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Business Research

Consumer Analysis

Consumer analysis allows a researcher to identify groups or segments of groups in a population that have the same wants or needs. This analysis can help the researcher determine:

  • who buys particular products or services?
  • what motivates consumers to buy particular products or services?

​Being able to justify your choices by with evidence, will make your argument more effective. Four segmentation categories of a market include:

  • behavioral: what benefits do customers want, and how do they use our product?
  • demographic: How do the ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds of our customers affect what they buy?
  • geographic: Where are our customers located, and how can we reach them? What products do they buy based on their locations?
  • psychographic: What do our customers think about and value? How do they live their lives?



These databases offer access to popular and scholarly articles concerning market research, consumer behavior, and research on the purchase decision process. Do not hesitate to jump over to PsycINFO or SocINDEX, if you want to look at this from a psychology or sociology lens!

Specific publications

Some publications are geared toward analyzing consumer behavior specifically. You can search those directly at the following links.

New Strategist, publisher of The American Marketplace, has lots of publications that analyze American demographics and consumer behavior. You can see that whole list by searching in OneSearch.


Web Resources

Online content is plentiful for this type of topic. Be sure to evaluate the source, however, as some articles are designed to persuade purchasing decisions and not to inform on the behavior itself. That doesn't make it not useful, but be sure to take that aim into consideration. 

Consumer Behavior - NY Times Topics

News about consumer behavior, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

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