Consumer Buying Behavior: The Buyer Decision Process.
The buyer’s decision process consists of 5 stages: need recognition, information search, evaluation of
alternatives, purchase decision, and post purchase behavior. Consumers go through all 5 stages with every
purchase. In a more routine purchase, consumers might skip or reverse some of the stages (ex. buying
your usual toothpaste).
1. Need Recognition: the buyer recognizes a problem or need. The need can be triggered by an
internal stimulus when one of the person’s normal needs raises to a level high enough to become
a drive (ex. Hunger, thirst).Aneed can also be triggered by an external stimulus. An
advertisement or a discussion with a friend might get you thinking about buying a new product
(ex. New car).
2. Information Search: if the consumers’drive is strong and a satisfying product is near at hand the
consumer is likely to bus it then. If not the consumer may store the need in memory or undertake
an information search related to the need. Consumers can obtain information from different
sources. These include personal source (family, friends), commercial sources (advertising,
salespeople), public sources (mass media, internet search), and experiential sources (handling,
examining, using the product). Generally, the consumer receives the most information about the
product from commercial sources. The most effective sources however tend to be personal
sources legitimize of evaluate products for the buyer.As more information is obtained, the
consumers’awareness and knowledge of the available brands and features increase. The
information might also help you to drop certain brands from consideration. Acompany must
design its marketing mix to make prospects aware of the knowledge about its brand. It should
carefully identify consumers’sources of information and the importance of each source.
3. Evaluation ofAlternatives: Is how the consumer processes information to arrive at brand choices.
Consumers do not use a simple and single evaluation process in all buying situations. Instead
several evaluation processes are at work. The consumer arrives at attitudes towards different
brands through some evaluation procedure. How consumers go about evaluating purchases
alternatives depend on the individual c