A Guide to Understanding Consumer Behaviour in the Nigerian Market

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consumer behaviour

Understanding consumers’ buying behaviour is vital for marketers, as it sheds light on why consumers make certain decisions. It also enables marketers understand what motivates consumers to make purchases. As a marketer, CEO, or an entrepreneur in Nigeria, understanding consumer behaviour is an effective way to skyrocket your sales and build up your brand. 

In this article, you will learn the importance of consumer behaviour and why you should leverage it in your business. 

What is Consumer Behavior? 

Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups and all activities associated with purchase, use and dispose of goods and services. It consists of how consumers’ attitudes, emotions and preferences affect their buying behaviour. 

A good understanding of consumer behaviour helps you create marketing plans that work and also enables you to supply goods and services that satisfy consumers’ wants and needs.

Understanding consumer behaviour as a product or service provider enables you to increase sales by identifying your target market, determining the needs of that market and providing products and services that meet those needs.

Theory of Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour theory is the study of how people make decisions while making a purchase. Marketers capitalize on this behaviour by predicting how and when a consumer will make a purchase. These behaviours result from a combination of a consumer’s income plus preference. 

Importance of Theory of Consumer Behaviour

Understanding these behaviours enables you to construct the demand curve and appropriately set the price of a good. This study helps identify what influences consumers’ decisions when making a purchase.The study of consumer behaviour allows a business person to understand;

  • Consumer behaviour while making a purchase 
  • What consumers think about your brands versus your competitors
  • What pricing strategies do your consumers respond to, and how do you implement them 
  • Where and how to allocate your resources
  • How do your consumers choose between different alternatives
  • How their environment influences their behaviour towards purchase
  • Their methods of payment
  • What products/services they need

Factors That Influence Consumer Behaviour 

Below are key factors that influence consumer behaviour;

  1. Psychological factors

This includes a person’s attitude, what motivates them, their personality and beliefs. For instance, an individual who cares about quality consumption will always buy differently from someone who’s after quantity.

  1. Personality

This includes age, gender, occupation, financial situation, and background/culture. For instance, a financially buoyant person is more likely to purchase an expensive product easily, while a person who is not economically buoyant will opt for a less expensive one. 

  1. Social influence

An individual’s social life includes friends, work/ school community, social class, hubbies, and favourite celebrities. For instance, a consumer may purchase a particular type of jogger because their favourite celebrity owns one.

  1. Perception

The information consumers get about an item is crucial in convincing them. For instance, ads, social media coverage, reviews and promotions have a psychological impact on convincing a potential consumer that your product is what they need.

  1. Lifestyle

People have different values, so they don’t all abide by the same lifestyle standards, and this affects their buying behaviour. For instance, some people take zero alcohol and zero cigarettes, while others can’t keep it from the menu. Some people prefer homemade foods, while some are okay with fast foods; these differences are sure to affect their buying behaviours. 

  1. Occupation

Consumers also make buying decisions based on their occupation. For instance, an individual whose occupation requires a specific outfit will buy differently from an individual who is self-employed or does not have to follow a particular code of dressing.

Read also: 10 Unbelievable Techniques to get to Know Your Customers Better

Types of Consumer Buying Behaviour

There are four main types of consumer buying behaviour. Studying these behaviours can help marketers determine the kind of item an individual will purchase; it helps them know what can influence their purchase behaviour.

  1. Dissonance-reducing buying behaviour

This behaviour occurs when a consumer can’t pinpoint the difference between various brands when making a purchase. For example, a mother wants a nutritious formula with no side effects for her kid, and each brand of formula she is looking at has almost the same makeup. At this point, dissonance occurs because she’s worried she will make the wrong choice and regret it later. 

  1. Complex buying behaviour

Consumers show this behaviour when purchasing an expensive, infrequently purchased product like a new home/car. Complex buying behaviour occurs when consumers are highly involved in the purchase, e.g. taking time to research the significant difference between various brands. 

  1. Habitual buying behaviour

This is when a consumer has the habit of buying an item or items regularly, irrespective of the brand.

  1. Variety seeking buying behavior

This is when a consumer is not dedicated to a particular brand when making a purchase. For example, an individual might go for a new brand of toothbrush, not because they are dissatisfied with the previous one but because they want to try something new. 

There are also stages attached to this buying behaviours:

  • Problem recognition: when they recognize the need for a service or product.
  • Information search: gathering of information on a desired product or service.
  • Alternative evaluation: weighing their choices against comparable alternatives. 
  • Purchase decision: the point of making an actual purchase of a good or service. 
  • Post-purchase evaluation: Reflecting on their purchase helps them decide whether to buy an item or use a service again.

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Benefits of Understanding Consumer Buying Behaviour

  1. Understanding consumer buying behaviours helps you create a relationship of understanding and trust with your Consumers.
  2. It tells your Consumers that you know their wants and needs and have the solution they seek.
  3. Understanding these behaviours can lead to an increase in your brand’s loyalty. 

Read also: A Guide to Creating an Insightful Customer Journey Map for Nigerian Businesses


Companies need to know what consumers want, where to find it, and when they need it; this way, they can better predict what trends are in the market.

When consumers know you understand their needs, wants and desires and provide them with products according to these needs, wants and desires, they’ll always call back, and with this, you can be sure of continuous growth in sales. 

Do you want to take your business to the next level? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive notifications of our articles that will teach you how to achieve that. 

Edited by Oluwanifemi Akintomide.

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Op-Ed are articles published by guest authors. We no longer accept guest posts. However, we are still open to adding long-term content contributors to our team of insightful writers. To write for us, please check out inisght.ng/guest-post.

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