Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services. Consumer behavior consists of how the consumer’s emotions, attitudes, and preferences affect buying behavior. Consumer behavior emerged in the 1940–1950s as a distinct sub-discipline of marketing, but has become an interdisciplinary social science that blends elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology, anthropology, ethnography, ethnology, marketing, and economics (especially behavioral economics).

According to the American Marketing Association, consumer behavior can be defined as “the dynamic interaction of affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events by which human beings conduct the exchange aspects of their lives.” As a field of study, consumer behavior is an applied social science. Consumer behavior analysis is the “use of behaviour principles, usually gained experimentally, to interpret human economic consumption.” As a discipline, consumer behavior stands at the intersection of economic psychology and marketing science.

Here are some of the key factors that influence consumer behavior:

Consumer behavior is a complex and dynamic process, but by understanding the key factors that influence it, marketers can develop more effective marketing strategies.

Here are some of the benefits of understanding consumer behavior: