How Can You Learn About Consumer Buying Habits?


Quick Answer

Information about consumer buying habits is in the consumer expenditure survey. The federal survey includes consumer characteristics, income and expenditures. Information about consumer buying habits is available through market and research companies, such as MaCorr Research, as well as through schools, such as the University of Southern California Marshall.

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Administered by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer expenditure survey is the only survey of its kind produced on the federal level. Also known as the CE, the survey consists of two separate surveys: the diary survey and the quarterly interview survey. Economic policymakers use the CE to examine how policy changes affect various economic groups. The Census Bureau uses the CE to determine supplemental poverty measure thresholds. Other government agencies, academic researchers and businesses also use the CE for insight into trends and spending habits. Market and research companies use the information to help clients increase sales.

Academic studies are often part of marketing or economics degree programs. Studies of consumer buying habits focus on understanding the processes involved in choosing products and services. Research includes demographics and influences upon single consumer, group and organizational purchases. In addition to economic factors, researchers consider the psychological and sociological elements of consumer buying.

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