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Comparative Study on Consumer Behavior in a Mall/Public

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In every business enterprise, studying the behavior of their customers is a must for a business to know how to target and satisfy their consumer’s needs and wants. Consumer behavior is the process involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. (Solomon, 2002)

We can never tell what consumers to buy and where to buy their needs and wants because as a saying goes, “Customers are always right”. The buying process is a combination of mental and physical activity that ends with an actual purchase. Thus, it is interesting to study the connection within “what we buy” and “why we buy”. (Rubini, 2010)

Chapter II
Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this paper is to study and analyze the behavior of a consumer in these two kinds of market. The researcher would try to compare and contrast their buying behavior, purchase decision, their preferences and reasons in purchasing a good.

Chapter III

The research method for this paper is qualitative. The data gathering and the results were purely based on observation and literature.

Chapter IV

After a couple of hours of observation, the researcher has come up with the following:

The reason why most consumers buy in a mall or supermarket is the feeling of comfort and ease when buying products or goods, unlike in a public market or palengke where you will be distracted by the environment of it while buying – the noise, the stink and the rush of people. Consumers here usually shop by placing their selected merchandise into shopping carts (trolleys) or baskets and pay for the merchandise at the check-out. Most of the people in the mall wear nice dress and are not in rush when buying stuffs.

A single type of product can have different kinds of brand. And consumers usually choose those products whose brands already marked their lives or the one they really used all the time. Since products are at fix price, consumers can’t ask for a discount or “tawad”. Also, some consumers have a list on what goods to buy. When they buy, they do criticize it first before buying it, for instance, milk, they usually check everything about it like the brand name, price, expiration date and the packaging as well. Some also choose those products which are promotional items labeled with “buy ..1 take 1”. This is because consumers always think that benefits should exceed cost. In this way, they would perceive that they were able to maximize their money. After having all the goods they wanted, they proceed to the check-out and pay the items either in cash or credit.

Public Market
On the other hand, consumers in a public market or palengke like in Bankerohan showed a sort of different kind of attitude or behavior. One thing I noticed is that they can just wear an ordinary dress code when shopping in a wet market. A simple shirt, jeans and slippers will do. Buyers also bring a so-called thing bayong. It is a coarse sack of woven strips of palm leaves. This is where these consumers put all their goods. Apart from that, when these consumers buy a product, they do look at it for a while and compare the products with other stall selling the same type of product. If they sought that one stall is selling of the same type of product but of cheaper or affordable price and looks fresh, they would switch stall and choose that one. Others even have a list to guide them on what goods to buy. It shows they follow a certain budget which should be followed to maximize their money.

And not only that, consumers can ask for a discount or tawad – a thing you can never do in a mall. By this way, they would be able to maximize the value of their money. The price value of products here compared to a supermarket has real big discrepancy. Some consumers are so good in asking for a tawad while others are not. Some are also asking for an additional in volume if they buy lots of products of that kind. This kind of scenario happens when you’re a suki to that stall. Being a suki means having a pleasant relationship with the seller (pakikisama) and being a consistent customer to that stall as well. Another thing I noticed in these consumers is that the usual goods they buy are really the needs. Palengke is the best place to buy fresh goods like meat, fruits and vegetables.

Chapter V

From the results obtained by the researcher, it can be concluded that:

a) Consumers have their own preferences when buying products and/or services. b) Consumers undergo the 5 steps of buying process which are: need recognition, information search, alternative evaluation, actual purchase and post-purchase behavior. c) One can never tell what, where and why consumer should buy a product.

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