What Are the Different Types of Consumer Behavior Courses?

D. Nelson

Consumer behavior courses are classes that individuals can take to learn about how and why people choose to make the purchases they do. The study of consumer behavior tends to use aspects of fields such as economics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. A great number of consumer behavior courses are offered in academic degree programs. Students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs might take courses in this field to learn about how best to sell and market products to consumers. It is also common for social scientists to take consumer behavior courses to better understand the decisions people make, though they may not be interested in developing business skills and knowledge.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Many undergraduate students enroll in consumer behavior courses. Business students, for example, can take these courses to learn the basics of marketing and sales, focusing on the ways in which related initiatives are impacted by consumers' cultures, income brackets, locations, age, and gender. Tenets of consumer behavior theory are used in many fields related to business and finance.

Students who are interested in the social sciences might also take consumer behavior courses. An anthropology or sociology student, for example, might be interested in learning about the behaviors of citizens in economically developed nations. He or she could consider the motives that drive consumers to choose certain products or services over others important signifiers of social or cultural values.

In the professional world, consumer behavior courses might serve the purpose of training instead of academic preparation. For example, a manager might decide that his or her sales professionals can benefit from consumer behavior courses that focus on specific products or demographics. If a company is introducing a new product, a manager can require that sales associates engage in training courses in which they learn why consumers might prefer certain products, and which features make primary selling points.

Individuals might also take courses in consumer behavior for their own development. For instance, a person who is thinking about opening his or her own store might choose to take a course that provides him or her with some tips for how best to attract customers and make products or services seem most appealing.

For professionals, the Internet is providing great opportunities for new practices and principles for marketing and selling products. Even established businesspeople might take consumer behavior courses that teach them how to break into online markets. These courses might focus on designing attractive, sensible web pages and showing up on Internet searches.

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