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Stress Vs Consumer Spending: Direct or Inverse?

Stress Vs Consumer Spending

Well, consumer behaviour is a deep ocean and an interesting one also!  Why Consumer and not customer? What is the difference? Can customer always be a consumer?

For example, Mr X is buying a mobile for his sister Mahi. In this example, Mr X is a customer (buying a mobile), and Mahi (consuming) is a consumer. Mr X is also buying a smartwatch from that shop for himself, so in this situation, Mr X is customer and consumer both because he is purchasing a smartwatch for himself.

consumer spending

Consumer behaviour is the moves, action and the decision strategies of people who purchase goods and offerings for consumption” – according to Engel, Blackwell, and Mansard, Consumer buying conduct refers to have a look at clients and the way they behave whilst deciding to shop for a product that satisfies their needs. It is a look at the movements of the customers that pressure them to shop for and use products.



Consumer buying behaviour studies about the varied situations like what do consumers buy, why do they buy, when do they buy, how often do consumers buy, for what reason do they buy, and far more. For example, consumer buying behaviour is studied by consumer researchers and their aim is to understand why women buy conditioner (to reduce hair problems), the foremost preferred brand (Dove), how often do they apply it (twice a week, thrice a week), where do the ladies like to buy (supermarkets, online) and the way repeatedly do they buy (weekly, monthly).


factors influencing consumer behaviour


Many events in the life of consumers can cause stress, reactions to stress are often psychological, such as producing anxiety, negative thinking, panic buying, etc. How? let us understand! I have tried to develop a flow chart of the current situation.



consumer spending in covid 19

This is the example of one situation. Consumers are facing n-number of situations where he/she is anxious which leads to CORTISOL release in the brain. Many companies are using the fear appeal in the advertisements to activate this hormone in consumers’ brain.



In advertising, a fear appeal uses consumer’s fears to motivate them to get a product or contribute to a cause. the buyer appraises the merchandise considering their fear of the results of not buying. for instance, a billboard campaign may appeal to people’s fear of body odour to convince them to shop for deodorant. Consumers who fear sweat stains are more likely to reply and buy the deodorant. Be it life insurance, skincare products, hair care products, retirement planning, many companies are using this fear appeal to create anxiety in consumers’ minds.



Consumers who experience a stressful situation allocate their resources strategically to realize control of their environment. Consumers experiencing stress may show increased saving behaviour, which assures them that monetary resources are going to be available when needed. Alternatively, consumers experiencing stress may show increased spending behaviour, explicitly directed toward products that the consumer perceives to be necessities which leave control in an otherwise uncontrollable environment.

Consumer Spending Statistics

Consumer spending in India from July 2016 to July 2019(in million Indian rupees)

Consumer spending in India from July 2016 to July 2019(in million Indian rupees)

Author – Dr Shivangi Shukla

Assistant Professor, ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai

LinkedIn profile

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kiran H Shukla

    April 29, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Very informative and updated article by Dr.Shivangi Shukla…Thanks for sharing your expert views in lucid manner with superb flow charts…because it will be helpful to Marketing Students.

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