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Consumer Behaviour Bicycles & Vegetables

In: Business and Management

Submitted By maalika
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To study the consumers’ buying behaviour through observation of their method of purchase of two products, namely bicycle and vegetables bought from a pushcart.

We went to United Cycle Company in Panchkua, near the railway station. It is located in a large cycle market with a lot of similar shops nearby. We observed two customers in two hours.
Customer 1 – some observations: It was a father and son – the son was around 25 years old. They seemed to be from a middle class family. They wanted to buy a cycle mainly for the son but even the father planned to use it occasionally. They had decided to buy a cycle on that day. However, they had not decided on a specific type of cycle and spent almost 45 minutes looking at a large variety of cycles. They were company specific and mostly looked at Avon and Hero cycles. However, the son also looked at some expensive bicycles by Adidas and Firefox which cost more than Rs. 15,000. The son mentioned that he weighed around 120 Kg, even the father looked approximately of the same weight. Thus the strength of the bicycle was an important factor for them. They hopped on to the bicycle and checked it for strength many times and from different perspectives such as the strength of the frame and strength of the carrier. They preferred thicker tyres and wanted a wider seat. Other features such as front and back shock absorber (which they called jumper) were also considered but were not very crucial. However the salesman convinced them to buy a cycle with good shock absorbers as it will be more comfortable. After selecting the type of cycle, they looked at different colors in which it was available. They finalized on purchasing a Hero Dirt Terrain Bike Ranger with shock absorber and red in color. Its cost was Rs. 3450. They tried to bargain with the owner but when told that the price was fixed, they left the shop. They came back after 20 minutes and purchased the same cycle. Additionally, they changed the seat to a wider one and also changed the pedals to rubber instead of the plastic ones which came with the cycle.
Role of the salesperson: The sales person showed them different brands of bicycle and was showing different features of the product. He also told them about the warranty of the cycle frame since its durability and strength was important to the customer. He seemed quite frustrated when they did not purchase the bicycle at the first time.
Customer 2 - some observations:
This was a family consisting of a father, a mother and their 10 year old daughter. They looked to be middle class and came on a scooter. They were just browsing through the bicycles and wanted to purchase one on the girl’s birthday as a gift. It seemed as if they were going somewhere else and just took around 15 minutes to stop by the bicycle shop and look at different bicycles.
The parents were browsing through different bicycles and suggested some ladies cycles such as ‘Miss India’ and ‘Ladybird’. But the girl wanted a unisex cycle and had a specific cycle in mind which was ‘Hero Razor Back’ and insisted on it. The father also suggested a wider seat but the girl preferred the standard seat. They were also concerned about the availability of the cycle parts as the shop was far away from their home. They spoke mostly in Gujarati and hence we were not able to understand some of the details.
They finalized the Hero Razor Back model which cost Rs. 3025 and then left the shop.
Role of the sales person: He recommended the same cycle and mentioned that even girls use that model. He also mentioned that they will provide two free servicing and that the cycle parts will be available easily.

There were 4 pushcarts where we went to observe the behaviour of consumers and chose one of them. These pushcarts were located on the road which goes towards Vastrapur Lake. We observed three customers there.
Customer 1 - some observations:
The first customers were an old couple, around 55 years old, who came on a motorbike. They seemed to belong to a lower middle class group and the husband was involved in the shopping mainly, though the wife was making suggestions to him regularly. They had a good knowledge about the vegetables, their freshness and the prices which they compared across the pushcarts. The consumer bought vegetables by handpicking them, and the quantity seemed to be for a week. While buying, they bargained with the vegetable vendor but did not push him much to reduce the prices. They spent quite some time at the pushcart but were buying for most of the time rather than merely exploring. They took almost 15 minutes for the purchase.
Role of the Salesperson: The vegetable vendor kept on asking if he should give some more vegetables. Also he suggested if the customer would take a greater quantity, the price would be lowered.
Customer 2 - some observations:
The second customer was a woman who came with her children. She seemed to be around 40-45 years, and came to shop for her daily needs for vegetables which she would be consuming immediately. They were looking for cheap vegetables and had knowledge about the price in the market. They bargained a lot and choice of the product bought was determined by price. Mainly time was spent in exploration of different vegetables and finally bought something which they found cheap. They spent almost 15 to 20 minutes in deciding and choosing the vegetables, thought the transaction was of small quantity. At the end she cautiously tendered the amount in notes of 10 and coins.
Role of the Salesperson: The vegetable vendor was very authoritative while talking to them and was reluctant to give them extra vegetables, like chillies, which they had asked for.
Customer 3 - some observations:
The third customer who was present at the same time seemed to belong to the upper middle income group as he came in a “Ford Ikon” car. He came with very specific requirement of vegetables and for daily purpose. He was very quick in shopping, which was planned, and parked his car in front of the pushcart. His entire transaction was completed in around 2 minutes and he did not touch the vegetables himself but just asked the vendor if it was fresh or not. His shopping was not driven by price at all and at the end simply tendered cash of Rs. 100 and left with the change.
Role of Salesperson: The vegetable vendor was trying to sell more vegetables to him, but the customer ignored him.

COMPARISON OF BEHAVIOUR OF CUSTOMERS We observed a few similarities and a few differences in the behavior of the customers while purchasing the two products. They are as listed below:
Similarities: Customers for both products were involved in bargaining. They also checked the product for quality.
Differences: Since the cycle purchase was a major investment as compared to buying vegetables, much more time was spent in buying a cycle. The cycle customers also stressed much more on quality of the product. Bargaining was successful in the case of vegetables but not in case of cycles. The customer were easily influenced by the bicycle salesman as they did not have much information while in case of vegetables the customers had more knowledge and hence did not rely much on the salesman. Selection of the vegetables was done mostly by a single person while selection of the cycle was done by the person who will be using it; however, it was influenced by the inputs of the members.

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