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Understanding Consumer Behaviour

6 Organisational vs Consumer Buying

There are several differences between organisational and consumer buying.

For an organisation:

  • There tends to be fewer customers placing orders of much higher value than in consumer markets.
  • There is generally a greater inertia and unwillingness to change suppliers once they are established. It takes a long time to establish a relationship with a supplier and once set, most businesses less willing to change.
  • Organisational buyers are more rationally motivated than consumers. They are buying because of managerial objectives, not because of personal needs. Therefore, they are unlikely to buy on impulse and are less likely to be swayed by promotional messages.
  • Organisations usually buy a complex complete offering. They will buy PCs, training, printers and software together rather than making piecemeal purchases. They will usually buy longer warranties and other extras. Communication between supplier and company becomes very important.
  • The buying process takes longer, is usually more complex than consumer buying and has more people involved. It also tends to be more professional with purchasing by a formally trained purchasing officer.