11 Types of Buyer Motivation: What Drives People to Buy?

Buyer motivation is different for each person when they shop, and each type of motivation is triggered by the presence of certain types of triggers.

When you're selling a product or service, your ultimate goal is to satisfy the motivations of the buyer. It might be the discomfort that their current situation creates.

Or it could be the dissatisfaction with their current solution.

Buyer motivation blog cover with the title on the left and on the right there is a phone looking store illustration with hands handing boxes on a pinkish background

Whatever those reasons may be, you want to sell to this class of motivated buyers in order to generate revenue and grow your business.

What is Buyer Motivation?

Buyer motivation refers to the reasons or incentives that drive a person to make a purchase. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including practical needs, emotional desires, and social pressures.

Understanding buyer motivation is important for businesses because it can help them tailor their marketing and sales efforts to better appeal to their target audience and increase conversions.

For example, if a person is motivated to buy a product because they need it to solve a practical problem, a business might emphasize the functionality or usefulness of their product in their marketing materials.

Scrabble pieces forming "Go For It" on a white background

On the other hand, if a person is motivated to buy a product because it will make them feel good or enhance their social status, a business might focus on the emotional or social benefits of their product.

There are many different theories and models that attempt to explain buyer motivation, but it's important to note that people's motivations are complex and can vary greatly from person to person.

Ultimately, the key to understanding buyer motivation is to get to know your target audience and understand what drives them to make a purchase.

11 Types of Buyer Motivation

Let's see the reasons why people actually buy!

1. Practical Needs

People may be motivated to buy a product or service to fulfill a practical need or solve a problem. For example, a person might buy a new computer because their old one is no longer functioning properly.

This type of motivation is often driven by a need to accomplish a specific task or achieve a practical outcome.

Businesses can appeal to this type of motivation by highlighting the functional benefits of their product or service and showing how it can help customers solve a particular problem or need.

2. Emotional Desires

Customers sometimes buy a product to fulfill an emotional desire or meet a personal goal. For example, a person might buy a new outfit to feel confident or to celebrate a special occasion.

This motivation is driven by a desire to feel a certain way or to achieve a personal or emotional outcome.

In this case, it is the best for businesses to show how it can help customers fulfill their emotional desires or goals.

Two people, one male and one female, in a wooden wall spacious room, the woman is standing and showing the man her clothes; the man is sitting on a sofa with shopping bags

3. Social Pressures

It is also possible that customers are motivated to buy a product or service to fit in with a certain social group or to conform to societal norms. For example, a person might buy a certain brand of clothing because it is popular among their peer group.

It is often driven by a desire to fit in or be accepted by others.

So the best practice for businesses to showcase the social benefits of their product or service and explaining how it can help customers fit in with a particular social group or conform to societal norms.

4. Personal Values

A product or service that aligns with customers' personal values or beliefs could be the motivation behind the purchase.

In such a scenario, a person might buy a product from a company that values sustainability or social responsibility.

Personal value motivation is mostly driven by a desire to align with one's personal values or beliefs.

The best way to appeal to this type of motivation is emphasizing on the values or principles that their product or service represents and showing how it aligns with the customer's personal values.

Blue "Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local door sign on a door

5. Status or Prestige

Sometimes people also buy a product to enhance their social status or reputation. A person might buy a luxury brand of clothing to signal their success or status.

The underlying reason for this motivation is a desire to gain respect or admiration from others.

If you want to take advantage of this motivation, highlight the status or prestige that your product can bring and showing how it can help customers enhance their social status or reputation.

6. Convenience

Convenience is also an important buying motivation which means a product or service is bought because it saves them time or effort. A person might buy a pre-made meal from a grocery store because it is more convenient than cooking from scratch.

This type of motivation is driven by a desire to make life easier or more efficient.

Let the customers know about the convenience of the product or service and show how it can help customers save time or effort help businesses to increase sales thanks to this buying motivation.

7. Cost

Without denial, cost is a crucial buyer motivation as people like to buy a product or service that offers the best value for their money.

For example, a person might compare prices at different retailers to find the best deal on a particular product.

This motivation is triggered by a wish to get the most for one's money.

If you showcase the cost-effectiveness of your product and explain how it offers the best value for the customer's money, this kind of motivation works wonders for your business

Yellow "Sale" sign on a store window reflecting people and street

8. Scarcity

Have you heard of FOMO? FOMO marketing is built on scarcity buying motivation.

People may be motivated to buy a product or service that is in short supply or limited edition. Having a limited time to buy a product also triggers buying behavior.

Let's say a person sees a limited time offer while browsing on your website. They will be triggered to buy your product in order not to miss out on the opportunity.

Businesses can appeal to this type of motivation by emphasizing on the scarcity of their product, and creating a sense of urgency or exclusivity.

9. Health

People are also motivated to purchase something that will benefit their physical or mental health, such as a gym membership or healthy food.

This motivation often stems from a wish to take care of oneself or prevent future health problems.

You can attract this type of motivation by emphasizing the health benefits of their product or service and demonstrating how it can help customers maintain or improve their health.

10. Impulse

"Spontaneous shopping" or "whim-buying" can be driven by various factors, such as feeling emotionally charged, feeling a sense of urgency, or wanting instant gratification.

The source of this motivation is mostly a desire for immediate pleasure or reward.

You can appeal to this motivation by creating an exciting or emotional experience for customers, or by offering "flash sales" or "deal-of-the-day" promotions.

A person sitting at a desk in a room, pointing a finger on the screen of the laptop; a mug and some decoration stuff are on the table as well

11. Pleasure

We can all agree that "happiness-hunting" or "pleasure-seeking" can be a huge motivation for buying a product or service, such as tickets to a concert or a vacation package.

It is actually driven by a desire for leisure or enjoyment.

Just show the "fun" aspects of your product or service and create a sense of "anticipation" or "thrill" for customers, then you will be well on your way to increase your revenue.

It's important to note that these types of motivation are not mutually exclusive, and people may be motivated by a combination of factors.

Additionally, people's motivations can change over time, so it's important for businesses to stay attuned to their target audience's evolving needs and desires.

How to Create and Boost Buyer Motivation

There are several questions that a business can ask itself to understand buyer motivation:

  • What needs or problems is the product or service solving for the buyer?

  • What desires or aspirations does the product or service fulfill for the buyer?

  • What emotions does the product or service evoke in the buyer?

  • What values or beliefs does the product or service align with for the buyer?

By answering these questions, a business can gain a better understanding of the factors that drive a person to make a purchase and how their product or service meets the needs and desires of the buyer.

This information can be used to tailor the business's marketing and sales efforts to be more relevant and appealing to the buyer.

Identify the Buyer's Needs: A business should try to understand what the buyer needs and how their product or service can meet those needs.

This can involve conducting market research, gathering customer feedback, and asking questions to get a better understanding of the buyer's motivations and priorities.

By understanding the buyer's needs, the business can tailor their marketing efforts to be more relevant and appealing to the buyer.

Create a Sense of Urgency: Use techniques such as limited-time offers and scarcity tactics to create a sense of urgency and encourage the buyer to make a purchase.

For example, a business could offer a discount using a popup builder for a limited time or make a product available in limited quantities to create a sense of scarcity.

Countdown timers work wonders in such cases.

A Christmas sale popup with a red countdown timer and gold "Shop Now" button

Use Emotions: Tap into emotions such as desire, fear, or greed to increase buyer motivation.

For example, a business can use persuasive language or create a sense of exclusivity to appeal to the buyer's desire to own something that is coveted or hard to obtain.

Fear can also be a powerful motivator, such as using language that highlights the consequences of not making a purchase.

Offer Value: Offering value using discounts, promotions, or added bonuses, to make the product or service more appealing to the buyer.

For example, a business could offer a discount code to first-time customers, or include a free gift with the purchase of a product.

Different style "Sale" written in neon red and white on a store window showcasing shoes

Make the Buying Process Easy: Make it easy for the buyer to purchase the product or service.

This can include offering multiple payment options, providing clear and concise information about the product or service, and having a user-friendly website or storefront.

By making the buying process smooth and straightforward, the business can increase the chances that the buyer will complete the purchase.

Emotional vs. Rational Buying Motivation

Emotional buying motivations refer to the emotions that drive a person to make a purchase. These can include feelings such as desire, fear, greed, or joy.

Emotional motivations often come from a person's values, beliefs, and lifestyle, and they can be influenced by personal experiences and social factors.

Rational buying motivations, on the other hand, refer to the logical and practical considerations that drive a person to make a purchase.

These can include factors such as price, quality, convenience, and functionality. Rational motivations are typically based on a person's need or desire to solve a problem or meet a specific requirement.

A person wearing an indigo hat, pointing at the laptop's screen at the round table; gift boxes are visible behind

Both emotional and rational buying motivations can influence a person's purchasing decisions.

For example, a person might be motivated to purchase a car because they need a reliable mode of transportation to get to work, which is a rational motivation.

At the same time, they might also be motivated by the desire to own a particular make or model of car because it represents success or status, which is an emotional motivation.

Understanding a person's emotional and rational buying motivations can help a business tailor their marketing efforts and messaging to be more relevant and appealing to the buyer.

The Benefits of Understanding the Buyer Motivation for Businesses

Understanding buyer motivation can provide several benefits to businesses, including:

Improved marketing and sales efforts: By understanding what drives a person to make a purchase, a business can tailor their marketing and sales efforts to be more relevant and appealing to the buyer.

This can increase the chances that the buyer will make a purchase and help the business generate more revenue.

Customer satisfaction: Create products or services that meet the needs and desires of their customers.

This can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers feel that their needs are being met.

Increased efficiency: Identify the key drivers of customer behavior and focus their efforts on meeting those needs.

This can help the business be more efficient in its operations and allocate resources more effectively.

Competitive advantage: A competitive advantage by helping them anticipate and meet the needs of their customers before their competitors do.

Overall, understanding buyer motivation is an important part of running a successful business, as it helps the business understand and meet the needs and desires of their customers, which can lead to increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

Customer Segmentation Based on Buyer Motivation

Customer segmentation based on motive involves dividing customers into groups based on their motivations for making a purchase.

This can help you understand the needs and desires of different customer segments and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

There are several ways to segment customers based on motive:

Needs-based segmentation: This involves dividing customers into groups based on the needs that the product or service is fulfilling. For example, a business might segment customers based on their needs for convenience, value, or quality.

Demographic segmentation: Dividing customers into groups based on characteristics such as age, gender, income, education level, or geographic location.

Behavioral segmentation: Dividing customers into groups based on their behavior, such as their purchase history, frequency of purchases, or loyalty to the brand.

Psychographic segmentation: Psychographic segmentation means dividing customers into groups based on their attitudes, values, lifestyles, and personality traits.

To segment customers based on motive, a business can gather data about the needs, demographics, behavior, and psychographic characteristics of their customers and use this information to create customer segments.

The business can then tailor their marketing efforts to be more relevant and appealing to each customer segment.

Before You Leave…

In conclusion, we hope this blog post has helped shed some light on the importance of buyer motivation in the world of marketing. After all, it's the driving force behind every purchase, big or small.

By understanding what motivates your target audience, you can really rev up your sales strategy and put the pedal to the metal.

So don't be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with your messaging and branding.

After all, a motivated buyer is a happy buyer, and happy buyers lead to a successful business. So let's keep the motivation going and keep those sales rolling in!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does Buyer Motivation Impact Purchasing Decisions?

Buyer motivation plays a significant role in purchasing decisions, as it determines what drives a person to take action and make a purchase.

Understanding a buyer's motivations can help sellers tailor their marketing and sales efforts to better meet the needs and desires of their target audience.

It can also help sellers understand what might be holding potential buyers back from making a purchase.

2. How can Sellers Effectively Communicate with Buyers to Understand their Motivations and Needs?

Effective communication is key to understanding the motivations and needs of buyers.

Sellers can use a variety of techniques to communicate with buyers, including face-to-face interactions, phone calls, email, social media, and online chat.

It's important for sellers to be clear, concise, and responsive in their communication, and to listen actively to what buyers are saying in order to fully understand their needs and desires.

3. How does the Buyer's Environment Impact their Motivation to Make a Purchase?

The buyer's environment can have a significant impact on their motivation to make a purchase.

For example, if a buyer is in a time-sensitive or stressful situation, they may be more motivated to make a quick purchase to solve a problem or meet a need.

On the other hand, if a buyer is in a relaxed and leisurely environment, they may be more open to considering different options and taking their time to make a decision.

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