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Consumer buying decision process

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Marketers Must Identify and Understand:
Who Makes the Buying Decision
Types of Buying Decisions Stages in the Buying Process

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Buying roles Buying behavior Buying decision process

Initiator Influencer Decider Buyer User

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Buying roles Buying behavior Buying decision process
Complex buying behavior Dissonance-reducing buying behavior Habitual buying behavior Variety-seeking buying behavior

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Buying roles Buying behavior Buying decision process

Five stages in the consumer buying process The amount of time spent in each stage varies according to several factors

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Figure 6-2: Five-Stage Model of the Consumer Buying Process

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Figure 6-3: Successive Sets Involved in Consumer Decision Making

Need Recognition
Marketing helps consumers recognize (or create) an imbalance between present status and preferred state When a current product isnt performing properly
When the consumer is running out of an product When another product seems State Preferred superior to the one currently used

The information search stage

Search refers to mental as well as physical information seeking and processing activities that one engages in to facilitate decision making regarding some goal object in the market place

Purpose of search
Pre purchase search Ongoing search

Source of search



Pre purchase search

Takes place when the consumer has recognized the problem.

Ongoing search
Search activities which are independent of specific needs and problems. Problem has not been recognized. Searching with interest, no demand of product.

The information search stage


internal search

Occurs when consumer recognizes problem

involves the scanning of one's memory to recall previous experiences or knowledge concerning solutions to the problem-often sufficient for frequently purchased products. An external search may be necessary when past experience or knowledge is insufficient, the risk of making a wrong purchase decision is high, and/or the cost of gathering information is low.

Personal sources (friends and family)

Public sources (rating services like Consumer Reports)

Marketer-dominated sources (advertising or sales people)

The evoked

set: a group of

brands evaluated positive for purchase and consumption

Factors influencing the external search

a. Market conditions
Availability of information alternatives to consider Location of outlets

External search is greater when

Prices are higher and the price differences between brands are greater Perception that there exists substantial differences among product alternatives

Individual factors Greater market experience with a product is associated with lower degree of external search. Socio economic characteristics e.g. high educational level Level of stimulation from environment

Situational factors Search may be reduced if

There is urgency Time available is less Special opportunities, special prices

Perceived risk Uncertainty regarding the most appropriate purchase decision influences the information gathered

Information evaluation process

The alternatives found out in the previous process are compared to find out the best solution

Information evaluation process

Evaluative or choice criteria
There may be a number of choice criteria These are the standards and specifications the consumer uses in evaluating the products and brands. No. and type of criteria may vary by product e.g. evaluation of grocery items & of property or durables.

Subsets of brands for evaluation of alternatives

a. Evoked set Those brands (few select brands) evaluated positively for purchase and consumption
Consists of those brands that the consumers have failed to perceive of any advantage of buying ( neither ve nor +ve)

b. Inert set

c. Inept set Brands that have been rejected from purchase consideration because of unpleasant experience

Evaluating the alternatives

2 broad approachesEvaluation of alternatives

Brand processing

Attribute processing

Choice by processing brands

Buyer assesses one brand and Examine several attributes and Compares them with other brands

Choice for processing attributes

Consumer examines specific Attribute and compares several other brands on that attribute

Consumers use compensatory/ non compensatory rules for this decision making


Good performance on one evaluative criteria doesnt offset/ compensate the for the poor performance of another evaluative criteria of a brand. 1.Disjunctive Rule
Consumer establishes the minimum acceptable performance standards which each brand must meet Any brand will be acceptable if it exceeds the minimum standard/ criterion.

2. Conjunctive rule
Requires the customers to establish minimum levels of acceptability on different attributes of each brand Then for each criteria a cut off point will be set below which the brand will not be considered.

3. Lexicographic Rule
Allows additional evaluative criteria to be incorporated in addition if necessary This happens when choice cant be made by evaluating the important criterion


Allows perceived favorable brand attributes or evaluative criterion to offset unfavorable evaluations Brand strengths can compensate for brand weakness.
Finally , after evaluation the decision has to be made regarding buying or non buying of the product or brand

Post-purchase Behavior:
Consumers expectations are compared to performance Post-purchase satisfaction influences future behavior
Purchasing behavior Word-of-mouth communications

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Marketers should attempt to influence and monitor post-purchase behavior

Post-purchase communications reduce dissonance, returns, and order cancellations Talk with customers to discover new uses for existing products Investigate methods of product disposal

Consumer Buying Decision Process

Figure 6-4: How Consumers Use or Dispose of Products

Discussion Scenario
Think about the Internet . . . How can marketers capitalize on the Internet to influence or monitor post-purchase behavior? Identify and discuss the different means by which the Internet has impacted how consumers use or dispose of products.