Many have wondered the difference between a customer and a consumer, especially because many people use these terms interchangeably. Although only a thin line exists between customer and consumer, there are some specific differences. Understanding the difference is critical to a business because it affects how to advertise their products.
The client/customer is an organization or person who purchases a product, but not of a product. For example, imagine that a customer is the department purchases an organization. Every organization department requests an order for goods or services they need, such as paper for the administration department. The purchasing department is a manufacturer that sells products and orders the product. The purchasing department is the customer but the administration department is the consumer.
The consumer is the end user of a product, ie which consumes it. An example of a typical consumer is the purchaser of a store grocery. This buyer acquires the grocery store for food. The grocery store groceries bought these farmers, manufacturers and other vendors, so that he could sell these products to consumers. The grocery store is the customer of farmers and consumers are repeat buyers.
One of the biggest differences between the consumer and the customer is the authority to purchase a product or service. The consumer may have authority to purchase a product, but does not take the decision on the purchase. The consumer has the authority to purchase a product and to determine which product purchase. Back to the example of the grocery store. The grocery store buying products that buyers will purchase. A product that is not sold is discontinued and the grocery store or customer purchase another product that the consumer or purchaser will acquire.
Marketing and advertising focus on who will receive the benefit of the product being advertised. An industrial manufacturer of coffee machines will concentrate its advertising in cafes or coffee shops. Coffee shops focus their advertising on the coffee drinker consumes coffee made by the coffee machine. Small coffee makers focus their advertising on the consumer who buys the coffee machine to consume coffee at home. In this example, the customer and consumer are the same.