Marketing: Consumer Purchasing Decision Process
In popular usage, the promotion of the products is known as the Marketing, where the advertising and branding of various products plays the vital role in this process. However, in broader and professional terms, a process that focuses the customer as its center and most important object for the selling of their products. Nowadays, all the activities and products are created, produced, and marketed on the demands of the various consumers of a company, which is also referred as the consumer orientation.
Therefore, there are many factors that influence the marketing process of a company and which plays a vital role in the success of a company. In order to understand the consumers’ needs, interests, and demands, we will try to clarify the different behaviors and nature of the consumers around the world. During the process of purchasing and buying of various products, the consumers undertake some decision-making processes that relates to a market transaction potentially.
These processes are commenced by the customers before, during, and after the purchasing of a product. (Sandhusen, 2000, pp10-14)
More generally, when a course of action is selected from the multiple available alternatives through a cognitive process is called the decision making of a consumer. There are many common examples that include shopping of a basic product, such as, computer, food item, watch, etc. to complex services like roof repairing, family holiday, etc. (Volkema et al, 1998, pp 105-121)
In this regard, it can also be termed as a construction that is done psychologically on a consumer. Although, a decision can never been seen by us, conclusion can be made regarding the making of a decision from observable behavior. Therefore, we can say that commitment to action is attributed by this abovementioned psychological construction.
In general, consumer buying decision process can be analyzed in three ways that are Economic models, psychological models, and consumer behavior models. In these Economic models, various assumptions of rationality are made, which are usually largely quantitative in nature, and normally perfect knowledge can be gathered by these models. In this regard, Consumer and Game theory is applied by the marketing researchers in some circumstances. (Mullen, 1990, pp 4-10)
Psychological and cognitive processes are concerntrated by the Psychological models. Some examples of these procedures are need of the reduction and the motivation process. Unlike the Economic models, these models are found qualitative, as compared to the former ones. In these models, the culture and family play a vital role in influencing the consumers’ behavior, as they are usually built on the abovementioned sociological factors.
In the modern times, the marketers used the practical models, which are known as Consumer behavior models in the Buyer decision process. It has been observed by the researchers and therefore, we can say that these models are the blending combination and mixture of both the psychological and economic models, as mentioned above in our discussion.
There are some steps, which are followed by a general model of the buyer decision process, and which influence the decision of a consumer on a larger extent. The awareness of the consumer is also one of the main factors in the marketing research of a product, whether it is a basic product, like computer or a CD, or a complex product and service like renovation of a home or traveling package. (Henderson et al, 1980, pp 35-50)
The awareness should be given to the consumer before the occurrence of anything else in the market. Thus, it is very important that the target audience should gain the attention. Generally, all the marketers have accepted and agreed on this awareness step of the buyer decision process. Because, if the message is never heard by the purchaser, the product will not get the response, whether the product will be basic or complex, and powerful or attractive as compared to the other products in the market.
Interest of the consumer is another factor during the buyer decision process. However, it is not needed sufficiently, in order to grab the customer’s attention. The consumers should be attracted by the message, and they should be persuaded and convinced with the message and awareness that their needs will be fulfilled by the utilization of that product.
Therefore, the marketers should be very careful in selecting the content of the advertising and promotional message, which should be very meaningful and important in the consumers’ lives. At this place, the marketing research plays its role in the understanding of the consumers’ needs and interests in the different products of the market.
In this regard, the understanding is another issue that requires the attention of the marketers. Therefore, the message should give the opportunity to the consumer to appreciate the offering of a specific product for meeting the needs and interests. In addition, a sense of positive attitude should also be given to the consumers, so the product may be purchased by them, in order to get its trial or testing from the first use.
In a few minutes during the advertisement or promotion of the product, these abovementioned stages might happen with the consumers. On the other hand, some time later the final buying decision may take place with the help of different shops that are available with that precise and exact product that will fulfill the needs of the consumer. In most cases, a view of trial purchase is given to the first purchase of a buyer. Therefore, the marketers focus on the concept of repeat purchases of the customer, which generates the actual profit of the company. We can simplify these stages from the below given diagram:
The Customer Decision-Making Process and Its Five Stages
Source: (Leicester Primary Care Audit Group, 2006, pp 15-16)
As we have tried to discuss the different steps and stages of the consumer purchasing decision process, some influences vary from products to products. If a basic product is going to be purchased by the consumer, several factors influence the customer during the decision-making process. For example, if a new cell phone or a computer is needed to be purchased by the consumer.
The first step will required the recognition of a model of the cell phone. Although, an idea will be in the mind of the consumer, some research would be taken, in order to narrow down some alternatives of the purchaser. Different manufacturers, resellers, and retailers will be investigated in this process.
Design, price, features, brand, validity, and trustworthiness of the seller will be examined on these criteria. At last, the cell phone or the computer will be assessed by you after its first purchase from the manufacturer, and the decision will be made after its use that this product will be bought by that consumer again in the future or not.
The abovementioned examples of basic products may be instantaneous and immediate by the consumer. Such as, a packed of chewing gum, stationary, food item, books, etc. If we go in comparing these stages with the complex products, we may observe that usually it takes a lot of time for the decision making of complex manufactured goods, as compared to the basic ones.
A long period is stretched in the complex purchases by the consumer, because, complex products and services, such as traveling packages, family holiday, repair service, renovation, etc. are not as regularly and usually done by the consumers around the world, and therefore, a chance to assess the product is not given in the terms of complex ones.
Conclusively, we have tried to understand the different factors that influence the nature and scope of the consumer purchasing decision process. Some of the psychological influences are motivation, personality, perception, leaning, values, beliefs, and lifestyle. Whereas, socio-cultural influences are personal ones, family, social class, culture, subculture, reference groups, etc. The marketing mix influences are product, price, place, and the promotion. Lastly, the situational influences are social and physical surroundings, antecedent states, purchase task, and temporal effects. These are some of the factors that affect the consumer purchasing and buying decision process in the markets around the world.
Richard L. Sandhusen. (2000). Marketing. Barron’s Educational Series.
John C. Mowen. (1997). Consumer Behavior. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
David L. Loudon. (1993). Consumer Behavior: concepts and applications. McGraw-Hill College.
Volkema, Roger J., & Ronald H. Gorman. (1998). The Influence of Cognitive-Based Group Composition on Decision-Making Process and Outcome. Journal of Management Studies.
Nicosia. F. (1966). Consumer Decision Processes. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs.
Henderson, John C., and Paul C. Nutt. (1980). Influence of Decision Style on Decision Making Behavior.
Brian Mullen. (1990). The Psychology of Consumer Behavior. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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