Factors Influencing Buying Behaviors in Metro Cities

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Life Insurance in its modern form came to India from England in the year 1818. Oriental Life Insurance Company started by Europeans in Calcutta was the first life insurance company on Indian Soil. All the insurance companies established during that period were brought up with the purpose of looking after the needs of European community and Indian natives were not being insured by these companies. However, later with the efforts of eminent people like Babu Muttylal Seal, the foreign life insurance companies started insuring Indian lives. But Indian lives were being treated as sub-standard lives and heavy extra premiums were being charged on them. Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Society heralded the birth of first Indian life insurance company in the year 1870, and covered Indian lives at normal rates. Insurance is an Rs 450 billion industry in India. The life insurance segment writes about 80% of the overall market value. Indian Insurance market was at its all time high in 2003 with a growth of about 17.4% over the pervious year. Since 2001 Insurance is growing at the rate of 15-20 % annually. The growth in the insurance industry is affected by volatility in real estate rates, GDP rates and long term interest rates.

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Fluctuations in exchange rates also affect the growth in this sector. The gross premium as a percentage of the GDP has gone up from 2.3 in the year 2000 to 4.8 in 2006. The premium as percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from 4.8 percent in 2006 to 5.2 percent in 2011. Together with banking services, it adds about 7% to the country’s GDP. Some of the important milestones in the life insurance business in India are: 1818: Oriental Life Insurance Company, the first life insurance company on Indian soil started functioning. 1870: Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Society, the first Indian life insurance company started its business 1912: The Indian Life Assurance Companies Act enacted as the first statute to regulate the life insurance business. 1928: The Indian Insurance Companies Act enacted to enable the government to collect statistical information about both life and non-life insurance businesses. 1938: Earlier legislation consolidated and amended to by the Insurance Act with the objective of protecting the interests of the insuring public. 1956: 245 Indian and foreign insurers and provident societies are taken over by the central government and nationalized. LIC formed by an Act of Parliament, viz. LIC Act, 1956, with a capital contribution of Rs. 5 crores from the Government of India.

Indian Insurance in 21st Century:

2000: IRDA starts giving licenses to private insurers: ICICI prudential and HDFC Standard Life insurance first private insurers to sell a policy 2002: Banks allowed selling insurance plans. As TPAs enter the scene, insurers start setting non-life claims in the cashless mode 2007: First Online Insurance portal, www.insurancemall.in set up by an Indian Insurance Broker, Bonsai Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd.

A brief introduction about project:

The project is focused on analyzing the Internal and the External factors which aims at determining the customers buying behavior towards insurance products in India. It is mainly focused in trying to understand the various factors responsible for the buying decision, in order to try and understand these factors are a critical task. The purchase decision in general is prompt by number of factors viz. Psycho graphical, Economical, Social, Politico legal and Demographical. There are certain other factors which need to be understood while keeping in mind the investment decisions made by customers which includes Customer Buying Behavior, Customer Preferences, and Customers Perception, Brand Loyalty etc.

Objective of the Project:

Primary Objective: To provide some simple tools that can be used for thinking about consumers, speculating about their possible behaviors, analyzing marketing problems from a consumer. To find how consumers learn about products and services from their environment and how they use this information to direct their behavior. Secondary Objective: To present a simple model in order to analyze the consumer decision making for IDBI. To give the information about customers values ,life styles and culture of the customers

Study and Research Methodology:

Initially I have been interacting with customers directly in the field by various means like tele-calling, cold calling, campaigning and through references in order to know their interest whether to invest in insurance or not. Secondly a questionnaire has been developed by me in order to know the consumer behavior and as a data base (My time credit) for the company also. This study, which was conducted in the suburbs of Hyderabad city. The duration of the study was 4 months. The method which I used to collect the information was through questionnaire and personnel interaction. The data collection method was through random method and the sample size is moderate. I met around 180 people among them actual eligible were 150. The collection of primary and secondary data was then restructured and reevaluated according to the need and the objective of the study. The data thus collected undergone the various round of editing, coding and decoding .The target group for the study was the age group of above 25 yrs. I have started searching for the potential consumers in the offices, employees from the natural market and around my residence Main Aim to conduct this study was to get the closer view of the consumers about life Insurance which was a little difficult as it is an intangible product .Filling up questionnaire from the people was a great experience as they ask all the information about the insurance terminology and it was a satisfying survey also as more and more customers are aware about the presence of IDBI Life Insurance.

1.2.3. FACTORS INFLUENCING THE BUYING BEHAVIOR:

Understanding Consumer Buying Behavior offers consumers greater satisfaction. We must assume that the company has adopted the Marketing Concept and are consumer oriented. Cultural Factors: Culture is the most fundamental determinant of a person’s wants and behavior. Whereas lower creatures are governed by instinct, human behavior is largely learned. The child growing up in a society learns a basic set of values, perceptions, preferences and behaviors through a process of socialization involving the family and other key institution. Subculture: Each culture contain smaller group of subculture that provide more specific identification and socialization for its members Social Class: Virtually all human societies exhibit social stratification. Stratification sometimes takes the form of a caste system where the member of different caste is reared for certain roles and cannot change their caste membership .More frequently, stratification takes the form of social classes’ .Social Classes have several characteristics. First, Person with in each social class tends to behave more alike than persons from two different social classes. Second, persons are perceived as occupying inferior or superior positions according to their social class. Third, a person’s social class is indicated by a number of variables, such as occupation, income, wealth, education , and value orientation, rather than by any single variable , fourth, individuals are able to move from one social class to another up or down during their lifetime. The Extent of this mobility varies according to the rigidity of social stratification a given society. Social Factors: A consumer’s behavior is also influenced by social factors, such as the consumer’s reference group, family, and social roles and statuses. Reference Group: A person’s behavior is strongly influenced by many group .A persons reference group are those groups that have a direct (face to face) or indirect influence on the person’s attitudes or behavior. Group having a direct influence on a person are called membership group. These are group to which the person belongs and interacts. Some are primary groups. With which there is fairly continuous interaction, such as family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Primary group tend to be informal. The person also belong to secondary group, which tend to be more formal and where there is less continuous interaction: they include religious organizations, professional associations, and trade unions. Family Group: Members of the buyer’s family can exercise a strong influence on the buyer’s behavior. The distinguish can be made between two families in the buyer’s life. The family of orientation consists of one’s parents. From parents a persons acquires an orientation towards religious, politics, and economics and a sense of personal ambitions, self -worth, and love. Even if the buyer no longer interacts very much with his or her parents, the parents influence on the unconscious behavior of the buyer can be significant. In countries where parents continue to live with their children, their influence can be substantial. In case of expensive products and services, husband and wives engage in more joint decision making. The market needs to determine which member normally has the greater influence in the purchase of a particular products or services. Either the husband or the wife, or they have equal influence.

How to succeed:

Before establishing the base of product, they should engage in a lot of researches. Their researches were made on the people’s social life, personal tastes and preferences, way of life, how they identify an effective product and what makes them get attracted towards a product. The social and economic conditions were analyzed. A customer’s want has to be identified and his expectations must be matched with the other economic and social factors so that their product is receptive. This can be related to any product. Adapting to social conditions play the most important role in establishing brand in the market. This also means that customers are open to new and different products from time to time. It’s just that they want the product to be flexible and adaptable to their needs and preferences. People are changing from time to time, so do their tastes and preferences. Identifying those is the first step towards achieving success and the rest depends on the performance of the product.

Changing customer trends:

As insurance sector is becoming more and more competitive the consumers are changing the trends according to the situation. The survey reveals the main challenging trends in the consumer buying behavior. The profile of the typical insurance customer is taking a new and definite shape and one thing is clear: the customer is increasingly aware about internet, comparative pricing and increased bargaining power. In short customers have become more self sufficient, price sensitive, and less loyal. Let’s take a look about the changing trends in consumers: Priority Relationship: Consumers want that insurers should give them a priority in every aspect. As insurers are already giving them priority they are more inclined towards increased attentiveness and less patient. They don’t like to wait for the solution of their problem. So this will became a trend setting pattern in Insurance to satisfy these less patient consumers. 85% consumers give preference to Priority relationship. Less Formality: Consumers prefer those insurers who are having a quick processing of documents and less formalities and practice approach. 72% give priority to fewer formalities.

Agent relationship and Transparency: Insurance is an intangible product and it is sold on sole trust on the agent (Advisor) of the company. Also the total transparency in the transactions the trust of the customer and help in increasing the business. Among 75% surveyed said that that they have purchased this product because they believe in their advisor and they like the performance of the company and they feel safe with this company. Want improved ease of purchase and interaction: Easy availability and more convenient interactions help in increasing the business.75% of total surveyed give priority for this. Knows information about insurance products: With consumers becoming more and more interactive in using the technology they are well versed with the knowledge of completion in insurance industry. 57% were regularly evaluating their insurance with other products. Price sensitive: Quote of insurance premium is gaining a more importance in Insurance industry as people are more inclined towards more coverage at fewer premiums. As it is in initial stage about 46% were aware about this.

Primary Factors Influencing Purchase Decisions:

Consumers of Insurance products are mainly influence by various social, psychological and demographical factors but here are some primary factors about the insurance purchasing decisions. Brand: The consumers give most preference to the popular brand who has achieved the highest safety in the insurance market. Consumers feel trust about the popular brands and more inclined towards them. Life Stage: Life Stage plays an important part in the purchasing decision of the customer as youngsters are more inclined towards short term policies while middle age people are inclined towards family safety. Service: General image about the Service of the insurance companies plays an important part in the decision making. Companies with higher customer satisfaction and hassle free claims get maximum market share. Advice: Mostly consumers don’t believe in the advisors but believe in their close friends and wife. In fact wife plays an important part in decision making. Product: After evaluating all these criteria people evaluate product feature. The product having most customer needs satisfying features sells the more. Price: Price plays an important role in purchasing behavior of consumers. Insurer with competitive price and more coverage with fewer premiums take the maximum market share

Insurer switching behavior:

In the very competitive market like India switching from the trusted one to the new one happens through the following reasons: Poor Claims Service / Experience: Most people switch their insurer because of the default in the Service. Customers need faster settlement of the claims and hassle free settlement of the claim. Agent: People get influenced by the behavior of the Agent; if the agent is not fully prepared about the products of the company and having lack of knowledge about insurance companies then consumers are not wiling to buy insurance from them. Agent who is not quick responsive is also a major reason for switching Competitive Product: Consumers are more inclined towards the trend setting products than the traditional products Price: After service customers are more inclined towards the competitive price and getting maximum coverage for minimum premium.

Company profile

IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Co Ltd, is a joint venture between three leading financial conglomerates – India’s premier development and commercial bank, IDBI, India’s leading private sector bank, Federal Bank and Europe’s premier Banc assurer, Fortis, each of which enjoys a significant status in their respective business segments. In this venture, IDBI owns 48% equity while Federal Bank and Fortis own 26% equity each. IDBI Fortis launched its first set of products across India in March 2008, after receiving the requisite approvals from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA). Today, IDBI Fortis offers services through a vast nationwide network across the branches of IDBI Bank and Federal Bank in addition to a sizeable network of advisors and partners. IDBI Fortis endeavors to deliver products that provide value and convenience to the customer. Through a continuous process of innovation in product and service delivery IDBI Fortis intends to deliver world-class wealth management, protection and retirement solutions to Indian customers.

This project can be bifurcated mainly into two streams one is market research and the other is the sales of insurance. Both these processes can be done simultaneously. In market research, I need to approach at least 4 customers per day and give them a clear idea of what are the various products offered by IDBI and how they give benefits than other companies products and recommend them for the best suitable product. Next comes the sales part, I need to sell Insurance policies to customer there are many possible ways of selling insurance like approaching the known members (relations, friends, etc.,) i.e., via natural market or through hard core marketing i.e., from various databases and so on. The market research was undertaken with the help of a questionnaire designed by me .The questionnaire consists of the personnel details of the consumer his opinion and idea about the use of insurance policies .Whether he is interested in buying insurance or not and is he/she aware of the various products offered by IDBI Fortis For the sake of clear understanding of the work done by me so far, I have written the progress in a weekly schedule and the database is available as My Time Credit which also consists of the list of customers I have interacted through calls or met personally.

Since it is not possible to study whole population, it is necessary to obtain representative samples from the population to understand its characteristics. Sampling units: The target population of the study includes the general population above the age of 25 years. The individual respondents for studying customer buying behavior selected randomly from different areas in Hyderabad, like various shopping malls and markets, and among working men, women and professionals and housewives of Hyderabad. Sampling technique: Random sampling Research instrument: structured questionnaire Sample size:150 respondents The procedure that we followed consisted of: Choosing the relevant questions to ask in the questionnaire Designing the questionnaire Deciding on an objective Developing survey instruments Getting the right mix of respondents to take the survey Analyzing the various data and their influencing factors

Out of 150 participants who take the survey,75 % were employed in the service sector,25% were businessmen, 20% were professionals,10 % were not employed and 20% did not disclose their occupation. With regarding to income of the participants,50% were earning less than Rs.150000 p.a. 42% were earning between Rs.200000 p.a. and Rs.500000 p.a. 25% were earning above Rs. 500000 p.a. 13% did not disclose their income.7% were earning very less income.

Conclusions:

The important factor, which has been recognized from the data that has been collected, is that 75% of the people who took part in the survey had a life insurance policy. This shows that insurance as a sector is picking up in this country. Another important point to note regarding the life insurance buying behavior of individuals is that people give most important to their security and that is their main reason for buying insurance. However, tax savings come a close second with 65 people choosing tax as a reason for buying life insurance. Other factors (savings and investment) increase the attractiveness of insurance among people People place a high amount of weight age to factors like trust and service while selecting an insurance company .it is important to note that factors like agent or recommendations do not place high among the people taking the survey .This shows that the consumer mindset is maturing, now people take insurance according to their needs and not due to their fear. They understand their needs. Due to this reason now people first concentrate on policy scheme and brand, when they are going to choose an insurance company and policy. Whole life policy is popular due to family need and can be used as a method of controlled savings, Endowment policy is popular due to life stage need and offers decent returns ULIP is popular amongst those consumers who want to combine investments with the benefit of insurance.

Security is the number one reason why people buy insurance today. Insurance companies can help enhance the other factors in the eyes of consumers and tap those individuals who are interested in investment or disciplined savings. Advertisements also played a very good role in the buying decision of the consumer .It gives the insurers an opportunity to take a different approach when it comes to advertisements in the television as well as the news paper. Insurance policies give good returns but it cannot complete with other financial tools (i.e. equity).So there is basic need to increase the return on investment with regard to insurance products. In India people think that insurance is a tax saving and a protection tool ,not an investment tool .If insurance companies increase awareness among the public that insurance is a good alternative investment ,this will work as value added service which will increase penetration of the Indian market. A lot of people are not satisfied from the post service of insurance companies due to dependence on agents or lack of knowledge about the process, so there is a need to increase awareness about self service, product features and training of insurance agents and staff. Insurance is a long term contract and saving tool, and policy holders may feel less interested towards their policy or may surrender their policy. Insurance companies need to motivate their customers and educate them about the importance of their policy and ensure that they do not surrender or let their policy lapse. People are not aware of IDBI products, so this is an area where company need to increase awareness among the consumers.

Recommendations:

IDBI Federal Life Insurance should look forward for more interactions with customers through arranging the annual meeting. Insurance policy gives good return but it cannot compete with other financial tools (i.e. equity). So this is basic need to increase return in the field of insurance sector. IDBI Federal Life Insurance should illustrate the most successful products through local news paper. Encouraging the young people for the insurance particularly the 3 yr premium Products will be more beneficial Policy scheme is main factor to choose insurance company. If insurance companies give more concentration on policy scheme then they can compete with another financial tool in better way (i.e. equity and mutual fund). In India people think that insurance is tax saving and protection tool, and not investment tool. If insurance company increase awareness among public, that insurance is good alternative saving and investment tool, this will do work as a value added service which will increase penetration in insurance sector Now only product knowledge is not sufficient for selling insurance, some thing should be added up in training program like human behavior, CRM, knowledge of other financial tools, communication program, and especially how to improve way of delivery. Mostly, people are not satisfied from the past service of insurance companies due to dependence on agents or no knowledge about process, so there should be need to increase awareness about self service and awareness among people by training and advertisement. Insurance is long term contract and saving tool, after a time people feel less interested towards it, so time to time motivation is important.

 

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Factors influencing buying behaviors in Metro Cities. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved May 23, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/factors-influencing-buying-behaviors-in-metro-cities/

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