There are many factors that affect consumer behaviour. These range from cultural, all the way through to social. This blog post will take a look at each of these factors in order to break down what they mean to consumer behaviour.

Cultural Factors


The way people behave and interact with each other has a lot to do with the culture they are from. People from different cultures will act and react differently to different situations.


Sub-culture is related to factors such as religion

For example, Hindu’s don’t eat beef because they believe that the cow is a sacred animal, so trying to sell products that contain beef in India is probably not the best idea. McDonald’s in India don’t sell any products containing beef so to not offend or upset anyone.

Social Class

Upper Class – tend to spend more on luxurious items e.g. expensive gadgets, cars, dresses

Middle Class – tend to buy items to secure their future e.g. mortgage, car

Lower Class – tend to only spend money on items essential for survival e.g. food, toiletries


Social Factors

Reference Groups

Every individual consumer is surrounded by people who influence them.


Primary influencers are people who are in close contact with the individual.

  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Relatives
  • Co-workers



Secondary influences have an indirect relationship with the individual.

  • Political parties/leaders
  • Celebrities
  • Religious associates

Role in Society

The buying tendency of an individual depends on the role that they play in society. Someone may be a firefighter, but when they go home they are also a dad, and a husband, this can affect the way people spend their money.

Social Status

This is the way that someone is perceived within a community, relating back to brands, if someone is well respected they may always look smart and well-put-together.



Personal Factors


The age and human lifecycle also play a part in determining how consumers are going to react. People of different ages have different wants and needs depending on what stage in their life they are at. For example, the needs of a teenager are different from those of an elderly person.


The occupation of an individual affects their purchasing behaviour, for example, the needs and wants of a CEO are probably different to those of a waiter.

Economic Situation

A person economic situation can really affect their purchasing behaviour, this is because if you have fallen into economic hardship will not be splashing the cash on the latest designer clothes. But someone who has just won the lottery or gotten a pay rise may be less reluctant to spend a bit more money.


A person’s lifestyle also has a huge effect on their consumer behaviour. Lifestyle involves attributes such as style, attitude, perception, his social relations and immediate surroundings.


An individual’s personality will also affect their buying behaviour, as every person has their own set of unique characteristics and personality traits. For example, someone who is into fitness will be more focused on products to do with health, whereas someone who enjoys reading may be more inclined to spend their money on books.



Psychological Factors


Motivation to buy products can differ between consumers. Some consumers are motivated by factors such as hunger, being cold, being ill. For example, if a person is hungry they will have the motivation to buy food.

For other people, their motivation is social status. These are people who buy designer brands to keep up their image and how other people perceive them.


Perception is what a consumer thinks about a certain product or service. Some people may think that Apple are the best brand and some may think Samsung, but this can all boil down to their experiences with and perception of the company or brand in question. This is why some individuals with the same needs may buy different products.

Beliefs and Attitudes

This has a lot to do with brand image and how a person views a brand. This brand image is created by the individual.