Differences in Purchasing Decision Making and Consumer Behavior in BOP-markets
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
It is often assumed that the behavioral trends and practices of consumers in BOP-markets are the same as in developed markets (only buyers have less money to spend). The general description of BOP-markets is not inconsistent with this assumption. That is because BOP-markets are often described as underdeveloped and emerging markets in which people have an annual income (PPP) that lies below US$1,500. (There are a total of 4 billion of these people)
But the classification of BOP-markets does not only depend on the amount of inhabitants living below this annual income of US$1,500. According to Chikweche, Stanton and Fletcher (2012), additional constraints in the dynamic environments of BOP-markets – ranging from economic, political, cultural factors to factors like infrastructure and the environment - should be acknowledged.
Anyway, all these factors lead to differences in consumer decision making between BOP- and developed markets. For example, in many of these BOP-markets, consumers only have a narrow varierty variety of products to choose from or this variety simply does not exist.
According to the authors, one of the most important factors makes consumer behavior in BOP-markets different from consumer behavior in developed markets is the role of family. While purchase decision making is an individual activity in developed markets, it is more a joint activity in BOP-markets. This makes the family play a relatively important role in decision making in BOP-markets.
Source: Chikweche, T. Stanton, J. and R. Fletcher (2012) “Family Purchase Decision Making at the Bottom of the Pyramid” Journal of Consumer Marketing Vol. 29 Iss.3 pp. 202-213