They do it, so I must do it too!!


Conformity can be referred to a situation in which people change their belief or judgment due to group pressure in order to become consistent with others (Crowell, E.L., no date). This phenomenon could also happen in a purchasing situation. Imagine, we may buy jacket of specific brand as our friends also wear that or when we are deciding whether we want to buy an item, we will seek the opinion from different people before we purchase it.


How is this occurrence happened? Moreover, what are the reasons for people to follow others? According to Lee, Y. J., & Park, J. (2008), they explained the conformity in buying behavior is due to the expertise of the others in group. In other words, people tend to believe the idea of others because they believe the understandings of others towards the products. In additional, Lee, M.W. (2007) also demonstrated that conforming buying is correlated to impulsive buying. She explained that although consumers were not intend to buy any items initially, they would conform to the social norms of consumption in order to gain social approval. It is important to note that conformity purchasing behavior is also varied with sex difference. Wu, W. C., & Huan, T. C. (2010) showed that females were more easily to change their ideas and follow others perception.


It is easy that we will follow others ideas. However, we might prevent conforming purchasing if we are not impulsive buyer. As mentioned above, people would affected by others easily if they didn’t plan to buy.

From the above,


Crowell, E.L. (no date). Social Conformity Definition: Normative vs. Informational. Retrieved 25th March 2014, from

Lee, Y. J., & Park, J. (2008). The Mediating Role of Consumer Conformity in E-compulsive Buying. Advances in Consumer Research, 35.

Lee, M.W. (2007). Investigating the Relationship between Conformity and Impulse Purchasing Behavior. Operating Management Reviews, 3(2), 117-127.

Wu, W. C., & Huan, T. C. (2010). The effect of purchasing situation and conformity behavior on young students’ impulse buying. African Journal of Business Management, 4(16), 3530-3540.


How does online shopping bring benefit to the firm?

Many people enjoy online shopping nowadays. This trend become prevalent might due to the consumer’s internal characters, such as egocentric and impatient (Online survey, 2012). Indeed, how do businessmen make use of online purchasing to gain benefit?



According to one website (Hubpages, 2011), it mentioned that a merchant might make use of a psychological phenomenon of social acceptance to purchase items through the internet. Social acceptance is a term which can be referred to a situation that peopleare acting and believing in accord with social pressure (Myers, D.G., no date).From this point of view, businessmen can gain benefit from a situation that using a website to show the items of what people like, such as Facebook or Twitter. Once people saw their friends are interested in a certain items, they will easily to pay attention to that product and might buy it eventually due to the pressure of social acceptance.



Moreover, it also displayed that some online purchasing companies, such as Ebay and Amazon, implemented the loyalty program, which is a program which provide incentive to customers who showed loyal buying behavior to a firm (Farfan, B., no date).  This kind of strategy utilizes the term of reciprocity from social psychology. This phenomenon can be referred to a situation in which others will do something for us because we did  favors to them (Cherry, K., no date). Therefore, in order to maintain consumer’s purchasing behavior, some firms implemented loyalty program to provide some incentives, such as discounts or coupons, to enhance selling rate.  


Surfing internet is very prevalent nowadays. Through the internet, people can acquire a lot of information, including different types of products. Thus, selling products through the internet can definitely draw customers attention on the items and enhance firm’s profiability.




Cherry, K. (no date). What is the rule of reciprocity. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Farfan, B. (no date). Customer loyalty program. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Hubpages (2011). The psychology of online shopping. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Myers, D.G. (no date). Social psychology. Retrieved  18th March 2014, from


Online survey (2012). Consumer psychology on Online shopping. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Why do we buy branded product??


Levis jeans, Ray Ban glasses, and Adidas sport clothing etc. are some of the examples of prevalent branded product. It is common that people will choose these kinds of brand when they are hoping to buy some related products. For example, when we are shopping in a sport clothing store, we will probably choose the well-known products, such as Adidas, Puma or Nike. Why there is a tendency that people will choose famous brand rather than a normal tag?

To explain this phenomenon, we can use two psychological theories to explain it. On one hand, there would be a probability that people will tend to buy branded products due to increased self-awareness (Management Study Guide, no date). This situation can be explained by incentive theory of motivation, which can be referred to a circumstance that people are motivated to perform a certain kind of behaviour because of desired outcome (Cherry, K., no date). On the other hand, the occurrence of people inclined to purchase more popular items might due to enhanced social approval (Radwan, M.F., no date). Accordingly, this can be explained by social proof theory, which stated that people might try to seek suggestions from others when they are not familiar with the behaviours that they should act. For example, as in the circumstance we mentioned above, people might buy the sport clothing products of Adidas or Nike by asking their friends opinion when they have no idea about the brand of sports.  


Although we know practicability is somehow more important than branding, we are tend to purchase the more popular product. From the above, we can see the importance of social approval and the feeling of others towards us and this will drive us to buy the most fashionable items.    





Cherry, K. (no date). Theories of Motivation: A Closer Look at Some Important Theories of Motivation. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from

Management Study Guide (no date). Psychological Factors affecting Consumer Behaviour. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from

Radwan, M.F. (no date). Social proof theory. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from



How do businessmen make use of the consumer needs?


       In order to attract consumers to buy the products, it is important to understand the needs of consumers. Accordingly, people needs can be divided into five categories, including physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization, and this is referred to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Consumer behaviour: a needs perspective, no date). This theory states that individuals have to satisfy each of the needs stage by stage, with physiological need is the lowest level and self-actualization is the highest level. Let’s have a look of the examples of advertisement that used the principle of this theory.

This is the advertisement which made use of the safety needs from the hierarchy:

Clothing can be referred to the belongingness needs:

       Is it true that people needs are directly proportional to the people consumption? Oleson, M. (2004) showed that there is an obvious relationship between money attitude and needs. According to this study, it is found that money attitudes were most related to safety and esteem needs and least related to physiological, love, and actualization needs. Moreover, it also indicated that there is a sex difference in this correlation. In terms of men, money attitude was most related to safety needs, while money attitude of women was most related to esteem needs. Thus, we can predict that men are more likely to spend money to buy safety-related products, whereas women are more likely to buy esteem-related items.



       Besides decorating different advertisements in terms of hierarchy needs, Nelson, J. (2011) also highlighted that businessmen would make advertisements in Facebook to promote their brand. As described above, belongingness is one of the needs that people trying to satisfied. Therefore, Facebook can provide a suitable platform for people to keep contact with friends, family, and mates and this can enhance the relationship between them (needs of belongingness). Thus, merchants make use of this thing and make advertisements in Facebook in order to gain more customers. 



Consumer behaviour: a needs perspective (no date). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved 4th March 2014, from

Nelson, J. (2011). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Purchasing. Retrieved 4th March 2014, from

Oleson, M. (2004). Exploring the relationship between money attitudes and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. International Journal of Consumer Studies28(1), 83-92.