5 Aspects That Influence Purchase Decisions

We’re now well into the season of consumerism, and it’s a good time to ask a few questions regarding customer purchase decisions and what really drives a sale.

How does someone select their brand? What makes people buy certain products? Do previous buying experiences affect current ones?

In this latest blog, we’re aiming to answer these key questions and decipher what drives a consumer once and for all.


Did you know that companies with simple-to-pronounce names have been known to “significantly outperform” their hard-to-pronounce counterparts? There’s a simple reason for this, and it’s that customers are more likely to prefer something that’s easy for them to understand.

The same applies to products and promotions. The more accessible a brand can make their offering to their potential customers, the more likely they’ll be to buy. The key to this is guidance, not obstruction. Simple!

Online reviews

This one might seem obvious but nonetheless, it’s a crucial factor to take into account. Recent studies have shown that up to 88% of people now trust online reviews just as much as they would a personal recommendation. As well as this, if you take a look at an average star rating for a product and the number of sales made on said product, you’ll notice a strong correlation between the two. The higher the product is rated, the more units it will sell (and vice versa).

Reviews from other sources

Whilst reviews are indeed heavily weighted towards the online arena in terms of authority, people do still commonly gather reviews from other sources. Many people still consult with their close family and friends before ultimately making their decision – in fact a recent study claimed that 59% of people surveyed do this. In these instances, it is clear that the user experience provided is something that will need to be taken into serious consideration when marketing a product and appealing to customers offline.

Following the crowd

Ever wondered why if you visit the sauce isle in the supermarket there are so many variations of the same ketchup? Or the same chips? Surely products need to stand out from the crowd in order to be noticed, right? Not quite.

Preferences are commonly learnt, and when it comes to staple products many customers simply don’t like change. When designing a new product, think “Is this something the market really wants”. Of course, this is also a time to think about your market research.

Social Media

There are mixed reviews as to the influence people feel social media has on customer purchase decisions. Whilst click-throughs generally indicate a lower buy rate when compared to other traditional advertising methods, there’s no doubting the positive sentiment that can be built up over time between brand and customer and eventually lead to sales. Whilst not an immediate seller, a good social strategy can be invaluable for influencing an audience over a sustained period of time.

A great example of social media influence is through Christmas advertising. Many top brands – from John Lewis, to Sainsbury’s, to IKEA – have taken to social media to roll out their Christmas campaigns and gain positive sentiment from the online community, and to great effect.

As you’ll have noticed in this piece, consumers are a very complex topic. Whilst it’s important to take these key areas into account when trying to influence your audience, it’s also crucial to know your individual market and customers as well as you can in order to make sure you’re maximising your means to give them exactly what they need. If you’d like to talk to our team about how we can help you with your market research opportunities, please get in touch with us today.


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