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Consumer Buying Behavior Process while purchasing


Executive Summary

The purpose of writing this report is to underline the buying behaviour of consumer while
purchasing a product. Before the product is purchased, the consumer passes through a complex
decision-making phase if the product includes high-involvement product, expensive and
infrequently purchased. The product we have chosen for our study is Laptop. There are various
brands of laptops available in market of different types with close competition so the consumer
has vast variety of choice to select the brand which depends on buying behavior. The study also
reveals that others factors except price of product also lead to an extensive decision-making
process. The internal factors like motivation, perception, learning, attitude and personality play
an important role while consumer is searching for the information as well as marketing efforts
and socio-cultural environment which are external influences also affects the decision. It also
explains that factors cause cognitive consonance leads to positive post-purchase behavior if
consumer gets satisfied with the product that fulfils the need or desire which has triggered the
whole buying process.

Consumer Profile

The consumer we have selected for our research is Mr Abdul Rauf Nisar who works at
University Of Health Sciences(UHS) in examination department. He is 28 year old honest,
passionate and enthusiastic person playing very important role in his field, managing the BDS,
MBBS Entry test and all medical related exams result under government approval and paper
distribution all over the punjab. But he has an introvert personality very less social and less
talkative. He is a well-educated person who holds the degree of MBA in HR comsat university,
Lahore. The consumer has recently bought Dell inspiron 5521 that qualifies us to examine his
buying behaviour towards product.

Region Punjab
City Shifted from Multan to Lahore
Age 28
Sex Male
Income 41000
Marital status Single
Education MBA in HR
Occupation Assistant Manager

Stages of the Consumer Buying Process

There are normally six stages to the Consumer Buying Decision Process.
All consumer decisions do not always include all 6 stages, determined by the degree of

The 6 stages are:

1. Problem Recognition
2. Information search
3. Evaluation of Alternatives
5. Purchase
6. Post-Purchase Evaluation
Need Recognition

The recognition of a need is likely to occur when a consumer is faced with a problem. Among a
consumer, there seem to be two different need or problem recognition styles. Some consumers
are actual state types, who perceive that they have a problem when a product fails to perform
satisfactorily. Other consumers are desired state types, for whom the desire for something new
may trigger the decision process.

Being business personnel, she identified that her previous laptop was not the prestigious
one. She was looking to fulfil her acquired need by buying a product that symbolizes status to
impress others. When Ms. Saera was asked about the purpose of purchasing the Apple Mac Pro
Laptop, her response reflected that she had a desired state recognition style. Although, her
previous laptop which had a touch screen was working fine but she had a desire of purchasing
that technology which symbolizes her status thus here she recognized her need of buying an
Apple Mac Book Pro Laptop.

Pre-purchase Search or Information Search

Pre-purchase search begins when a consumer perceives a need that might be satisfied by the
purchase and consumption of a product. Many consumers decisions are based on combination
of past experiences (internal sources i.e. motivation, perception, learning, personality) and
marketing and non-commercial information (external sources i.e. marketing efforts and socio-
cultural environment). Ms. Saera already had a past experience of brand as she mentioned that
she was using Apple IPAD 3 and was quite fascinated with the technology which was her
learning attribute. Her perceptions were very clear about the apple and she responded that she
perceives Apple as a brand with the credibility and quality i-e she perceived low risk, high
quality and reliability and the information costs saved with that brand due to the time and effort
saved by not having to shop around. The features that motivated her to buy this machine
were latest technology of retina display, more user-friendly than other operating systems,
its unique design and standing among other competitors. There were external influences also
present in her information search as she stated that marketing efforts of Apple has positioned
their brands in consumers minds in such a way that a buyer perceives no risk while making
decision and believes that he/she is paying value for money. While analyzing whether social-
cultural environment affected her decision, she told that a colleague from a premium brand tea
company influenced her to buy a Macintosh. Since she was low risk perceiver, well-aware of the
product and specific about it among other alternatives and it wasnt her first time of purchasing
the product, these situational, product and consumer factors decreased her pre-purchase
search. . She mentioned that although she was persuaded for Apple but she did search over the
internet for other brands like HP, Samsung and Sony VAIO which costs the same as MAC and
she went to market also to get a feel of each brand.
Evaluation of Alternatives

When evaluating potential alternatives, consumers tend to use evoked set which consists
of a list of brands from which they plan to make their selections, the criteria they will use to
evaluate each brand that helps simplify the decision-making process. This is where the
consumer evaluates products based on chosen criteria such as performance, durability,
warranty, price, after sale services and quality on competitive basis. Since there were no budget
constraints in her decision-making process, she was evaluating all the brands on performance,
quality, technology and their recognition in market. The other alternatives she considered were
Samsung series 9, HP Envy Spectre and Vaio Z. These all brands had a processor of Core i5 2
Generation with an optimum resolution of 1600 x 900 with their respective graphic
memory installed. These manufacturers were also providing a colours range suitable to
consumer. The installed
RAM ranged from 3GB to 4GB DDR 3, screen sizes was 14 inch and 15.6 inch with installed
operating system of Microsoft Windows or Linux and all other options of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,
webcam, HDMI port, USB Ports. The Apple Macbook Pro, on the contrary, had more screen
resolution than other brands and its operating system MAC OS X Lion was totally different
and felt more unique than other typical Linux and Microsoft Windows and also with a
premium color of silver.

Purchase Decision

The comparison was made among all alternatives in evoked set and she picked Apple Macbook
Pro as the final option. She preferred authorized dealer iStore who deals in Apple products and
provides augmented product services while the other local markets were not providing. She
added that the authorized dealers were cooperative enough while selecting and appreciated her
decision of choosing a right product.

Post-Purchase Evaluation

After buying a product, the consumer compares it with expectations and is either satisfied or
dissatisfied. She responded that she was pretty much satisfied and enjoying it as she spends more
than 12 hours on usage. She also added that she has been appreciated with her colleagues on this
decision and she will recommend it to others if asked. The consumer holds a positive post
purchase behavior and holds positive feedback about the product and happy with the product


It is clear from the above report that consumer spends a time while making a decision of
acquiring a product keeping in view different perspectives of available alternatives. If the
product is of high involvement category, infrequently purchased, have risk associated with it, it
leads to complex decision-making process. Furthermore, there are also other social, product,
situational and demographic factors linked with buying behavior that makes it
more extensive. The positive post-purchase behavior reflects that there was no dissonance in her
decision-making process.