Consumer decision making process

There are different decision taken by Consumers in order to get final purchase of what to buy,how to buy,how much to buy and when to buy. The consumer decision process model represents a road map of consumers minds that marketers can use for product mix,communication and sale strategies

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Assumptions underlying consumer decision process

Consumer involvement is necessary to make a choice from two or more alternatives Consumer uses evaluative criteria to determine the chosen alternative External information is used for evaluation procedure

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Stage 1-Problem recognition  

Problem recognition is caused by difference between consumers ideal and actual stage It occurs when the consumer perceives a need and becomes motivated to solve the problem These causes may be external or internal factors like out of stocks,disatisfction,new needs or wants etc Consumer buy products when they believe a products ability to solve a problem is worth more than the cost of the product.

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Types of problem recognitionRoutine problems-difference between actual and desired sales and immediate solution required Emergency problems-problem arises suddenly and solution has to be found immediately eg:ATM cash service Planning problem-problem is expected,but an immediate solution is not necessary Evolving problem-problem may occur unannounced,yet it needs no immediate solution

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Stage 2 –Search for Information
The information search may be external or internal search often consists of an attempt to scan information stored in memory to recall past experience or purchase alternatives To determine how must external information used depends on factors like culture,social class,personality etc

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After searching information they get in to information processing including such steps Exposure-Once exposure occurs,one or more of the senses are activated and preliminary processing begins Attention-it will depend on the relevance of information Comprehensive-Once attention is made,the message is further analysed and stored in memory Acceptance-Message is accepted or dismissed Retention-Finally the info is accepted and stored for future reference

Stage-3-Pre purchase evaluation of alternatives
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In this stage compares from different alternatives and seek answers for what is best for them Consumer uses new or both existing and old evaluations to select a product or service Different evlauation criteria for comparison between different products and brands Other attributes also affect the consumer behaviour ie Quantity,quality,size and prices

Stage -4-Purchase

People usually do shopping in order to purchase something Once the consumer decides for purchasing, consumers move through 2 processes

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1.The extent to which consumer develop repeat purchasing patterns 2.The extent to which purchase are unplanned

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Brand loyalty-is positively related to perceived risk and market structure variable such as market share of the dominant brand In unplanned purchasing,purchasing is not specifically planned.several products,marketing and consumer charecteristics tend to relate to unplanned purchasing

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Unplanned purchasing is positively related to 1,Size of the grocery bills 2,No.of products purchased 3,Major shopping trips 4,Frequency of products purchase

The choice of a store is very much influenced by sales person,product displays and POP advertising

Step-5-Consumption

Consumer purchases a product after going through decision-making process Consumer takes possession of goods and consumption is ready to occur Consumption may occur immediately or delayed depending on the need of consumption

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Stage-6-Post consumption evaluation

Consumer is not always fully aware of the quality of the product at the time of purchase So he engages in an evaluation of the purchase decision and rethinks this decision in the post purchase stage This stage consumer experience satisfaction or dissatisfaction depending on expectations and actual performance If consumers do not use products properly,then too dissatisfaction occurs

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Concept of customer complaint behaviour

The first negative outcome is voice expressions ie the consumers tell about their problems regarding the product Second is private responses where customers tell others about the problem which may cause unfavourable word of mouth communication Thirdly its third party responses ie action for the consumer is to complain

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This is the last stage in Consumer decision process model In this stage the consumer has several options like disposal of the product,recycling,remarketing etc Daily routine usable products can be easily disposed off because it is not of much amount The financial status and environmental factors play an important role in consumers




Stage-7-Divestment Stage-7-Divestment

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Types of Consumer decisionsNominal decision making- Nominal or habitual decisions occur when there is low involvement with the purchase Nominal decision does not even include consideration of the “do not purchase” alternative Generally at a store you scan the shelf for a product and pick up a brand without even considering other brands,its price and potentially relevant factors

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Limited decision making-It involves internal and limited external search in few alternatives,simple decision rules on a few attributes and very little post purchase evaluation Eg:You go for purchase of a new brand because you are bored using the existing brand.

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Extended decision making-It involves extensive internal and external search for information followed by a complex evaluation of multiple alternatives There is a significant post purchase evaluation and high degree of consumer involvement for purchase.

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Role of family in Consumer behaviour

Two or more persons related blood,marriage or adoption reside together The members of the most basic social group A family is differentiated from household Three types of families-married couple,nuclear family and extended family

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Functions of the family:

1, Economic well being-Economic security to
the family members The head of the family or senior male members of the family support economically The wife and other female senior members are homemakers and support children The recent trend when more no of wives are working,home responsibilities are shared Children from poor families assist their parents and grand parents in their trade

2, Emotional support- Another important
function; to provide emotional and therapeutic support to its members

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Support from the family for personal and social problems and contributes an initial training In the contrary in western countries because such support is not available they turn to educationalists and psychologists

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Suitable lifestyles-Establishment of suitable life styles based on life priorities Spouses determine the importance placed on career, education, reading habits, food, habits, entertainment and recreation Life style commitments including the allocation of time influence consumption patterns

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Child hood socialisation-The socialisation of family members especially young children is the central function of family The family imparts training for children how to behave with others and to maintain dress sense food habits and grooming Habits are developed directly by instructions and indirectly by observing

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Decision making of different family membersA family is patriarchal in which case the father or husband is the dominant member who takes the purchase decision In matriarchal family mother or wife is the dominant member of the family In equalitarian family,husband and wife both share some what equally in decision making

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Dynamics of husband/wife in decision makingBecause the married couple is the basic decision making unit its important for marketers to understand the relative strengths of husband and wife influence on family purchase decisions Studies found that the influence of husband and wife in family is quite fluid and likely to shift,depending on specific product or service

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All the factors are also mediated by changing lifestyles, particularly the increasing the number of working wives Now most of the decisions are taken jointly by husband and wife

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i,Product and service variation-The

purchasing decisions depends on the products or service to be purchased for eg:Purchase of an automobile is husband dominated while food and financial decisions is wife dominated


ii,Variation by family role structure orientation

Studies reveal that the family orientation regarding spouses role play a key factor in family consumption decisions In modern families decisions are equally distributed between spouses and there is increased interaction for decisions Family role in financial management is a function related to the members attitude and education Studies say in developing economies the decisions are husband driven where as in developed it’s a joint decision




iii,Variation by stage in decision making process

The role of husband and wife differs in different stages of decision making process In the three stages of decision making model wives play a major role in purchasing products However the husband participates in all stages of decision making if product is high priced and technically complex For eg:purchase of a washing machine,the need generation and information is by wives but final decision is joint




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iv,Variation by product features

Marketers need to examine husband/wife decision making in terms of product attributes Determination of brands in automobile and television is husband dominated whereas washing machine is wife dominated and others are jointly decided Its unwise to generalise relative influences of spouses from one product to another

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2,Decision by children

Children exert influence on their families in terms of family's purchase decisions Older chlidren participate more actively in each stages of purchasing activity The parent child realationship should be viewed as influence vs yield

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Children and television viewingChildren with more media exposure tend to recall more advertisements Parents with good socio-economic status are concerned about the food and nutritional habits whereas poor people are bothered about family conflicts Teenagers influence family decision making in a big way

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Family life cycle
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The concept of FLC has proven valuable for marketers especially for segmentation Behavioral scientists particularly family sociologists have utilised the concept of FLC The intention is to classify family units in to significant grouping The FLC refers to the progression of stages through which individuals and families proceed over time

Bachelorhood-is the first stage of FLC is bachelor hood where a single male or female establishes their house hold apart from parents Many people in this group may be working and others students The income of the member is relatively less but still they have good disposable income to lead a lavish lifestyle

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Marketers who are engaged in travel and deal with housing development,health clubs etc find this FLC stage as a lucrative market for their products and services Its easy to reach this market segment through some special interest publications Many individuals after completing there college start search for a career or job training As soon as He or she is engaged for marriage it throws out a different market opportunity for bridal dresses,jewlerry and honey moon packages

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Honeymooners-This stage starts immediately after marriage vows are taken and continues till the arrival of the first child This group is financially well off as both spouses are earning Because they have combined income to spend,they often carry a pleasure seeking lifestyle similar to singles

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In addition to pleasure seeking jointly honey mooners have considerable start up expenses in establishing a new home They are a very good target market for home appliances and other furnishings and durables These types of families have the highest scope of marketers and are having the highest purchase rate.

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Parenthood-The honey moon stage is over as soon as the first child takes birth This stage is called parenthood stage and is extended for over 20 years Because of its long duration its sensible to divide it in to shorter phases like pre-school phase,elementary school phase,high school phase and the college phase

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The lifestyle of the young couple also change,money spent on furnishing,dining and vacations now center on babys needs An increase in the number of births also increases the responsibilities of the young couple The parents are interested in new products and susceptible to things they see advertised

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Post parenthood-In post parenthood stage children leave their parents and old spouses now live together For the female spouse its time furthering her education or reentering in to job or to seek new interests For male spouse its time to indulge in new hobbies,its time for travel and entertainment for both and also refurnishing their homes Their purchasing power tends to increase at this stage due to high disposable income

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Dissolution-This stage starts with the death of one spouse,if the surviving spouse is financially well off the purchasing power is high They tend to spend more on travel,recreation and health oriented items Marketers find a rewarding segment to target constituting trips,insurance and social activities

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