Saturday, 17 November 2012

Decision Making

Consumer Decision Making Process

A consumer goes through several stages before purchasing a product or service.

Step 1 - Need is an important determinant that helps in buying of products and services. Need is a crucial catalyst which influences the purchase decision of individuals.
A person who purchases a bottle of cold drink or a mineral water bottle initiates the process by identifying his/her need that is thirst. However, this is simple need and hence, in these cases information collection and evaluation of alternatives may not be carried out. But both these steps are important during the purchase of expensive products/services by individuals such as mobile phones, laptops, cars etc.

Step 2 – After the individual recognizes that he/ she needs a particular product/service, he will then try to gather more related information to make an informed decision.
An individual can acquire the required information through any of the sources as given below:
  • Personal Sources – Discussions with friends, family members, co-workers and other acquaintances.
  • Commercial sources –Look for external sources such as advertisements, sales people,  Packaging content of a particular product, Displays (Props, Mannequins etc.)
  • Public sources – Print sources - Newspaper, Magazine and other sources like radio and billboards
  • Experiential sources - Individual’s own experience, prior handling of a particular product (Tim would definitely purchase a Dell laptop again if he had already used one)

Step 3 - The next step is to evaluate the various alternatives available in the market. An individual tries to pick up the best option available after gathering relevant information that suits his need, taste and pocket!

Step 4 - After completing all the four stages as given above, customer finally makes the purchase decision

Step 5 - The purchase of product is then followed by post purchase evaluation. This basically refers to the individual’s analysis of satisfaction in terms of whether the product was beneficial to him or not, whether the product fulfilled his need or not. 


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