Wednesday, 26 September 2012

5 Cs of consumer behaviour

Recently I travelled to Nepalgunj, a city in Western Nepal famous for its chat (a spicy mixture of potato, onion, chilly, curd, tamarind and spices), rabri (a form of condensed milk) and sekuwa (grilled mutton chunks). I was alone and it gave me freedom to roam the streets and observe the consumer and trader behaviour.

Clustering attracts customers
As I approached the Tribhuvan Chowk, the street that is famous for chat, I could see hordes of food carts selling the delicacy. Even the surrounding shops were catering to the demands of the customers. They were also selling chat. It is really helpful to have a street full of sellers selling same commodity. One doesn’t need to wander here and there in the city in search of the required material. The benefit of clustering together is – the customer has many choices to choose from. So, it attracts the customers in first place. In case of sellers, they don’t need to wait for customers in an obscured corner, but the customers come to the street looking for them. It is like being part of the fraternity selling similar things.

Caring for the crowds
Having a plethora of choices, I moved on to a cart which was surrounded by many eaters. It is a human psychology to believe in the crowds. It provides live testimony that the seller is selling quality products. A seller needs to care for the crowds and for every single customer in the crowd. If s/he is able to satisfy the demand of the customer, the crowding-in continues. It is not only word of mouth publicity but I would rather say sight for eyes advertising.  

The chatwallah knew all Cs of consumer behaviour.
Catering to the customer’s needs 
On reaching the food stall, I was greeted by a warm smile of the vendor. He asked me to wait for my turn gracefully. A duo of father and daughter had arrived earlier than me and he was catering to their needs. I was the next in the line and it was my turn within few minutes. I didn’t hate waiting for my turn due to his friendly and warm behaviour.

Clean and clutter-free ambience enhances the mood to buy
In spite of being in a busy street, the disposable plates and spoons were clean, the stall and the handler both were neat and tidy. Above all, the delicacy was hot and spicy, fresh from the frying pan. I gulped down the chat within a minute. It was very delicious as recommended by my friends. I sensed that the cleanliness and clutter-free ambience amplified my desire to eat.    

Caring your customers builds loyalty
When I was leaving the stall, the vendor asked me with a smile, “How was the taste, Sir? Did you like it?” I told him that the taste was terrific. He then requested me to visit again. That was the reason to visit his stall again and savour the tasty chat prepared by him.

I was satisfied in every way – I got to eat the delicious chat, was treated like a royal and above all, the experience reinvigorated the consumer behaviour theories remaining stagnant in my grey cells!