1.1 introduction Consumer buying behaviour is a process of choosing, purchasing, using and disposing of products or services by the individuals and groups in order to satisfy their needs and wants (Solomon, 1995). Similar definition of consumer buying behaviour is offered by (Chiffman, Hansen and Kanuk, 2007) in which they describe consumer behaviour as behaviour that consumers express when they select and purchase the products or services using their available resources in order to satisfy their needs and desires. Furthermore (Kotler and Keller , 2011) highlight the importance of understanding consumer buying behavior and the ways how the customers choose their products and services can be extremely important for manufacturers as well as service providers as this provides them with competitive advantage over its competitors in several aspects. Consumer behaviour is very complex because each consumer has different mind and attitude towards purchase, consumption and disposal of product (Solomon, 2009). Understanding the theories and concepts of consumer behaviour helps to market the product or services successfully. As there is constant change in the living standards, trend, fashion and change in technology; consumer’s attitude towards the purchase of product varies (Kumar, 2004).
The consumer behaviour or buyer behaviour is influenced by several factors including psychological factors, social factors, cultural factors, economic factors, personal factors (Armstrong, 2008). Recession is one of the economic factors that affect consumer behaviour. Recession is defined as a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than six months (Amadeo, 2017). Recession is further defined with factors or dimensions which are personal income, employment, real gross domestic product, inflation and exports and imports (Vincent, 2006). In times of recession every rupee matters and hence the consumers use greater discretion before making the purchase decisions (Vincent, 2006). Rise in prices of food items and basic necessities of life due to inflation, unemployment, and low gross domestic product (GDP) creates a pre-recessionary situation which slowly and gradually affects the buying behavior of consumer of every market (Furnham, 1999). Any nation going through the period of recession faces not only an internal resistance from its business sector and but also an external pressure from foreign bodies. It becomes almost impossible for low income earners to fulfill their basic requirements of daily life (Furnham, 1999). People are historically forced to cut down on their consumptions (Attanassio and Szekely , 2001). An investigation of consumer behaviour in times of crisis such as recession is a very important subject to study. More particularly studies on the effects of the economic crisis on young people are limited. Although young consumers do not have a steady source of income, they represent a large group of active consumers (Furnham, 1999).
1.2 Problem statement Previous studies (Attanassio and Szekely , 2001) indicates that recession has a negative impact on employment and income. The effects of recession vary according to age (Furnham, 1999). In the study by (Mackenzie, 2004) indicates that purchasing behaviour of young people found in Argentina were more prone to recession than that of adults. Generally young people do not have a steady source of income (Furnham, 1999) , which means it becomes very difficult for them to cope with recession elements such as inflation and unemployment. Therefore the research will benefit young people in a sense that they learn how to cope and appreciate the effects of recession.
1.3. Purpose and objectives The purpose of this study is to investigate the patterns of students purchasing behaviour and how it changes during recession in Botswana. The study was triggered by the recent inflation rates and how this affects the purchasing behaviour of young people in Botswana. The objectives of the study are as follows:
1. investigate the average expenditure of students during recession in Botswana, Gaborone 2. investigate the frequency of purchase of students during recession in Botswana, Gaborone 3. the choice of retail formats by students during recession in Botswana, Gaborone
1.4. Significance of the study The study will adopt the consumer perspective rather than an economic perspective. This is because past researches aimed at helping businesses gain better understanding of economic crisis. This study will help students find better ways of spending limited income during recession and minimize the negative effects recession has on the purchasing behaviour of young people.
1.5 scope of the study This study sought to assess impact of recession on consumer’s decision making process precisely the purchase stage among the youth. The study will be carried out in Gaborone Botswana, which comprises of 57 parliamentary constituencies (Barry Morton & Jeff Ramsay, 2018). The research will focus on 18 176 youth population in institutions of higher learning namely University of Botswana. In conducting this study, the limitations that will be experienced may include the unwillingness of the respondents to provide required information, the quality of data collected errors. These limitations will be mitigated by use of introductory statements to clearly explain the purpose of the study while at the same time guaranteeing the respondents of utmost confidentiality of their personal information.
2.0. Literature Review 2.1Consumer behavior Consumer buying behaviour is defined as a set of activities which involves the purchase and use of goods and services which resulted from the customers’ emotional and mental needs and behavioral responses (Stallworth 2008). Consumer behaviour contain different activities and stages (Gabbot, 1998). Studying consumers provides insight for improving or introducing products or services, setting prices, devising channels, crafting messages, and developing other marketing activities (Armstrong, 2008).The definition formed by (Solomon, 1995) describes consumer buying behaviour as a process of choosing, purchasing, using and disposing of products or services by the individuals and groups in order to satisfy their needs and wants. Similar definition of consumer buying behaviour is offered by (Chiffman, Hansen and Kanuk, 2007) in which they describe it as behaviour that consumers express when they select and purchase the products or services using their available resources in order to satisfy their needs and desires.