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Consumer behavioural profiling results in significant financial gains

DUBS consumer profilingBy Professor Sarah Xiao and Professor Mike Nicholson

Collaborative research into consumer behavioural profiling and impulse buying led by Professor Sarah Xiao and Professor Mike Nicholson at the Business School has enabled marketing agencies and companies to build new marketing toolkits which have resulted in significant financial gains.

About the research

The underpinning research at Durham looked at three main areas:

  • Consumer behaviour analysis profiles the consumer, and from this different consumer psychological factors are identified so companies can develop their marketing strategies.
  • Consumer impulse purchasing maps the different motivations the consumer has for purchases.
  • How technology can influence consumer behaviour, in particular big data and the internet of things (IoT). The IoT describes how sensors, software and other technologies connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet.

To support this research, a lab at the Business School used eye-tracking on consumers as they browsed websites whilst purchasing. It also looked at how virtual reality technology can link consumer perception to reality in the consumer decision-making process.   

Research Impact

Professor Xiao and Professor Nicholson have worked with Procter and Gamble, IBM and small and medium businesses in London and the North-East.

These collaborative projects examined company strategy, consumer behaviours, how consumer behaviours can contribute to changes in the marketplace and how technology changes people’s purchasing behaviour.

The result of the research realised an increase in profits for companies by providing them with an improved approach to market research and new marketing toolkits that allow them to access potential clients in a scientific (evidenced) based way.

These toolkits inform companies how they can provide better consumer services, better consumer information, and how they can change their work practices.

Find out more

  • View Professor Sarah Xiao’s staff profile
  • View Professor Mike Nicholson’s staff profile
  • Underlying Research papers:
    • Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M (2011). Consumer consideration of non-deceptive counterfeit goods: a contingency matrix approach. Service Industry Journal
    • Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M (2013). A Multi-Disciplinary Cognitive-Behavioural Framework of Impulse Buying: A Systematic Review of the Literature. International Journal of Management Review
    • Iyer, G. R., Blut, M., Xiao, S. H., & Grewal, D. (2020). Impulse buying: a meta-analytic review. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science