The 5 Determinants of Demand: What Drives Consumer Behavior?

Demand is the quantity of a good or service people want to buy at a given price. If you are in business development, sales, marketing, and other related areas, understanding the shifters of demand is one of your most important success factors. In this article, we will discuss the five determinants of demand and how those factors of demand affect consumer behavior. We will also provide examples and answer common questions to help you better understand. Keep reading to learn more!

What is demand?

Demand determines how much of a good or service producers will produce. Therefore, an increase in demand indicates the growth of the business.

In economics, the definition of demand is the quantity of a good or service that consumers are willing and able to buy at a given price over a period of time.

The state of demand in a country also indicates the economic situation of that country. For example, decreasing demand for a country’s products could lead to unemployment and inflation.

What drives demand?

If you are selling a product, it is crucial to understand what factors of demand will influence how much people are willing and able to pay. For example, the role of sales and marketing is to drive demand. But what drives the demand?

  • Governments try to influence demand by changing interest rates. A higher interest rate decreases demand because it becomes more expensive to borrow money, which reduces consumer spending.
  • Businesses try to increase demand for their products and services in different ways, including sales, marketing, public relation, press release, CSR activities, etc.
  • Influencers are actors, actresses, bloggers, vloggers, etc., and are also a part of demand. They influence people in their consumer behavior and help businesses.

Whatever governments, businesses, and influencers do, they play with the five factors of demand, also called the determinants of demand.

5 Determinants of Demand

The determinants of demand are the factors that can shift or change the quantity demanded by consumers. These determinants of demand include:

  1. Price of the good or service
  2. Income of consumers
  3. Prices of other related goods or services (substitutes and complements)
  4. The tastes or preferences of consumers
  5. The expectation of consumers about future prices, income, etc.

These determinants can be classified into two categories: microeconomic factors and macroeconomic factors.

Microeconomic Factors: 

These determinants of demand are directly related to consumers and businesses. They are under the control of individuals or firms—for example, the price of the goods, the taste of consumers, etc.

Macroeconomic Factors: 

These determinants of demand are beyond the control of an individual or a firm. They are related to the overall economic conditions—for example, income, inflation, economic growth, etc.

How Does Each Determinant Affect Demand?

Now that you know the determinants of demand let’s see how these factors can shift or change the demand curve.

1. Price of the Good or Service

The price of a good or service is one of the most important determinants of demand. When the prices of goods or services increase, people tend to buy less because they have to spend more money. This results in a decrease in demand. Similarly, when the prices of goods or services decrease, people tend to buy more because they have to spend less money. This increases demand.

2. Income of Consumers 

Another important determinant of demand is the income of consumers. When the income of consumers increases, they can afford to buy more expensive products and services. This increases demand. Similarly, when the income of consumers decreases, they can only afford to buy cheaper products and services. Again, this results in a decrease in demand.

The prices of related goods or services, also known as substitutes and complementary goods, can affect the demand for a good or service. Substitute goods are items that can be used in place of one another. For example, chicken and fish are substitutes because they can both be used in many meals. Complementary goods are items that are often used together. For instance, people usually buy bread and butter at the same time.

If the price of a good’s substitute goes up, the demand for the good usually goes down because consumers will purchase the cheaper alternative. For example, if the price of beef increases, people may buy chicken instead. If the price of complementary goods goes up, the demand for the good usually goes down because people will not be able to afford to purchase both items. For example, if the price of butter increases, people may not buy bread either.

4. Tastes or Preferences of Consumers 

The tastes or preferences of consumers also play an essential role in determining the demand for a good or service. When people’s tastes change, they may demand more of a specific good or service. For example, if there is a new trend for healthy eating, the demand for fruits and vegetables may increase.

5. Expectations of Consumers 

Consumers’ expectations about future prices, income, etc., can also affect demand. For example, if people expect the price of a good or service to increase in the future, they may purchase more of it now. This is because they can save money by buying the goods at the current price. Similarly, if people expect the cost of a good or service to decrease in the future, they may purchase less of it now. Again, this is because they can wait to buy the goods at a lower price.

Other Factors 

Many other factors, such as advertising, weather, and seasonality, can affect demand. For example, people may demand more beach towels in the summer than in the winter. But you can also attribute such factors to any of the five determinants of demand. For example, seasonality is related to the taste and expectations of consumers.

How to Increase Demand?

To sum up, there are five determinants of demand. If you want to increase the demand for your products and services, you need to influence those factors of demand. How? Let’s explore some of the ideas.

  • You need to lower the price to increase the demand for your product. This will make it more affordable for people to buy it. You can also offer discounts or coupons to entice people further to purchase your product.
  • You need to make it more convenient or more accessible for people to use. For example, you can offer delivery or pick-up options. You can also make it easier for people to book your service online.
  • You can also try to influence the other determinants of demand, such as advertising your product or service more or changing the taste or preferences of consumers.
  • You cannot change the income of the people, but you can make your products/services more accessible to low-income people. For example, you can introduce a mini-pack at less price. You will find that mini-pack of shampoo brands are common in many markets.
  • Bundling complementary products is another great way. If you do not offer the complementary product, you may work in partnership with the producers of the complementary products.
  • Communication is vital to clarify your selling proposition compared to the substitute products. Your brand position should be evident in the minds of customers.
  • It is advisable to keep an open mind and be proactive in understanding what your customers want. Be flexible to change your offerings as per the customer’s need.
  • You also need to keep an eye on your competitors and understand their strategies. It will give you some idea about what is working in the market and what is not. It will also give you an insight into the trends in the industry.
  • You can also target a new market segment with higher demand for your product/service. For example, if you are selling health supplements, you can target the elderly population as they have a higher demand for such products.

There are many ways to increase the demand for your product or service. You must find the right mix of strategies that work for your business.

Demand Equation or Function

The demand equation or function is a mathematical expression of the relationship between quantity demanded (QD) and price (P). It is also called the demand curve. The demand equation is represented by the following formula: QD = f(five determinants of demand)

where QD = quantity demanded. The above equation states that the quantity demanded of a good or service is a function of five determinants of demand.

FAQ

What is the determinant of demand mean?

A determinant of demand is a factor that influences the demand for a good or service. The five determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, taste and preferences, and expectations about future prices.

What is the most determinant of demand?

Price is the most determinant of demand. It is the most crucial factor influencing the demand for a good or service. Income, prices of related goods, taste and preferences, and expectations about future prices are important determinants of demand, but the price is the most important.

What is the law of demand?

The law of demand states that the quantity demanded of a good or service is a function of price. It says that when the price of a good or service increases, the quantity demanded decreases, and when the price decreases, the quantity demanded increases. This law is one of the most fundamental concepts in economics.

What is the elasticity of demand?

The elasticity of demand is a measure of how responsive the quantity demanded of a good or service is to changes in price. It is expressed as a ratio or percentage and indicates the degree to which demand for the good or service changes in response to a change in price. A more considerable elasticity suggests a more significant change in quantity demanded in relation to a change in price.

How do the determinants of demand shift the demand curve?

The determinants of demand can shift the demand curve to the left or the right. A leftward shift indicates that the quantity demanded of the good or service decreases at each price. In contrast, a rightward shift suggests that the quantity demanded of the good or service increases at each price. The determinants of demand can also cause the demand curve to become steeper or flatter. For example, a steep demand curve indicates that there is a large change in quantity demanded in relation to a small change in price, while a flat demand curve indicates that there is a small change in quantity demanded in relation to a large difference in price.

What are the factors of demand?

The five determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, taste and preferences, and expectations about future prices. These factors can influence the demand for a good or service either directly or indirectly.

What are shifters of demand?

Shifters of demand are factors that can cause the demand curve to shift to the left or the right. The determinants of demand are all shifters of demand. Therefore, a change in any of the determinants of demand can cause the demand curve to shift.

Related Articles:

Conclusion

Demand is the desire and willingness to purchase a good or service at a given price. It is determined by five factors of demand: price, income, prices of related goods and services, tastes, and expectations of the buyers.

We have described each of these determinants of demand in detail. These determinants can influence the demand for a good or service either directly or indirectly. A change in any of the determinants can cause the demand curve to shift.

Photo of author

Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru Biswas is a writer with a focus on business and career-related subjects. He has been writing for various websites since 2018 and has more than ten years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.

Join the Newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.