In the world of commerce, there are two terms that are often used interchangeably - customer and consumer. However, they are not the same thing. In most cases, the customer and the consumer can be the same person, but in other situations, they can be different. A customer is someone who buys a product or service, while a consumer is the person who uses it. It's important to understand the difference between these two terms, as it can impact how businesses market and sell their products.
A customer is a person who purchases a product or service from a business. This person might be buying the product for themselves, or they might be buying it for someone else. A consumer, on the other hand, is the person who actually uses the product or service. This might be the person who bought the product, or it might be someone else entirely.
When you buy a gift for your friend's birthday, you are the customer in this scenario, as you are the one making the purchase. However, your friend is the consumer, as they are the one who will be using the gift. Another example could be a business that purchases a software program for its employees to use. The business is the customer, while the employees are the consumers.
Why is it important?
So why is it important to understand the difference between customers and consumers? For businesses, it can impact how they market and sell their products. If a business is targeting customers who are not the end-users of their product, they will need to tailor their marketing messages accordingly. For instance, if a company sells a children's toy, they might target parents with messages about how the toy will benefit their child's development, rather than targeting the child themselves.