Difference Between Customer and Consumer (With Table)

Many words in marketing and advertising are difficult for the average person to grasp. Many individuals believe that the terms Customer and Consumer have the same meaning. We can realize that a customer and a consumer are the same individuals in a diversity of scenarios, yet these terms have distinct meanings.

Customer vs Consumer

The main difference between customer and consumer is that A customer is someone who buys products and services from a vendor on an unvarying basis and pays for them to meet their requirements. A consumer is somebody who prefers to buy a thing for personal use and then consumes it.

The customer is the individual who pays the price and purchases a producer’s or business’s goods or services. the customer isn’t always the consumer. The buyer may pay the money and purchase the items or useful services, then donate or sell them at high profit to another person who will use them.

The individual who consumes or utilizes the things or facilities is mentioned as a consumer. the consumer uses the product or service, the consumer will be the one to know the true quality and nature of the creation or facility. Every end-user in the chain of product purchases or usage is a consumer.  

Comparison Table Between Customer and Consumer

Parameters of Comparison




Customer buys products or services and may resell them.

consumer buys or uses products or services and can not resell them.

Purchase of goods


Not necessary


A customer might be a company or an individual who wants to buy it for resale.  

Consumers do not resale their merchandise.


Everything is bought by the customer for resale or consumption.

The consumer purchases everything just for Consumption

Product or service cost

The customer is accountable for the product’s price.

The consumer must pay to get the product or service.

What is Customer?

A customer is someone who purchases products or services and pays for them. The term customer comes from the phrase “custom,” which means “practice,” and refers to a distinct body that purchases things or facilities from a vendor regularly. It’s also recognized as a customer or a purchaser.

Customers can be sorted into two groups. The following are —

1. The Trade Customers- These consumers buy things to enhance their worth and then resale them for a profit. Manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and other similar businesses are trade consumers since they do not utilize the items they buy.

2. The Final Customers- Final consumers are those that acquire items for personal use. After the products are purchased, no resale or profit is generating.

Aside from these groupings, customers can be classified into the three categories below.

1. The Discount Customers These customers will only buy goods and things if a discount is offered to them.

2. The Loyal Customers—These customers are pleased with a brand’s or store’s services and product quality. As a result, individuals can make numerous purchases.

3. The Need-Based Customers- These customers are more likely to buy only the things or commodities that they require.

What is Consumer?

A consumer can be subjective and difficult to define at times. The person who consumes the service or utilizes the items of any particular firm is termed as a consumer. A consumer is any entity that does not have the option of reselling the goods or service and using it for its intended purpose.

There are 4 types of consumers:

  • Extrovert: Consumers that belong to this group are the ones that have a strong need for branded goods. They will almost certainly remain with them and seek to become loyal. They have a strong possibility of becoming brand champions if they are presented with high-quality items and services.
  • Inferior Goods: They are those who have a significant financial shortage and are classified as low-income. As a result, people are obligated to acquire just those items that are necessary for their existence.
  • The Commercial: This group of customers will buy goods and products in large quantities regardless of their real needs. This might be utilized for commercial reasons or not.
  • The Discrete: These customers will choose a separate way of purchasing, as the name indicates. Simply said, they will contemplate spending substantial money on a limited number of goods, such as cosmetics, jewelry, or clothing.

Main Differences Between Customer and Consumer

  1. The Customer is the individual who purchases products or services from a seller. A consumer is someone who buys or consumes products or services.
  2. The customer is stated as a buyer or a customer, whereas the consumer is the final user of the goods.
  3. A customer can be an individual, a firm, or a group of firms, whereas a consumer is a single person,  family, or any group.
  4. A customer always pays the price of the goods or service. the consumer does not have to pay the whole price of the commodity.
  5. The customer buys the items for resale or to add value, or for his personal use, or someone else. Consumer purchases items just for the aim of consuming.


In popular usage, the terms consumer and customer are frequently interchanged. A customer is someone who purchases a thing. A consumer, in simple terms, is someone who consumes a product. Regardless of their precise meanings, both words are considered fundamental in the consumerism economic philosophy.

Every person on the planet is a consumer or a customer in some manner, and they are frequently misunderstood. A consumer is the one who uses or consumes the products, whereas a customer is the one who buys the product and pays for it.

When an individual buys goods for personal use, both the customer and the consumer are sometimes the same person. All marketing procedures are focused on influencing consumer behavior, which includes persuading customers to perform the desired action that marketers expect.

Another point to consider in the consumer vs. customer debate is that customers can also be companies that buy and resell items or merchandise. They are simply customers, not consumers, of the items they acquire since they resell them to the consumer, who will eventually utilize the commodity.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512009469
  2. https://ir.unilag.edu.ng/handle/123456789/1728