Demographic differences in adult consumers’ decision-making styles in Tshwane, South Africa
Individual consumers are subject to different influences on how they make decisions and what decision-making style they use. Consumer decision-making styles are a mental orientation that characterises a consumer’s approach to making choices. The main purpose of the study is to explore the decision-making styles of South African adult consumers when purchasing general household items. Possible differences in the decision-making styles of adults from different ethnic backgrounds, levels of education, as well as gender and age difference are also investigated. Unlike previous studies, which were confined to students residing mainly in urban areas, this study focuses on adults residing in both urban and township areas. The Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI) that was developed by Sproles and Kendall (1986) has eight factors; and it was used to measure adults’ decision-making styles. Convenience sampling was used, and 344 questionnaires were collected. The results of the study confirmed only six of the eight existing CSI factors, but also identified an additional decision-making style, value consciousness that should be added and explored in the South African context. Significant differences were also found between gender, age and ethnicity and decision-making styles, but respondents’ level of education did not apparently influence their decision-making styles. Decision-making styles are important to marketers because they determine consumer behaviour, are stable over time, and thus are relevant for market segmentation.