A consumer behavior report reveals the results of a study or analysis on consumer behavior. This includes such behaviors as buying habits, brand loyalties, preferred methods of shopping and product research habits. Responses are often broken down into specific groups using demographic data, such as age, sex, ethnicity, income level, marital status and geography. A business can use a consumer behavior report to assist in marketing and merchandising strategies and to project probable consumer reaction to new products.
The data on which a consumer behavior report is based can be gained through customer interviews, by collecting sales and traffic data, or a combination of the two. Market researchers often interview customers via phone, via Internet surveys or email, or in person in order to gain data on how consumers shop and how they make buying decisions. Data can also come from annual sales numbers, which for publicly traded companies are often a matter of public record.
Once all such data is accumulated, it is presented in summary form, sometimes with the raw data available as a backup. A consumer behavior report can be quite brief, focusing on a small number of factors, or it can be extensive, presenting data in several classification combinations. For example, one report might simply provide the number of people who purchased a new car during a given time period and how many of them performed Internet research prior to the purchase. A more in-depth report might present those two numbers and then further break down the results by ethnicity, age group, sex or any number of other demographic indicators.
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Anything consumers do can be included in a consumer behavior report. This includes pre-purchase activities such as researching products on the Internet, asking friends and family about a product, price shopping at multiple retailers and comparing brands. It can also include shopping habits, such as when and where customers most like to shop. It can also include purchase decisions, such as brand-based and price-based buying.
Trends also are often a factor in a consumer behavior report. This usually includes comparisons of habits across time periods. For example, such a report might state that consumer purchase of brand name tomato sauce is down 15 percent over the previous year, or it could state that it is down for the third year in a row.
Companies typically use the data in such reports to determine how to best use marketing and advertising funds. They might also use it to try to anticipate customer response to new products or to predict when an existing product might fall out of popularity. Such data can also help determine where retail stores and restaurants should build new locations.