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The Ethical problem of using Consumer Behavior techniques and Best Practices recommended to avoid any possible Consumer Behavior marketing and promotional campaign abuse.

Ethical Issues of Consumer Behaviour

Term consumer behaviour is the study of how particular consumer, team, and companies select, use, and buy the good services to satisfy their requirements. It is also called the action of the consumer in the marketplace and the underlying motives for those actions (Brunk, 2010). The purpose of this report is to analysis the ethical issues faced by consumer behaviour techniques and identify the methods by which people can avoid such issues. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which includes defending, systematizing, and recommending the concept of right and wrong conduct. There are many ethical problems occur in consumer behaviour for example wrong price, advertising and many more which will be discussed in this report.

The ethical behaviour is defined as behaviour which is ethically and morally correct according to the market. A company must understand the ethical issues faced by consumers by which they can avoid the product issue and improve their productivity (Cantallops, & Salvi, 2014). There are many kinds of ethical issues occur in the area of consumer behaviours which are described below:

It is one of the most common ethical issues faced by the consumer which is increasing rapidly. In the last few years, many consumers lost their privacy by purchasing products from third-party applications and many companies use unauthentic networks by which hackers block their personal accounts. When any person buys a product from any website then it uses online payment method if they lost their account privacy then they can lose their bank details. A recent study investigated that around 50% consumers in worldwide use fraud websites and application because they provide products I very low price due to which they lost their privacy by providing complete information (Carrington, Neville, & Whitwell, 2014).

This problem occurs when the members of the online website put the tag on any product or item and recently more than 30% of cases of wrong product tag was identified. Consumers make mistake and when they do and people have a choice either purchase the item from dishonestly or refuse. In the year 2014, a case was observed by a consumer that involving airline ticket which was priced incorrectly. While many consumers do not know about such kind of problem due to which they were facing the financial issue or wrong price tag.

The problem with getting the wrong amount of money back is also an ethical issue which occurs due to uncertainty between the consumer and employee. Many companies observed that their account manager provided the wrong amount to their consumers by which consumer communicate with them but they do not give any response (Chan, Wong, & Leung, 2008).

Generally, the store manager engages in price fixing and sell items for inflates prices by refusing with the business industry. This is also an ethical issue because the company provided an offer on a product but the store manager change their price and transfer to the consumers. The price fixing is illegal that can reduce the value of market and consumers also faced this type of issue when he/she buy any product from the market.

Recommendation

Consumers have the right to know what the items are that they buy with their packaging and labelling but most online companies do not provide such facilities. The main important ethical issue inducing in the area of packaging is misleading packaging and it is very significant for customers to know what they are purchasing for the transaction to be legitimate (Morin, 2011).

Product safety is also an ethical issue because many companies do not provide any security of consumer products due to which customers can receive damage products. A recent study indicates that around 60% of consumers received damaged product due to lack of safety because companies do not provide any security policy to their consumers (Verbeke, Vanhonacker, Sioen, Van Camp, & De Henauw, 2007).

In this modern era, many consumers use online shopping process to buy and sell any kind of products. There are many private companies that provided clothing and electronic items to their consumers but when any person buy the product according to their rating then he/she got a very low-quality product which is also a big concern in the field of the ethical issue (Ramsey, Marshall, Johnston, & Deeter-Schmelz, 2007). Due to the lack of quality issues many consumers have given negative feedback on social media but still, companies are not providing the best quality products.

It is recommended that to avoid the ethical issues faced by consumers can be resolved by identifying the key factors that associated with ethical concerns. In last five years, consumers were suffered from the issue of price, product quality and return the money and to avoid this issues companies can develop the ethical policies and improve their product quality (Shen, Wang, Lo, & Shum, 2012). There are various kinds of approaches can be used to resolve such kinds of issues which are described below:

To handle and address the ethical issues faced by consumers in the field of consumer behaviour consumers can apply the integrating ethical decision process. In which people can solve their problem and companies should take a serious action if they found any ethical problem in their store (Vitell, 2009).

In the field of consumer behaviours there are main three principles developed which can be used to address the ethical issues which are the following:

  • The principle of intuition works that works on the assumption that the store manager is competent enough to understand the situation and take action accordingly (Solomon, Dahl, White, Zaichkowsky, & Polegato, 2014)
  • The principle of moral idealism that there is a clear distinction between bad and good by which the issue of product price and quality can be resolved
  • Utilitarianism anxieties itself with the consequences or the implications and there is no clear difference between what is good and what is bad. What may be satisfactory in a convinced state can be intolerable at certain another place. It underscores that if the total consequence of the decision is a rise in the contentment of the group, the choice is the right one.

The security of a product is one of the most important key factors that can be resolved by developing the strategies and policies. In the last five years the security of production has decreased by 50% because companies are not providing the product with 100% security. If companies design and implement security policy and provide the surety to their consumers than the ethical issue of product safety can be resolved (Solomon, White, Dahl, Zaichkowsky, & Polegato, 2017). 

Conclusion:

This report is completely based on the ethical issues faced by consumer behaviour and with the help of this research readers can enhance their knowledge in the area of marketing. It is estimated that the rate of ethical issues has increased by 50% between 2013 and 2017 because many companies are providing very low-quality products. There are main three ethical issues observed by consumers, for example, price fixing, product quality and product safety issue and many consumers received very bad quality products. This report analysed the key factors that increase the ethical issues and prevention methods to resolve such kinds of problems. People should ensure that they buy products from highly rated companies and if they received any wrong product then communicate with store managers and take serious action.

References:

Brunk, K. H. (2010). Exploring the origins of ethical company/brand perceptions—A consumer perspective of corporate ethics. Journal of Business Research, 63(3), 255-262.

Cantallops, A. S., & Salvi, F. (2014). New consumer behaviour: A review of research on eWOM and hotels. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, 41-51.

Carrington, M. J., Neville, B. A., & Whitwell, G. J. (2014). Lost in translation: Exploring the ethical consumer intention-behaviour gap. Journal of Business Research, 67(1), 2759-2767.

Chan, R. Y., Wong, Y. H., & Leung, T. K. (2008). Applying ethical concepts to the study of “green” consumer behaviour: An analysis of Chinese consumers’ intentions to bring their own shopping bags. Journal of Business Ethics, 79(4), 469.

Morin, C. (2011). Neuromarketing: the new science of consumer behaviour. Society, 48(2), 131-135.

Ramsey, R. P., Marshall, G. W., Johnston, M. W., & Deeter-Schmelz, D. R. (2007). Ethical ideologies and older consumer perceptions of unethical sales tactics. Journal of Business Ethics, 70(2), 191-207.

Shen, B., Wang, Y., Lo, C. K., & Shum, M. (2012). The impact of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behaviour. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 16(2), 234-245.

Solomon, M. R., Dahl, D. W., White, K., Zaichkowsky, J. L., & Polegato, R. (2014). Consumer Behaviour: Buying, having and being (Vol. 10). London: Pearson.

Solomon, M. R., White, K., Dahl, D. W., Zaichkowsky, J. L., & Polegato, R. (2017). Consumer Behaviour: Buying, having and being. Boston, MA, USA:: Pearson.

Verbeke, W., Vanhonacker, F., Sioen, I., Van Camp, J., & De Henauw, S. (2007). Perceived importance of sustainability and ethics related to fish: A consumer behaviour perspective. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 36(7), 580-585.

Vitell, S. J. (2009). The role of religiosity in business and consumer ethics: A review of the literature. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(2), 155-167.

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