Consumer Buying Decision Making Process – Figure 1, below, illustrates the process a customer goes through in making a purchase decision. Once the process begins, the potential buyer can withdraw at any stage before making the actual purchase. This six-step process refers to when people make a conscious effort to learn about alternatives and choose a product—for example, when they buy a product for the first time or when they buy high-priced, long-lasting items. This is called
For most products, buying behavior is common: you have a need, and you satisfy that need based on trade-offs and your personal assessment of value in the habit of repurchasing the same brand or a cheaper brand or the most convenient option. In these cases, you have learned from your past experiences what best satisfies your need, so you can skip steps two and three of the process. This is called
Consumer Buying Decision Making Process
. However, if something changes significantly (price, product, availability, service), then you can re-enter the entire decision process and consider alternative brands.
Consumer Behavior & Evs
The first step in the customer decision-making process is recognizing that a problem or unmet need exists. Whether we take action to solve a problem depends on two factors: (1) the magnitude of the gap between what we have and what we want, and (2) the importance of the problem. A person might want a new Lexus and have a five-year-old Ford Focus. The odds are huge but may be small compared to the other problems he faces. On the other hand, a woman may have a two-year-old car that runs well, but for various reasons feels it is important to buy another car this year. Customers don’t move on to the next step until they confirm their specific needs.
Once a need is identified, the prospective customer can obtain information to help identify and evaluate alternative products, services, experiences, and outlets that meet that need. Information can come from any number of sources: family and friends, search engines, Yelp reviews, personal observations,
, vendors, product models etc. Which sources are most important depends on the individual and the type of purchase he or she is considering.
The information seeking process can also identify new needs. When a tire shopper searches for information, she may decide that tires aren’t the real problem, but that she needs a new car instead. At this point, her newly realized need may initiate a search for new information.
Buying Decision Process. Source: Smith, 1997.
As the consumer searches for and processes information about the problem she is trying to solve, she identifies alternative products, services, and outlets. The next step is to evaluate and select these options, assuming that the choice can be made according to the financial and psychological needs of the customer. Evaluation criteria vary from customer to customer and from purchase to purchase, as do the needs and sources of information. One consumer considers price more important, while another puts more weight on quality or convenience.
Consider the situation where you buy a new vacuum cleaner. During your information search process, you have identified five dominant patterns of online reviews as well as a set of evaluation criteria that are most important to you: 1) price, 2) suction power, 3) warranty, 4) weight, 5) noise level, and 6) attachment usability. Easy to do. After visiting Sears and Home Depot to check out all the options in person, you’re torn between the two shortlisted models. Finally you make an agonizing choice and the salesperson goes to the store to get one for you. He returns with bad news: the vacuum cleaner is out of stock, but a new shipment is expected in three days. A strange relief, you take it as a sign to move on to another model in stock. Even if convenience isn’t on your list of initial selection criteria, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner before the party you throw the next day. You pick the second number and never look back.
After doing a lot of searching and evaluating (or sometimes very little), consumers must at some point decide if they want to buy. Anything marketers can do to make purchases easier is attractive to buyers. For example, in advertising, marketers may suggest the best product for a particular use or the best wine to drink with a particular food. Sometimes several decision cases can be marketed together as a package. For example, travel agents often package tours, while equipment stores try to sell them with extra warranties.
All the behavioral criteria and steps in the buying process up to this point happen before or during the purchase. However, the customer’s feelings and evaluations after the sale are important to the marketer because they can influence repeat sales and what the customer tells others about the product or brand.
Topic 3: The Consumer Decision Process
Marketing is about keeping the customer happy at every stage of the decision-making process, including post-purchase. It is common for consumers to experience post-purchase anxiety after any important or unusual purchase. This reflects the phenomenon of anxiety
. According to this theory, people strive for consistency in their cognitions (knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and values). When there are inequalities, conflicts arise that people try to eliminate.
Marketers can take specific steps to reduce post-purchase conflict. An obvious way is to help provide a quality solution that satisfies customers. Another step is to develop advertising and new-to-consumer communications that emphasize a number of positive attributes or confirm the product’s popularity. Offering personal reinforcements has proven effective with big-ticket items like cars and major appliances. Merchants in these areas can send cards or even make personal calls to reassure customers about their purchases. The consumer decision making process consists of five basic steps. It is the process by which consumers evaluate making a purchase decision. The 5 stages are problem identification, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase decision, and post-purchase evaluation.
The consumer decision-making process may seem mysterious, but all consumers go through basic steps when making a purchase to determine which products and services best suit their needs.
Reading: Using Imc In The Sales Process
Think about your own thought process when buying something—especially something as big as a car. Research what you need and compare your options before you decide to buy. Afterwards, you always wonder if you made the right call.
If you work in sales or marketing, make more impact by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and reviewing the steps in the customer’s decision-making process.
The first step in the consumer decision-making process is identifying the need for a service or product. Whether recognition of a need is sought internally or externally, the result is the same response: a need. Once customers identify a need, they must gather information to understand how that need can be met, which leads to the second step.
But how can consumers be influenced at this stage? Since intrinsic motivation comes from within and includes basic motivations such as hunger or a change in lifestyle, focus your sales and marketing efforts on extrinsic motivators.
Consumer Decision Making Process. Real Case Of Purchasing A Screen…
Develop an extensive brand campaign to build brand awareness and recognition––you want customers to know and trust you. More importantly, you want them to feel that only you can solve the problem.
Example: Winter is coming. This particular customer has several light jackets, but if she wants to survive the snow and cold temperatures, she needs a heavy winter coat.
When researching their options, consumers again rely on internal and external factors, as well as positive and negative past interactions with the product or brand. In the information stage, they may browse through options at a physical location or consult online resources such as Google or customer reviews.
Your job as a brand is to give potential customers access to the information they need in hopes that they will decide to buy your product or service. Create a funnel and plan the types of content people want. Present yourself as a trusted source of knowledge and information.
Imcrazy: Perspectives On Consumer Behavior
Another important strategy is word of mouth—because customers trust each other more than they trust businesses, be sure to include customer-generated content on your website, such as customer reviews or video testimonials.
Example: A customer searches Google for “women’s winter coats” to see what options are available. When she sees someone with a nice coat, she asks them where they bought it and what they think of the brand.
At this point in the consumer decision-making process, potential buyers have developed the criteria they want in a product. Now they are evaluating their future options against comparable alternatives.
Choices can be personal, such as lower prices, additional product benefits, product availability, or color or style choices. Your marketing materials should focus on convincing consumers that your product is better than other alternatives. Be prepared to overcome objections—eg, on sales calls, get to know your competitors so you can answer questions and compare benefits.
Pdf] Integrated Consumer Decision Making Process Model For House Purchasing Decisions: A Case Study Of First Time Potential Homebuyers In Klang Valley
Example: A customer compares several brands of his choice. She knew she wanted a bright colored coat
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