer satisfaction:


Direct Methods: Directly contacting customers and getting their valuable feedback is very important. Following are some of the ways by which customers could be directly tabbed:


Getting customer feedback through third party agencies.


Direct marketing, in-house call centers, complaint handling department could be treated as first point of contact for getting customer feedback. These feedbacks are compiled to analyze customers‘ perception.


Getting customer feedback through face to face conversation or meeting.

Feedback through complaint or appreciation letter.

Direct customer feedback through surveys and questionnaires.



Organizations mostly employ external agencies to listen to their customers and provide dedicated feedback to them. These feedbacks needs to be sophisticated and in structured format so that conclusive results could be fetched out. Face to face meetings and complaint or appreciation letter engages immediate issues. The feedback received in this is not uniformed as different types of customers are addressed with different domains of questions. This hiders the analysis process to be performed accurately and consistently. Hence the best way is to implement a proper survey which consists of uniformed questionnaire to get customer feedback from well segmented customers. The design of the prepared questionnaire is an important aspect and should enclose all the essential factors of business. The questions asked should be in a way that the customer is encouraged to respond in a obvious way/. These feedback could received by the organizations can be treated as one of the best way to measure customer satisfaction.


Apart from the above methods there is another very popular direct method which is surprise market visit. By this, information regarding different segment of products and services provided to the customers could be obtained in an efficient manner. It becomes easy for the supplier to know the weak and strong aspects of products and services.


Indirect Method: The major drawback of direct methods is that it turns out to be very costly and requires a lot of pre compiled preparations to implement. For getting the valuable feedbacks the supplier totally depends on the customer due to which they looses options and chances to take corrective measure at correct time. Hence there are other following indirect methods of getting feedback regarding customer satisfaction:


Customer Complaints: Customer‘s complaints are the issues and problems reported by the customer to supplier with regards to any specific product or related service. These complaints can be classified under different segments according to the severity and department. If the complaints under a particular segment go high in a specific period of time then the performance of the organization is degrading in that specific area or segment. But if the complaints diminish in a specific period of time then that means the organization is performing well and customer satisfaction level is also higher.


Customer Loyalty: It is necessarily required for an organization to interact and communicate with customers on a regular basis to increase customer loyalty. In these interactions and communications it is required to learn and determine all individual customer needs and respond accordingly. A customer is said to be loyal if he revisits supplier on regular basis for purchases. These loyal customers are the satisfied ones and hence they are bounded with a relationship with the supplier. Hence by obtaining the customer loyalty index, suppliers can indirectly   measure      customer satisfaction.

2..How to Measure Your Customers’ Satisfaction Levels


You have many ways to gather customer information about customer satisfaction so that you can measure your organization's efficiency with regards to customer service. One common way is to review your customer service inbox. If a customer is dissatisfied with what you‘ve provided in terms of quality or service, they are likely to send a letter or e-mail to let you know about the issues (after chewing out some managers, of course).


Ways to measure customer satisfaction


No doubt, you have a method for dealing with customer complaints and the issues that arise from time to time within your company. The Balanced Scorecard customer leg is ideal for tracking these issues.


Here are other common ways you can gather information from customers:


1.                 Evaluate communication at call centers and help desks.

Check out product-return centers.

1.             Interview field service reps and technicians.

2.             Conduct surveys and send out questionnaires.

3.             Hire a third party (consultants, websites).

4.             Hold discussions with focus groups.


3..Zero in on the right customer measures


How do you measure your customers? Most companies already have some data and information on their customers, and we‘re sure you do, too. That‘s well and good, but the first thing you need to ask when beginning the customer scorecard is if your data and information include the right measures.


Do they really reflect what your customers think and how they feel about your products or services? Do they focus on the critical few things that are truly important to customers? In short, does your data measure what you really need to measure?


You can take many different approaches to measure your customers, but the key is to find the critical ones that are important to you and your company so that you can hit the right mark and avoid costly mistakes.


The measures you select depend on where you are in your organization. A strategic-level customer scorecard, for example, will have measures that comprise high-level objectives, such as customer retention and loss rates and profit and revenue per customer. Customer scorecard measures at the operational and tactical levels will be more specific.


For example, you can measure what it is about your product or service that drives retention, profit and loss, or revenue measures at the strategic level. Such measures usually focus on things like quality, cost, and speed of delivery.


So whom do you survey? This would seem to be obvious, but it is actually not so easy. Certainly you want to ask your customers, right? But which ones? And at what level within your customers? You need to ask those customers that have some knowledge about your customer service processes, likely because they have had to avail themselves of your services at one time or another.


When you consider the best way to ask your customers, surveys come to mind almost immediately. This is because surveys provide immediate, up-to-date feedback. However, conducting a survey requires that you already understand your customer‘s needs and expectations.


Having a customer-focused company means you must understand what your customers want and expect from your business and then evaluate how well you‘re meeting those desires and expectations. An often overlooked yet vital tool for accomplishing those tasks is the survey. Surveying helps you


Gather specific feedback about how satisfied your customers are with the level of service they receive.


Provide an initial benchmark against which you can measure future progress.

Make changes, based on your research, to the way you do business

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