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GCSE Home Economics Teachers’ Conference ‘Barriers’ and ‘Influences’ Affecting Consumer Behaviour Philippa Mc. Keown Senior Consumer Affairs Officer Consumer Council
Barriers “I went to the market but I didn’t buy” because of… • disability • age • ethnicity • knowledge • resources (time, money, location)
Disability • Physical barriers • Perceived barriers • Hidden disabilities • Socially isolated BBC Learning Zone Clip: “disabled people have a fear of complaining which is related to their low levels of confidence” Quote from Consumer Proficiency research 1 http: //www. bbc. co. uk/learningzone/clips/6034. bb. wmv N. B. Left click in slide show to activate internet link to clip (also referenced in Effective Consumer materials list) 1. Consumer Knowledge well, what do you know? March 2004
Age – Older Consumers Those who can’t jump into a car are losing out and are at the mercy of family and friends, home help or deliveries. Those ‘buy one get one free’ are no good for me because by the time I use one, the other is out of date. Cooking information is usually small and virtually unreadable, very difficult to compare like with like. Quotes from: Silver Service? Are supermarkets meeting the needs of older consumers? Consumer Council in partnership with Age Concern, November 2007 – >>>Play short film on the Silver Service DVD
Age – Older Consumers • Older people in Northern Ireland are the least likely to shop online. • Elsewhere in the UK, the number of over 55’s buying online has more than doubled in the years 2004 – 2006 from 1. 4. million to 3. 4 million (Verdict, UK e-Retail 2007). Source: Well, what do consumers know now? A Consumer Council Progress Report on Consumer Proficiency 2003 – 2007, March 2008
Age –Younger Consumers Ø Young people are less well informed about their rights (57 per cent compared to 63 per cent average) Ø They are least likely to take further action if unhappy about goods or service (55 per cent compared to 64 per cent) Ø Young people were the least likely to be satisfied with the way their complaint was handled. Source: Well, what do consumers know now? A Consumer Council Progress Report on Consumer Proficiency, March 2008
Age –Younger Consumers Ø Three quarters of young people and adults believe shops treat young people differently to adults Ø One in four felt that shop staff did not act in a respectful way to young people Ø Young people exert a huge influence on major household purchases e. g. cars, holidays and leisure Buy Rights raises awareness of rights and how best to communicate them… Source: Consumer Council Children Shopping Research, 2006
Ethnicity • Language barriers • • • Polish C ultural W e ek Friends a The fest warded ival of Po Prejudice £ 7, 500 lish arts and cultu re is aim compens ed at ation ove helping lo Cultural differences racist bouncer r cal peop le at understa Belfast nd more about nightclub the back Social isolation …t grounds of those doorman he families m who’ve s racist rem ade ettled arks to M here in se arch of w r Lopez, w ork ho is and a be Portugue tter way se and of life. black…. Belfast T elegraph http: //ne ws. bbc. c o. uk 6/5/2009
Knowledge In general, consumer skills remain less well developed among: • young people (15 -24) • older people (55+) • those living on a low income Source: Well, what do consumers know now? A Consumer Council Progress Report on Consumer Proficiency 2003 - 2007
Knowledge Consumers in rural areas tend to be less confident about expressing their consumer rights and taking further action and were less aware of where to go to for help and advice 1. Research in 20032 also showed consumers from minority, ethnic and disability groups and those living in areas of social need having fewer consumer skills. 1. Well, what do consumers know now? A Consumer Council Progress Report on Consumer Proficiency 2003 – 2007, March 2008 2. Consumer Knowledge well, what do you know? March 2004
Other barriers 1 in 4 people of working age have low literacy levels. Source: Adult literacy in Northern Ireland, NISRA, 1998
Resources Time Working hours Money Low income Location Rural Dependents Access to credit Food deserts Lack of time Financial to do capability ‘research’ Transport N. B This list is not exhaustive! Quote from Consumer Council Disability Panel member Shopping around is a luxury that some can’t afford
7 Consumer Tests Ø Access: can people get the goods or services they need or want? Ø Choice: is there any? Ø Safety: are the goods or services dangerous to health or welfare? Ø Information: is it available, accurate, accessible and useful? Ø Fairness: are some consumers unfairly discriminated against? Ø Redress: if things go wrong, is there a system for putting them right? Ø Representation: do consumers have a say in how goods or services are provided?
Impact of Marketing “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need. ” Will Rogers “ I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first of course is ransom notes…” Philip Dusenberry In 1937, Disney licensed Snow White’s image before the film release, creating demand for Snow White goods…today, we still see children’s filmed linked with marketing for toys, clothing, burger meal deals etc
Targeting Young Consumers “advertising at its best is making people feel that without their product, you’re a loser. Kids are very sensitive to that. If you tell them to buy something, they are resistant. But, if you tell them that they’ll be a dork if they don’t, you’ve got open up emotional their attention. You vulnerabilities…” Nancy Shalek, Shalek Agency, cited in Juliet. B. Schor’s Born to Buy: the commercialised child and the new consumer culture, Scribner, 2004
Targeting Young Consumers The average 10 year old had internalised 300 – 400 brands – 20 times the number of wild birds they could name! Nickeodean study 2001
Social Psychology of Food “Parents struggle hard to protect their children from bullying – and make sure that their children’s lunchboxes are as full as their classmates. In this way, snacks like crisps or chocolate are not seen as luxuries but a way for their children to participate in conventional behaviour…” Middleton, S. , Ashworth, K. and Walker, R. , Family Fortunes: pressures on parents and children in the 1990 s, Child Poverty Action Group, 1994
Influencing Factors Ø Cultural Ø Economic Ø Environmental and ethical Ø Personal Ø Physiological Ø Psychological and Ø Social
Influencing Factors Ø Cultural Someone of Chinese origin might shop for specific ingredients at an Asian supermarket
Influencing Factors Ø Economic A person living on a tight budget would be unlikely to buy luxury items as part of their weekly food shop.
Influencing Factors Ø Environmental and ethical A shopper opposed to animal cruelty may choose not to buy products that have been tested on animals.
Influencing Factors Ø Personal A teenager might feel more comfortable ordering a CD online, whereas an older consumer might prefer to go to a high-street music store.
Influencing Factors Ø Physiological Someone who is trying to lose weight may wish to avoid fast food and high sugar snacks.
Influencing Factors Ø Psychological Some shops play music designed to make consumers feel good, stay longer and buy more.
Influencing Factors Ø Social Some consumers are influenced by trends and want the latest ‘must-have’ toys, fashion items or technology.
You Were Spotted! Activity ØCultural ØEconomic ØEnvironmental and ethical ØPersonal ØPhysiological ØPsychological and ØSocial Taken from the ‘What influences consumer behaviour’ lesson plan, match the character(s) to the activity and say what the influencing factors is
You Were Spotted! Activity 1. Spotted…shopping for chilies, sausages and sweet potatoes at Saturday’s Farmers’ Market. 2. Spotted…buying fresh haddock reduced to £ 1 because it’s nearing its use-by date. 3. Spotted…disposing of used plastic carrier bags at the supermarket collection bin. 5. Spotted…loading a trolley with half price bedding plants and compost. 4. Spotted…coming back from the sales, trying to juggle several shopping bags whilst chatting on the mobile. 6. Spotted…at the till, filling a rucksack with shopping essentials. 8. Spotted…at the electrical counter in Tesco discussing the merits of a camera phone with the salesperson. 10. Spotted…at the cinema with a home-made picnic of sandwiches, crisps and fruit juices. 7. Spotted…queuing at a late night Spar to buy milk. 9. Spotted…taking delivery of shopping which was ordered online.
Recap on resources Lesson Plans q Being a consumer q What influences consumer behaviour q What type of yoghurt are you? Multimedia q BBC Learning Zone Clip – re: disability q Silver Service DVD – re: older consumers q Buy Rights – Have Your Say – re: young consumers