Consumer Decision-Making Process and Its Stages

It is with no doubt that Helen’s purchase was an impulse. Her friend Jim followed the due process of buyer decision making. Buying involves a process. It is prudent to undertake this process prior to, during, and post-purchase of a given service or product.

It involves employing the cognitive process in taking courses of action amid several alternatives. The process has several external forces that may otherwise affect the decision process. They include family, social class, psychological needs, and cultural values, among other factors, affect the cognitive process. There are five main steps that Helen ought to have followed, considering the buyer as the problem solver model.

The first step is the recognition that there is a need to purchase a product or a service. Helen did not seem to be having some reason for the boots bought as opposed to Jim. This is reached when there is a difference between the definite condition and the preferred state. A problem that requires a solution is identified when there is a difference in the definite and preferred state of the property. Helen ought to have identified the problem prior to whether she needed the boots.

The second stage calls for information gathering. Helen needed to explore details about the boot she wanted. Further information can be obtained by paying attention to service or product information. Other information can be attained by consulting the peers and finding exploring the advantages of the product one is interested. The best avenues are the stores selling the product. The information gathered gives insight into competing brands, features, and the characteristics of the product. Many brands and types tend to satisfy one, but a few will be preferred after thorough research. Information leads to the evaluation and choice of alternatives.

No, the sole evaluation procedure is perfect for all consumers or one applied in all situations. The evaluation of products should be particularly rational. At this stage, Helen could have checked for the benefits of the product that satisfies her needs. Goods should have attributes to convey the benefits and needs. A product’s attributes are paramount and relevant when they carry some benefits. The benefits are consequently meaningful if they tackle the problem and satisfying the intended needs. The anticipated wishes vary from one person to the other, considering individual judgments.

Stage four is the actual implementation of the purchase decision. Still, one has to select certain brands and stores or shops to diagnose the problem. This is done using one of the three ways: simultaneous; product first, store second; store first, product second. A simultaneous method is the best and saves time. For Helen’s case, she can select brands depending on features, availability in the stores. She can as well as decide where to purchase the boots.

Satisfactorily completing the process leads to actual transactions. The process does not end at buying but proceeds to post buying evaluation. This depends on the purchase involvement of the consumer. When the involvement is soaring, and the buyer extensively make the decision to purchase (e.g., purchase of boots), then one will be involved in after purchase evaluation. The process involves asking many questions about the product.

Such questions include; I could have taken the other brand and did I make the right decision. The reaction is common after making complex and pretty enduring decisions. The consumer will repeat the purchase if he or she feels satisfied or may never purchase the same brand if dissatisfaction occurs. Helen should have followed the right procedure to decide whether the boots are satisfying or dissatisfying.

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