consumer purchase decision process
the definition of consumer behaviour emphasizes that a decision process underlies the
visible act of making a purchase.
the purchase decision process is the series of stages a buyer passes through in making
choices about which products and services to buy. the process consists of five stages: (1)
problem recognition, (2) information search, (3) alternatives evaluation, (4) purchase
decision, and (5) postpurchase behaviour. each stage is value-oriented.
a. problem recognition
problem recognition is a perceived difference between a person's ideal and actual
situation big enough to trigger a decision. problem recognition can be stimulated
by a consumer's depleted assortment (e.g., empty toothpaste tube) or by marketing
b. the information search
the information search stage serves to clarify the options open to the consumer and
may involve two steps:
an internal search involves the scanning of one’s memory to recall previous
experiences or knowledge concerning solutions to the problem. internal search
is often sufficient for frequently purchased products.
an external search may be necessary particularly when past experience or
knowledge is insufficient, the risk of making a wrong purchase decision is high,
and the cost of gathering information is low.
the primary sources of external information are:
1. personal sources (friends and family and blogs)
2. public sources (rating services like consumer reports)
3. marketer-dominated sources (advertising or salespeople)
4. blogs…web sites that contain online personal journals.
C. alternative evaluations
the alternative evaluation stage begins with the examination of a consumer's
evaluative criteria -- both the "objective" attributes of a brand and the "subjective"
factors a consumer considers important. these criteria establish a consumer's
evoked set or consideration set-- the group of brands that a consumer would con-
sider acceptable from among all the brands in the product class of which he or she
is aware of.
d. purchase decision
the purchase decision involves judging the alternatives and is often influenced by
seller characteristics and incenti