What is Consumer psychology?

Back to blogs

What is Consumer psychology?

We as consumers tend to be an innately irrational species. Our decisions work by a variety of factors from our personal emotions, to the environment around us, which makes it incredibly difficult to predict how we’re going to behave when faced with a choice.

The fact is, you can’t ask a person the question “Why did you buy this product?” and get a truly honest answer. Humans are not the logical creatures we like to think we are. The vast majority of information that enters are brains are processed below the level of consciousness, meaning the answer to “why do we buy”, is not necessarily a simple one.

The main focus of consumer psychology involves the research and understanding of the psychology of consumer behaviour. The discipline draws on many areas of psychology such as decision-making, emotion, memory, neuroscience, social influence, and motivation in order to develop more complete theories as to what makes us tick.

Due to the unique marriage of both psychology and business; consumer psychology is one of the more applied and lucrative areas of psychology. Consumer research features in the strategies of a variety of market sectors including branding, advertising, marketing, packaging design, economics and shopping behaviour.

Consumer psychologists and researchers utilise a diverse range of methodologies to measure behaviour. Some examples include:

  • Eyetracking
  • Facial analysis
  • Galvanic skin response (GSR)
  • fMRI and EEG studies (as well as other brain imaging techniques)
  • Analysis of observed behaviour (Filming) claimed behaviour (Interviews and focus groups)

SBXL similarly employs these methodologies to better understand how shoppers behave when in the supermarket. This enables us to pin down the inner processes of shoppers, as well the factors that influence how they search, spend, and purchase products in a shop, and how these act upon future strategies. Shoppers may say they are feeling a certain way, yet these methodologies help us dig deeper into the shopper’s mindset.

As much as marketers would like, there is no “buy-button” in the brain, but psychologists are beginning to better understand the top-down and bottom-up influencers that can lead to purchases in store.

To date, nearly 2 million journal articles having been written on the subject. In this age of technological and scientific innovation within the business world, and as more and more businesses are increasing interest in consumer psychology, this number is only set to increase.

To find out more, information can be found at: