With a staggering 82. 7 million mobile phone subscriptions in the UK (Ofcom, 2013), it is extremely important for contract providers to have the edge in order to succeed in their market by winning over subscribers and generating profit. Especially during the recent recession, which has dropped the consumer confidence, it is vital for mobile phone providers to be able to attract customers through various ways in order to succeed. Successful ones always continue their extensive research and try to understand consumer behaviour, which will help them significantly when they are considering introducing a new plan.
This report will gather research about characteristics that affect the consumer behaviour of a middle-class man in the UK, for getting into a mobile phone contract. His previous contract consisted of a basic handset and he was tied into a lengthy contract. The man, a family man in his mid-20s, is well-off and is employed by a well-known banking firm in Central London. During his travel to work, he likes to be entertained and has a fondness for games. In addition to this, he likes to spend as much time as possible with his family whenever he is off work.
As this report will be gathering its data from websites, it has to be considered as secondary research. This type of research is particularly useful and provides high quality data ‘’If stringent budget and time constraints are imposed on primary research’’ (stewart et al, 1993) The Characteristics that Affect Consumer Behaviour Consumers are influenced by number factors when purchasing a good or a service. The characteristics of the consumer behaviour are divided in to four; Cultural, Social, Personal and Psychological. In this case, the consumer of my choice is expected to be influenced predominantly by the social factor.
This will mean that his family and friends will mainly be affecting his decision. As the buyer will be influenced by his friends and taking into account that 78% of people aged between 25 and 34 own a smartphone (Mintel, 2012), the buyer will be inclined into taking a contract with a smartphone handset included. In addition to this, opting for a smartphone will also have the benefit of entertaining him during his journeys to work, which he demanded, and it will also come in to good use when spending time with his family, as he can capture memories by taking pictures and recording videos.
This buyer’s behaviour in buying a contract will also be influenced by personal factors. Even though males tend to spend less than women (Pant, 2011), the buyer is in his mid-20s which can be considered to be the younger generation. Research suggests that this segment prefers spending over saving (Mathus & Moschis, 2007). Since the buyer is working in Central London for a banking firm, we assume that he is not short of disposable income. Taking this information into account, it can be deducted that the buyer will be going for a top of the range smart phone. The Types of Consumer Buying Decisions
Due to the fact that the service and the product that the buyer will buy will not be cheap, and because he has several network providers to choose from, the consumer buying decision would have to be complex. Additionally, renewing a mobile phone contract is not something he will be doing frequently and this ”often takes place over an extended period of time, requires information from many sources, and encompasses many inter-organizational relationships”(Webster et al, 1972), hence there will be high involvement in the process of choosing the correct provider and type of contract.
An example of the purchase of a similar good or service, in terms of buyer involvement, can be used to support the theory of complex buying behaviour for this buyer. Car insurance can be used in this case. Similarly to the network provider, it has a wide range of companies the buyer can choose from. The buyer has also options in choosing different tariffs with his contract, likewise, he can choose from different types of insurance, e. g. Third Party only, Full Comprehensive etc. Since car insurance is not purchased frequently, it has a similar buying behaviour to choosing a mobile phone contract, which also is not obtained often.
The Components of the Decision-Making Process John Dewey, in his book “How we Think” (1910) has broken down the decision making process of a person into 5 parts and has evaluated the importance of each stage. This report will be analysing and relate the significance of the 5 parts in the decision making process of buying mobile phone contract. Since this is a case of complex buyer, the buyer will be going through all the five stages in the decision making process. These are described below.