Often the terms customer and consumers confuse us. The main difference between consumer and customer is that a consumer is the real beneficiary of the product or services while customer is the person who purchases the product or services. This can be explained further by an example, A mother buying baby food for her two year old kid. In this example, the real beneficiary of the baby product is the two year baby who can be called the consumer and the mother who buys the product is the customer.
Customers and consumers are considered to be important targets for the marketers to generate sales and revenue. It is the customer who makes the purchase but more often influenced by the consumer. Consider the previous example of mother and baby. In the example its the mother who makes the purchase decision for the baby who seems to be the real beneficiary of the product purchased. However the decision was influenced by the baby as the baby liked the baby food. Moreover, customers will also purchase products for own consumption.