Consumers & Customers - Difference between consumer & customer - CBSE Class 9 / Class 11
Consumers & Customers – Difference between consumer & customer – CBSE Class 9 / Class 11
Who is a consumer and who is a customer?
In our day-to-day lives, we tend to use the terms ‘customer’ and ‘consumer’ interchangeably. However, they represent two different sections of the market in commerce.
Moreover, it becomes integral to understand the difference between the two terms to decide the marketing strategy of the product or service.
Let’s understand what these terms mean and then draw a comparison between the two.
Who is a consumer?
The word Consumer comes from the word Consume, which means to use. As such, the end-user of a commodity is called a consumer.
Therefore, a consumer is the end-user of the purchase.
Who is a customer?
A customer is any individual or business entity that pay monetary compensation in exchange for goods or services. Customers are also called buyers or clients.
Video: Difference between consumer and customer – CBSE Class 10 / Class 11
Difference between consumer and customer
The main difference between the two terms is the end-user of the product. The consumer and the customer can vary depending on the final user of the product.
Let’s understand this with an example.
It’s your birthday. Your friend, Arya, has organised a big surprise celebration for you. So naturally, Arya also got a big cake for all the guests.
When you get to the party, you blow the candles and cut the cake. All the guests get a slice of cake, and everyone enjoys it.
Now knowing what you just learnt, think about who is the consumer and who is the customer.
That’s right! All the guests, you and Arya, are the consumers since everyone had a slice of cake.
However, only Arya is the customer since she is the one who made the payment for the cake when she purchased it for you.
So you see, the difference between a consumer and a customer is a very blurred line. Hence, these terms are used interchangeably by most people in our everyday lives. Now let’s find out how they differentiate based on other factors.
Customer and Consumer difference
The person using the commodity.
The person paying for the commodity.
Direct use for self
Reselling or using the commodity for manufacturing or in production.
End-user of a product
May, or may not be the end-user of the product.
May, or may not be the purchaser of the product.
The purchaser of the product
May, or may not be reselling of the commodity.
Exchange of money
Monetary transactions are not mandatory
Monetary transactions are mandatory.
Types of Customers
1. Ready to buy customers or need-based customers: These customers make a purchase when they need a commodity urgently. They are aware of their needs and make a purchase that aligns with them. Therefore, it becomes crucial for the seller to present a commodity that would meet the customer’s needs. Only then will the prospective customer become an actual customer by making a purchase.
2. Potential customers: As the name suggests, these customers are not in a rush to make a purchase. Therefore, they may or may not purchase a commodity at the time of surfing for their desired product or service.
However, potential customers can become actual customers if they find something that interests them thoroughly or gets convinced by the seller.
3. Repeat customer or loyal customer: Again, as the names suggest, these customers tend to make purchases from the seller regularly. Such customers provide a regular revenue flow to the seller or its business and are an asset to the company.
Every seller should aim to convert their customers into repeat or loyal customers by providing appropriate goods and services and impressive after-sale services.
4. Sales and Discount customers: Customers who focus heavily on sales and discounts that the seller makes available to the buyers fall under this segment. Since they want to make purchases at the best deals available in the market, they are also called Smart Shoppers.
Online shopping platforms promote more such buyers since they provide a platform to compare prices offered in the markets and malls easily.
5. Impulse buying customers: These are customers that do not think much before they make a purchase. Such customers only need to be convinced using impressive sales strategies, and they get inspired to purchase the product or service.
6. Trade Customers: Trade customers buy products or services for any of the two reasons mentioned below –
To further sell them to a customer or a consumer – They intend on making profits from such sales.
To use them as an input in their commodities – Manufacturers may purchase a good or service to produce something of their own. For example – Honda, a car manufacturer, would be a customer for Sony, a stereo manufacturing company. Honda would buy stereos from Sony to fit the Sony stereo in its own Honda car. Then, a consumer or a customer will buy the car.
Types of Consumers
1.Organisational Consumers: Such consumers make purchases to run their organisation. For example, a school purchases blackboards and whiteboards to facilitate the effective delivery of lessons.
2. Individual consumers: Such consumers make purchases for their personal use. For example – blanket, food, water bottle.
We hope you enjoyed this interesting distinction between a consumer and a customer.
But the next time you’re making a purchase, try to evaluate if you are a customer or a consumer. And while you’re at it, feel free to flaunt your knowledge! 😉
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